Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Shifting Sands - "Beach Coma"

Release Date: January 14, 2015
Label: Spooky Records
Distributor: ?
Producer: Darek Mudge
Cat No: ?


Geoff Corbett: Lead Vocals
Danielle Golding: Keyboards, Violin and Backing Vocals
Dylan McCormack: Acoustic Guitar
Dan Baebler: Guitar
Alex Dunlop: Drums
Anna Clifford: Backing Vocals
Ben Corbett: Lead duet Vocals on "Dead Memory"

A nice thing about Brisbane rock'n'roll is the ability to be able to shift your genre to a totally different entity altogether without compromising your own identity. So it goes for Geoff Corbett of Six Ft Hick fame's side project Shifting Sands. This band has been around for a few years now and have been one of the most persistent and prominent bands on the live local circuit.

"Beach Coma" is a wonderfully perverse mixture of the beautiful, exotic, exquisite and the dark and disturbing rolled in one. Corbett digs deep into the musky depths of his record collection like a late night fishing trip in Mariana's Trench and brings out memories of Alexis Korner, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, early Dave Graney, The Bad Seeds and Serge Gainsbourg with his husky whiskey sodden vocals. Coupled with Dylan McCormack's delicately scrubbed guitar and Clifford and Golding's siren-like backing vocals that they share equally, this album is the perfect companion to a Sunday afternoon on an MP3 player out the back deck with a classic Penguin novel in one hand and a Jack Daniels & Coke in the other.

The mainly gentle lilting songs such as "New Flame" and "Airway" and "Girl In The Sinking Canoe" (if the violin playing on this doesn't bring you to tears, you are one heartless bastard/bitch) have nice AM radio friendly melodies unsettlingly woven with morbid dark lyrics about death and near death experiences and romantic love together. The second single "The Other Girls" sounds almost like they had roped in 60's & 70's MOR songwriting team Roger Greenaway & Roger Cook into the production team, and the video for it directed by guitarist Dan Baebler is just magical telling the life of an ageing fishermen all in a night's work.

Elsewhere, the album has it's rocking moments with "Didn't I" and "Unrelenting Surf" that have traces of The Cars and The Rentals in them, but they don't overshadow the largely lounge theme of the album.

A truly great album which deserves not just community radio airplay, but also crossover radio airplay. It could just be the perfect introduction to Corbett's alter ego for those who tend to shy off from the wild rock'n'roll shenanigans of Six Ft Hick.