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| 19 December 2017 | Reply

October 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8 ½ /10

30-year vet of the Oz rock industry dw Norton has just dropped this excellent collection of songs, written and recorded as Rifleman on the Mornington Peninsula.

Melodious and introspective, there’s a post-grunge shadow to the album – a ‘90s indie aesthetic married to a singer-songwriter vibe, as honed during Norton’s time as guitarist for Superheist.

Assembled over period of three years after “a decade in the wilderness of normality,” it’s obviously a labour of love – and this is reflected by the music – music that, I cannot stress enough, you would once have heard all over the radio, fallen in love with (or to) and gone out to buy (or at least tape off your mate’s copy).

The hooks are king here – huge fucking riffs and thoughtful and intelligent lyrics abound, and all work to complement the instantly irresistible hooks.

Every song impresses – Keep The Story Alive, Satellite and October Sun are instant standouts, The Last Love Song is heartbreaking, intelligent, deep, catchy rock – so much so that a perfectly decent cover of INXS’s Don’t Change only serves to distract from Norton’s own material.

In contrast with so much pop music, Norton has something to say. Liar On The Radio, Surrender, Those Southern Lights are all quite profound in their lyricism and subject matter, and he even uses the liner notes to ruminate on his own journey, and espouse his thoughts on animal consciousness and the merits of veganism. Delivered with intuitive passion and grace, we can agree or disagree all we like, I think, but his arguments are valid and well articulated, and in way change the fact that this is one excellent album.



Category: CD Reviews

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