We All Want To + Tall Tails
Black Bear Lodge, Sunday Sep 30
DON SINNAMON reaffirms his bandcrush on Brisbane’s WE ALL WANT TO at their new album launch.
Black Bear Lodge is a cosy venue, but as a narrow chute of a room, it can be hard to pitch the sound levels properly – during Tall Tails‘ first song I see We All Want To‘s Dan McNaulty popping in earplugs and he’s a drummer, so it’s not just my sulky inner nanna. It’s sorted by the second song and the Brisbane quartet’s atmospheric indie rock happily ranges from a drawling mix of Boy & Bear and Neil Young to a punk-infused sea shanty and a new track that’s both untitled and somehow called Dreamy at the same time.
Since I first ran across WAWT, I’ve fallen hard — I take them on bike rides, sneak moments with them on the train and fight evil robots with them on Galaxulor VI, although that last one may have been a dream induced by late-night WAWT lullabies. Their high-energy garage rock has turned my iPhone into a hipflask I can’t stop taking illicit swigs from.
The new album Come Up Invisible outperforms even the stellar self-titled debut which was crammed with blisteringly great tracks like tonight’s opener Triggerfingers, but Invisible is a more coherent suite of songs. First track Ramp Up The Bleeding lays out their manifesto of embracing and experiencing life to the fullest and the rest of the album, and tonight, explores it in detail. Screamfeeder’s Tim Steward and Skye Staniford’s voices twine together like DNA strands as they unfold songs where every cloud is a silver lining.
Where The Sleeping Ends combines a Paul Kelly-ish life ballad with a fantasy of Tim’s tryst with a mermaid that’s never undercut by sly winking at the audience — and whether the mermaid is whimsy or metaphor, it’s genuinely moving. On I’m Still Waiting, Skye’s tone shifts up from anger and hurt at being left waiting to a resolute optimism that despite not getting what she wanted, she hasn’t given up and no other band could write an uplifting song about not being about to drive stick.
Just between you, me and mermaid, WAWT are Brisbane’s best band and if you’re not at the tour’s final gig at Alhambra Lounge on Friday November 2 [or not checking them out at Lee Ranaldo’s The Zoo show on Sunday October 21 — Music Ed.], I’ll tell the internet you’re a bad, bad person.
After being named Time’s Person of the Year in 2006, DON SINNAMON faded from public life, being spoken of in whispers wherever beards and dressing gowns are held in due regard.