Let’s take a walk down History Lane. I discovered the guitar slayin’ talents of Leadfinger back in around 1990. I was amazed by a Wollongong band I had bought a 7” of called the Proton Energy Pills. These 5 guys had a sound and songs that were highly infectious and just reeked of greatness. Then sometime in 1991 when I went to my mate, Jay’s house, he played me this demo by a band called Brother Brick and I was hooked immediately. He advised me that Brother Brick’s guitarist and singer was the same guy from the Protons. I saw the connection and immediately wanted to hear more.
A month or 3 later, my brother and I went to Sydney for some short holiday and I was in Waterfront Records and the Brother Brick CD was there on the shelves awaiting to be purchased by me. I handed over my cash and the CD “Getting Beyond A Shit” was now mine and I couldn’t wait to get back to Adelaide to listen to it.
When I returned home to my bedroom, I immediately cranked up the CD and was amazed at the songs. So good! Great guitar riffage and melodies. This was something else entirely different to the Protons. Then somewhere along the lines, Stewart “Leadfinger” Cunningham joined Sydney rock n roll outfit, Asteroid B-612. The newly released LP, “Not Meant For This World” was as good an excuse as any to outlay the sum of $25 for the vinyl LP with bonus t-shirt. Not a chore by any means and when I got that LP home, I played that thing repeatedly. The Asteroid B-612 band came through Adelaide playing a 2 night stand at a venue known as The Abaddon. I had only planned on seeing them on the Friday but I was so blown away that I went back the Saturday night to be rocked again. The 5 piece knew how to deliver on all cylinders. There was no rock band that could come close to their explosive live shows.
Brother Brick was then releasing more records and touring again, including in their schedule, a visit to Adelaide. I caught up with Leadfinger at the time, did an interview for issue #5 of Long Gone Loser and got myself some new releases including the latest single at the time, the anthemic “See You Tonight”. A song that would find itself on every mixed tape that I would make someone in the years to come.
Somewhere along the line, Leadfinger would go solo and release a couple rock n roll albums of Thin Lizzy meets The Replacements inspired greatness. One of these albums would fall into my hands today and this is where we are at now… “We Make The Music” is Leadfingers 3rd solo album and it’s a corker! From the get-go the album kicks in with big harmonies, a barrage of melodic riffs and a foot stompin’ beat on the album’s title track.
Tracks like “Dragon On My Chain” and “No Reflection” proudly wear Westerberg’s badge of inspiration and influence. Works for me. While a track like “Fourteen” reminds me of Alex Chilton and Big Star. Yeah, that’s a thumbs up too. This is what I’m talking about. A feel good record.
Probably one of my instant faves on the album came in the song “Eucalyptus Blues”. A ballsy rocker that starts mellow, picks up and drives the bluesy twang home for beers at 6. I just love the way it starts and gets rockin’ and is brought back down again before charging home. Nice work!
The album packs a hell of a punch and I love the use of the slide guitar, especially on the album’s single about Australia’s fallen heroes of rock n roll, “The Price You Pay”. A song that could possibly have this whole review dedicated to it. Sometimes tribute songs could sound tacky or lame but this one is heroic and a real ass kickin’ tribute in such a way that the Powder Monkeys and Freeloaders would appreciate. You really gotta hear this thing. It’s aawesome!
I highly recommend this album if you are a fan of the Replacements, Roky Erickson, Thin Lizzy, Grand Funk Railroad, or even Foghat. Actually, probably not Foghat, I just wrote that cos I think it’s a funny band name and doesn’t get used enough in comparisons in reviews. Still, this album, buy it.
Do yourself a favour… you can get this album right now by clicking this link.