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| 18 September 2018 | Reply

Dinner For Wolves
July 2018
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Australia – and, let’s be fair, New Zealand – have produced an astonishing amount of world class music since rock n’ roll was a bubba, and The Screaming Jets are well aware of that, hence their eighth studio album Gotcha Covered.

As the title suggests, it’s a collection of fifteen covers of some of their faves from The Antipodes.

Singer Dave Gleeson has said of the record, “What we came up with was a great Aussie party album. Covering songs that have shaped us; songs from our youth; songs that have been written and performed by contemporaries and songs that will make even the most loyal fan go ‘what the!’”

He has a point – but lest we forget, The Jets are as well known for their softer more reflective moments such as Helping Hands and Shivers as they are for hard rockers Better, Do Ya and the like.

Consequently, the stunning track listing on this album may come as a surprise to some. Obvious selections such as AC/DC and The Angels (Gleeso’s other day job, of course) are covered with Rock ‘N’ Roll Damnation and Shadow Boxer, while The Radiators’ Gimme Head is an affectionate and cheeky – though somewhat forced – tribute to the bad ole bogan days of yore.

The Easybeats, you Am I, Radio Birdman, INXS and Aussie Crawl all crack a Guernsey, but it’s hearing this often rough-as-guts mob of mongrels tackle Goanna’s poverty-stricken Razor’s Edge, Men At Work’s Overkill, Paul Kelly’s irresistible Darling It Hurts, Hoodoo Gurus’ Right Time, Icehouse’s (as Flowers) debut single Walls and Dragon’s Rain that is more revelatory. Put simply, the covers are respectful of their originals, yet undeniably Screaming Jets-ercised. It would have been easy for them to stick with by-the-numbers rockers, but these songs have pop and new wave nuances, and the band handle them brilliantly.

All well and very good indeed, but they saved the best for last: a fourteen-and-a-quarter minute epic take on the Vanda & Young-written Stevie Wright hit Guitar Band. Featuring solos from almost a dozen and a half Aussie guitarists, it’s a classic take on a classic track that’ll thrill air guitarists for years to come. Shame there’s no West Aussies featured, though.

Category: CD Reviews

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