The John Steel Singers may be one member down, but their sound is as big as ever.
The band now sees its five founding multi-instrumentalist members taking on more specialised roles in what has ultimately resulted in their most diverse collection of music to date.
Their second studio album, Everything’s A Thread, has fewer brass instruments than their previous works. It is also an assembly of strong grooves, quirky melodies, and crystalline harmonies, and was lovingly put together at Luke McDonald’s parents’ place on the Sunshine Coast.
The group wanted complete control over their sound so that they could follow their instincts and let the music take them on a journey – one that was not necessarily “technically correct”.
For better or worse, they hoarded new instruments, listened to records, and studied photographs of old studio set-ups. Almost like magpies, they chose the aspects they wanted to emulate.
The title track is a perfect introduction to the album as it sounds like a few different songs played at once and in an absolute frenzy.
The album includes some catchy pop tunes like “Common Thread”, and hints of their old sound in “MJ’s On Fire Again”.
But as the tracks continue, the layers of synth and guitar get denser. “The Marksman” sees a catchy bass line played alongside spooky melodies, distorted walls of sound, and that sublime feeling of basking in the sunshine.
In “State Of Unrest” the band sing about a chaos that’s not dissimilar to what they’ve created on this particular baby.
At its best, Everything’s A Thread is creative, quirky, and experimental. It’s a confident and upbeat mass of melody, chaos, and disarray. But there are moments where things are a tad overdone, and there’s just too much fat left to chew on this bone.
Originally published on 8 November 2013 at the following website: http://www.tonedeaf.com.au/reviews/new-music/361103/everythings-a-thread.htm
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