25 September 2023

A Redder Shade of Rust

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

Peabody, Universal Music 2018.

Apparently Sydney’s indie rockers Peabody have been in existence for 24 years but this album is the first I’ve heard of them.

A Redder Shade of Rust is their fifth studio album and the first since their 2010 effort, Loose Manifesto.

The band play an interesting mix of 60s infused guitar pop/rock that’s very appealing.

On the surface there is an apparent simplicity to what they do but that only hides a much more intricate and complex musical palate.

There is an honesty to their performances and that is reflected in the recording of this album.

Rather than head into one of Sydney’s many fully equipped studios, A Redder Shade of Rust was recorded in a brand-new school hall with long-time producer Jamie Hutchins back in the producer’s chair, as he was for their first three albums.

He was assisted by Tim Kevin doing the engineering.

The live recording has captured a band that is united and tight. Many feel that this album may be their most cohesive album to date.

The sound is crystal clear and strongly guitar driven with great bass and drums holding down hypnotic rhythms that hook the listener in.

For the two founding members and songwriters, Ben Chamie and Bruno Brayovic, the creative process is paramount.

They’ve been in Peabody now for more years than they haven’t, and they feel that they are starting to treat it like a science experiment.

The album is a wonderful amalgam.

The opening track, You’re With Me, is resplendent with sitar like guitar and Indian style rhythms while a track like Prosthetic Heart has a great punk drive complete with tin-can vocal and elements of Radio Birdman in its mix.

The final track, Sometimes, opens with an insistent bass line that is gradually built upon creating a mesmerising instrumental beginning to a powerful song, in similar vein to many Midnight Oil songs that build a driving and determined progression to a climatic conclusion.

This is a very good album and they’ve certainly gained another fan.

Apparently Peabody are a great live act.

This CD certainly suggests that they would be.

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