Monday, April 11, 2011

Leadfinger - We Make The Music

We Make The Music
Impedance Records

With a history that stretches back more than twenty years as a member of such groups as Proton Energy Pills, Brother Brick, Asteroid B-612, The Yes Men and Challenger-7, Stewart Cunningham is not only somewhat of a legend within the underground Australian music scene, but also a survivor. Over the last five years, Cunningham has been focussing his talents within his outfit Leadfinger, who have to date released two full-length efforts (2007’s ‘The Floating Life’ and 2008’s ‘Rich Kids’) and one E.P. (2008’s ‘Through The Cracks’) to high critical acclaim.
It’s been three since the release of anything new, but after putting together an entirely new line-up (Aside from vocalist/guitarist Cunningham, Leadfinger is now comprised of guitarist/backing vocalist Michael Boyle, bassist Adam ‘Reggie’ Screen and drummer/backing vocalist Dillon Hicks), and putting both the new line-up and a new batch of songs through their paces over the better part of the last couple of years, Leadfinger are back with their third album ‘We Make The Music’.
In the past, Leadfinger’s releases have always left a favourable impression on me, so I was pleased to find the band had returned with something new. But even though the band have put together some great music out in the past, there’s no mistaking that with ‘We Make The Music’, the band have really exceeded all expectations and put together their best album yet.
The opening title track ‘We Make The Music’ (Which is the first promotional video clip) is an absolute sunning stunner that draws its influences from The Who’s Pete Townsend with its mix of acoustic and electric guitars tightly woven together to make for a truly classic rock sound, while the straight forward ‘Dragon On My Chain’, the clever pop/sustained guitar charm within ‘No Reflection’ and the full bodied ‘The Price You Pay’ (Which was released as the album’s first single) are pure classic rock in their purest form both structurally and sound wise.
The punk/indie edged ‘Anthem For The Unimpressed’ might lack a little in the anger and volume stakes, but more than makes up in terms of bite lyrically and vocally, while the up-tempo and retrospective ‘Fourteen’ (Which, along with the short instrumental ‘Segue 2’, featured mandolin’s and Dobro’s alongside acoustic guitars) and the laid back ‘Leaving’ are stunningly heart-warming in their honest.
The lively ‘Come & Dance’ and ‘Beside Me, Against Me’ sees the band channelling The Rolling Stone’s via ‘Exile On Main Street’ through the use of vintage equipment, while shades of the blues are evident within ‘Eucalyptus Blues’.
‘We Make The Music’ is by far Leadfinger’s most diverse sounding album to date, but also their most consistent as well, with every one of the dozen offering a classic in their own right. This album is a must have for fans of Cunningham’s work, and for those on the look out for an example of some truly first class Australian rock.

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© Justin Donnelly