Wesley Fuller “Inner City Dream”
Wesley Fuller is an Australian singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist and producer, who quickly received national attention with the release of his debut EP, Melvista. With a sound rooted in the late 70s and early 80s pop, this full-length debut is everything promised and more. Fuller reveals a growing maturity both technically and melodically, as you’ll hear influences from The Talking Heads, The Cars, The Bay City Rollers and Electric Light Orchestra.
The opening title track “Inner City Dream” is a glorious combo of T-Rex and Jeff Lynne. “Someone To Walk Around With” is another catchy gem lead by guitar riffs and tambourines, that reminds me of the hit that Jet scored with “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.” The 70’s cowbell and fuzz bass are joined by heavy synths in the equally amazing “Skyways,” but its honestly impossible to find any filler throughout the album. Another highlight is the infectious “#1 Song” about pop star dreams and “the chance of a lifetime.” Each song boasts a modern production sheen, with a finely crafted sense of pop songwriting – making the results pretty damn incredible. Overall the music varies in tone enough, with mid-tempo love songs reaching the album’s second half on “Wish You Would” and “Miranda Says” contrasting with the heavy anthemic and danceable first half. Makes my year-end top ten for 2017. Don’t miss it!
The Successful Failures “Ichor of Nettle”
The Successful Failures’ sixth LP, “Ichor of Nettle,” adds more roots rock influence to its power pop core. Fans of Tom Petty, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gram Parsons, and Cheap Trick will appreciate the band’s sound. Opening with “The Ballad of Julio Cuellar,” a real-life tale of illegal immigration with a sympathetic Julio “left to die” by his smuggler.
The hard-charging riffs of “Misguiding Light” are more of what we expect from Mick Chorba’s band, and its a great tune. My favourite on this album is the folk hero story “Sam Houston,” who was a “…Southern Democrat who followed his own rules.” It’s a great combination of melody, grit and Americana. The bluegrass acoustic “Tennessee Boy” is a romantic gem with a standout mandolin solo and great blue-collar anthems “PA Fight Song” and “The Shit That Drags You Down” are also highlights. A few missteps, like the plodding “The Devil Took A Liking To Me” and “All Rise” but at best these songs just aren’t as compelling as the earlier songs on this album. Highly Recommended.