In the Groove
Clairy Brown and the Bangin' Rackettes
Baby Caught the Bus
From the hairdo down, this is a thoroughly retro album. This Melbourne based nine-piece band take their cues from 1960s R&B acts like Tina Turner and the Ikettes, The Ronettes, and Etta James. Adele and Amy Winehouse have shown that nu-soul can be lucrative, however this music sounds more like a good live act rather than a pitch for high rotation radio play. Lead vocalist Clairy Brown is backed by three other vocalists, drums, bass, guitar, keys and that must-have 60s instrument, the baritone saxophone.
Producer Steve Schram (Cat Empire, Little Birdy) gets a great 60s saturated tape sound, particularly on Brown's vocals, whilst giving each instrument its own clear place in the mix. The arrangements are slick with lots of well-placed doo-wop vocals, horn sections and solid soul grooves.
The songs are mostly solid, with some highlights. Vicious Cycle rolls on a gentle swung bass and hi hat with some decidedly vicious guitar and sax accents. Brown is in her element taking on the Cher/Nancy Sinatra classic, Bang Bang, complete with a reverb laden, Spector-esque mix. The ingredients all come together in the splendid title track with its catchy riff, driving chorus and wailing vocal.
This album is available from Music Bizarre in Lismore.