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Splurge - Heavy Weather

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 3 / 11 / 2002



Splurge - Heavy Weather
Label: Laughing Outlaw
Format: CD

intro

Enjoyable melodic pop on second album from Melbourne four piece, which is reminiscent of Oasis, but also more oddly Swedish popsters Roxette


Splurge are a four-piece band coming out of Melbourne. This is their second album, although two of the band’s members, Greg Arnold (singing, bass, guitars and keyboards) and Greg Williams (singing, rhythm guitar) did record an album as the Every Brothers between the first album (simply titled 'Splurge' in 1999) and this latest offering. As a bonus to the ten new songs on ‘Heavy Weather’, Laughing Outlaw records have added five tracks from the band’s self-titled debut. With ‘Heavy Weather’ Splurge have produced an album full of such wonderfully melodic pop songs that it can only be a matter of time before they are much more well known. Listening to track three on the album, ‘I Have No Control’, the name of Oasis springs to mind. It’s probably the weakest track on the album, a rock by numbers song that wouldn’t be out of place on an Oasis album but what keeps it interesting is the lyrics; “I am not your lover, just your flunkey, and I’ve been hanging onto you like a hopeless fucking junkie”. It must be said that there is an undeniable Gallagher sound in the vocals, although it is hard to know who takes the lead on this particular track as both Williams and Arnold are listed as singers in the sleeve notes. The other two members of the band are Neville Hill on guitar and bass and Owen Smythe on drums. Now, I’m going to risk upsetting fans of the band and maybe the band members themselves but I’ve got to say it. It had been nagging me who the lead singer sounds like on the stunning second track, ‘I See That Now’, which is an achingly beautiful song built on a wall of shimmering guitars and keyboards. Then it hit me, not only in the vocals but also in the whole sound and texture of the song; it’s got Per Gessle from Sweden’s Roxette stamp all over it. And before the hate mail starts coming in, make sure you check out Gessle’s work with the Lonely Boys or even, at a push, a track called ‘Kung Av Sand’ he recorded with his old band, Gyllene Tider, before just judging the guy on his work with Roxette. He writes good, strong melodic power pop that will be around a lot longer than Sweden’s golden boys the Hypes, (sorry that should be The Hives). So, in my book at least, comparing ‘I See That Now’ to one of Gessle’s songs is a compliment. And it’s more valid than the Oasis one as they have yet to come up with melodies so strong as those shown on tracks like ‘Come Monday Morning’ or ‘Heavy Weather’. They’ve also never turned out a tune so tender and gorgeous as ‘She’s Got No Soul’. As the album progresses through songs like the acoustic driven ‘Because You’re Mine’, it’s obvious that this is a classy act who have produced an album which, like all great albums, has snatches of tunes which already seem familiar and vocals which the listener feels instantly comfortable with. There is a warmness to these vocals that will appeal to anyone who likes their pop music with chiming guitars and big, strong melodies. There is also a just the smallest hint of alt country along the lines of, say, the Pernice Brothers mixed in there as well. The actual ‘Heavy Weather’ album ends with the song ‘To Be In Love’. It has another breathtaking melody and vocals sung with such a passion and feeling that it sounds like the singer is singing his last ever song and giving it all he can. Then we have the five bonus tracks from the first album. The thought was there that maybe they couldn’t match the beauty and brilliance of the previous ten songs. But they do. They are not quite as polished and maybe show a few more rough edges in places and are more in the power pop vein than the songs on ‘Heavy Weather’ but are none the worse for that. Tracks like ‘The Man Who Used To Be On TV’ could have fitted seamlessly in to the new album and are just as strong. There are a number of bands who can turn out good, melodic pop songs but not many come to mind who do it with the confidence, feeling and passion that Splurge do here. They make it seem so easy. On the strength of the fifteen songs here I’d certainly go out of my way to get hold of their next release.



Track Listing:-
1 Come Monday Morning
2 I See That Now
3 I Have No Control
4 Heavy Weather
5 She's Got No Soul
6 Because You're Mine
7 What's the Matter With Me
8 Rise and Fall
9 No Trace
10 To Be in Love
11 Invisible Man
12 Nine-To-Fivers' Daily Grind
13 The Man Who Used to Be On Tv
14 Inside This Skin
15 I Can't Live With Anyone but You


Label Links:-
http://www.laughingoutlaw.com.au/
https://www.facebook.com/laughingoutlawrecordsandmanagement
https://laughingoutlaw.bandcamp.com/



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