No one trick Pony

One of the beauties of the Melbourne has to be the music scene.

When I first arrived in town over a year ago I saw bloke by the name of Matt Joe Gow and his band The Dead Leaves at the Odd Bar on a Sunday residency and it blew me away. He and his band covered a few The Band songs to captivate the room: two guitars, four part harmony, the whole bit. Ended up shootin’ the shit with him at the bar with a beer after and turns out he was originally from Duniden, NZ. So I asked him about the punk scene there in the late 70’s early 80’s that really started take off with Flying Nun Records. He laughed at me and asked how I know that…thanks Jim for making me look cool. More on Matt Joe Gow another time I promise.

The next week I took in a show at The Tote (Hotel), a legendary venue that one might equate to The Empty Bottle in Chicago. You can feel the history seep out of the show posters on the hallway walls as you turn the corner to go to the back room for the show. Man, I wanted to light a cigarette while watching the show just like ol’ Bottle days. Luckily there was an outdoor garden just through the doors to the right. Even luckier I have stopped smoking again for a second time, but not very rock n roll of me. I left that room pissed and happy from quality Fitzroy scene music. More on The Tote another time…yet another promise.

ACDC Lane MelbourneI have seen various scatter shows since that first few weeks of intrigue of Melbourne, including my buddy Lee Spence, but no live music in over 3 months. That brings me to this past Saturday the 3rd. Another local mate Vaughn got me out to the Cherry Bar to check out his mates in Cold Harbor and Bugdust. A night of speed stoner rock in the bar on ACDC Lane (yes it’s called that Map it). Just what I needed, a night of big guitars and fast booming drums to really exorcise that side me. I’m no metal head by any means, but as my mates do know I like my rock n roll.

But it’s really the opening act that caught my attention. Do get me wrong, I got my fill and then some from the two groups we came to see yet I’m reviewing “Rebel Rebel” the first LP from Pony Girl & the Outsiders.

Yes it’s true, I’m a sucker for a girl with a guitar. At the same token if it’s not my tune then I’ll walk to bar and let all the other blokes with no chance in hell gawk. What really caught me first as I heard the band outside of Cherry Bar was lead guitarist Steve H’s black Fender through his Orange amp. That same distinct classic combination hits immediately on the opening track “That Girl” and prevails throughout Rebel Rebel so much it carries “My Love is Not Blind” but maybe leads the tune a little too far. The meat between includes “Man Up” which begins rather lacking the punch in the face it gives by the end. And no the contrast is ill-served. H’s lead wears a bit of Television well.

H tailors his guitar to Pony’s voice with the taste and precision of a rock craftsman. I think of the tracks  “Lightening Lights” and in the gritty “Dirty Talk” where Pony brings her best Polly Jean. This track also brings out the better side of the album’s songwriting and overall performance with the rhythm of Davey G on drums and Jamie C the bass guitar as the song picks up.

Pony’s vox clearly front the Outsiders, as they should. Her charm is apparent, but her red hollow body guitar rhythm frames her soliloquy with the proper matting.

“Rebel Rebel” concludes with the swan song title track.  While the album’s arrangement is correct, the final track needs a snip of about a minute thirty. It is a beaut of a track but better served as the melancholy dream it spins in the first four minutes.

Again another good find in Melbourne in PG & her Outsiders. But it seems that it’s just one of a few down the alleyways of CBD…and I like it.

Joe Grez

Joe Grez

Joe Grzesik (JGrez) is still an artist developer trying to keep up with new technologies. Photography still has been one of his strongest passions. However, now his main focus has led him back to music where he teaches guitar, piano, saxophone and percussion privately. Music education can never be short changed.

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