The album is named Bruce! The band’s name is Bruce! The band members’ first names are also Bruce!
While that last may not actually be true, for entertainment value, Wollongong has dished up a decent crop of new pub rock Australiana. Bruce! has that certain likeable larrikin vibe that made bands like You Am I and Cruel Sea household names, albeit with a more alternative edge. The album, their first, starts in a flurry with churning guitars and throaty vocals from Bruce Curley on ‘Hell Gig’. A psychedelic fuzz ball intro releases ‘Money and Go’ with its catchy chorus, “You said it, you want it, take the money and go”, ensuring that their audience will be singing along with them by track’s end.
Following the grungey ‘Journey’, Bruce! issues a more urgent punk-laced track, ‘Make You Proud’. Apparently adept at alternating between the faster paced tracks and the slower , ‘Brown Paper Bag’ is a meticulously crafted. ‘Screams of Silence’ sees the band entertaining an 80s Devo-like gang vocal, a highlight of the album. ‘Messiah’ and ‘Someday’ feature more of that rock n roll vibe they revel in. A strange instrumental, ‘Alf’ is an odd interlude with Mudhoney comparisons that would seem out of place until ‘%99’ kicks in, a Seattle-vibe two minute rocker, and all of a sudden it makes sense. ‘On the Road Again’ concludes the album, another riff based rocker.
Bruce! are popping up here and there at the moment around the east coast, so be sure to check them out if you get the chance. Yet another in a long line of impressive Australian debuts in the past twelve months.
1. Hell Gig
2. Money and Go
4. Make You Proud
5. Brown Paper Bag
6. Hazy Eyes
7. Screams of Silence
12. Meanwhile in Norway
13. On the Road Again