It is always refreshing to hear a roots-based group perform an original set, and the Deserters do not disappoint. QUAY OF SEA, as indicated by the hopeful title, brings it all back home to simple pleasures, radiant down-home joys and universal fears. It is apparent from the initial guitar strum that this is an album that concentrates on music, not trends. This Melbourne-based band combines the high lonesome aspects of melancholia with the rough-edged, pining soulfulness of Ryan Adams/Wilco country-rock and the spirit of modern rock. Deserters bind it all together with sweet harmonies, infectiously strong melodies and a powerful narrative sensibility. Whether the subject is unabashed love, hopelessness or undefined emotion, it is presented with a raw energy and verve.
While the band's debut set 'Pale Morning' (2009) perfected a more traditional brand of country-rock, their second record is marvelously eclectic, both musically and emotionally. Hitchhiker opens with a Creedence-esque guitar riff behind a rolling groove and an ambiguous vocal delivery from singer/songwriter Luke Thomas. Vacant Sea delivers a Neil Finn like melody over a hypnotic bass groove, crashing with waves of shimmering, jangly guitar. ...And I'll Sleep Tonight is a soaring pop song, all rockin and rollicking with Dallas Gale displaying his Johnny Greenwood-esque guitar prowess . Takin' Me Back sees a more stripped back acoustic sound while Beneath The Sun with it's lush garden of harmonies is all Beatles psychadelic and dreamy. The first single from the album, Lemon Kicks, is a catchy slice of power pop with a riff that sticks in your head for days. While Stars Burn with it's Zep heavy guitar riff also contrasts with close-knit harmonies featuring Sydney local Elly-May Barnes.
A quietly stirring singalong anthem, with mixing input from Victor Van Vugt (Cave, Nick; Harvey, PJ; Panics, The) and rich counterpoint backing vocals from Elly-May Barnes, this is probably the clarion call that Deserters are having a genuine go at it, this presaging an album early next year which could be the making of them"
Stars Burn review | Ross Clelland | Drum Media 13.09.11 #1077
With QUAY OF SEA set for a spring release, POPBOOMERANG RECORDS has, once again, released a collection of heart-and-soul-felt songs by an Australian band worth a listen. The VACANT SEA / HITCHHIKER AA-SIDE SINGLE is a mere taster of what to expect and has been digitally released exclusively through ITUNES.
Deserters are: Luke Thomas (vocals, piano, acoustic & electric guitars); Xain Milke (Bass, organ); Dallas Gale (electric guitars); Dave Mudie (drums); Additional personnel: Mal Pinkerton (piano, keys); Elly-May Barnes (backing vocals); Recorded at Hothouse, St. Kilda, Melbourne and O'hea St. Manor, Coburg, Melbourne. Mixed by Jeff Lovejoy (Tex Perkins, Powderfinger) at Blackbox, Brisbane, Queensland and Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave, P.J Harvey, The Panics), Grace studios, New York, USA.
Xain Milke | 0425 729 054 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Thurling | 0438 740 080 | email@example.com