Get On Your Feet (Universal)
Why hasn’t Shannon “don’t you know who I am” Noll made a country album yet? The blokiest bloke from bloke country Blokedom is made for country music, from utes and toots to salt of the earth-iness – and an (alleged) punch up outside an (alleged) strip joint in that (allegedly) wild frontier town, Adelaide. All he needed was a burnout in the carpark with his mates yahooing in the back of the ute.
It will happen eventually and when it does Noll needs to hook up with the bloke who is a soul patch away from being the Nollsy of local country music, Adam Brand. Given the thinnest sliver of difference between their notionally country and rock forms – if you’d given each of them the songs from the other’s album no one would have known - there’s a duet album to be made in front bar heaven.
Mate. I mean, maaate, you could not get more blokey with this record if your name was Gazza, your girl Shazza and your dog was a VB-guzzling, rat rooter called Blue. It’s even got a song called Drunk, where the blokes singing in the background jump in with a response of “drunk” to each line of a litany of pissed-as-a-newt activities from beer-goggles ogling of the not so fabulous girl and texting the ex, to declaring ”we’re Australian, loud and proud, and we ain’t sorry, we’re just drunk”.
Which is pretty funny considering the whole record is as Nashville bro-country as could be managed without having to force feed yourself Miller-soaked pop tarts. But then consistency, or smarts, is not exactly Brand’s method.
While he refrains from calling the women sheilas, Brand does want to know why planting a kiss on a girl’s lips or his hands on her hips when she may not actually want it has to be something objectionable. “Why can’t love be easy …why do we have to make things harder than they are?” he asks.
And really, he’s got a new credit card and he’s willing to spend “all my rent money” to buy another girl some top shelf liquor. So you know he’s got class. And that.
Elsewhere he sidles up real smooth like to yet another bird – you know in Brand world she’s a bird – whose way of drinking from the bottle has made him jealous of her beer, and asks her “what are you doing for the rest of your night?”.
Let’s not pick on Brand for sexism though. Not when you can have a go at him for just plain crud, such as the faux emotions of Around A Campfire (friendship rocks mate) and Leave It On (heartbreak sucks mate) or the working man’s song of defiance Get On Your Feet (mates rock mate)
“If heaven has a soundtrack I hope it goes something like this,” is a line which could, and probably has, come from a Keith Urban song – and let’s acknowledge that Urban would have done this a fair bit better.
“Oh my my that girl’s so hot like some summer heat/She’s fire burning, heads are turning, every which way that she swing … man she’s working more than 9 to 5 every time she walks by,” are lines from any babes/beer/pickup country song of recent times. Or indeed half the rock, country, metal or anything you like to name from 30 or 40 years ago.
Which is pretty much where Adam Brand exists, in some historical warp when being a bloke meant scratching your balls while wolf whistling that bit of alright from the shop across the road.
Speaking of which, “let’s party like the ball just dropped” is a line which makes perfect sense to Americans whose New Year’s Eve ritual includes the Time’s Square broadcast and the electronic ball dropping to signify the clang of midnight.
Did anyone stop to think that in Australia the line instead suggests something along the lines of let’s party like puberty just hit?
Bring it on Nollsy, I can see the first Brand Nolls gig right now, upstairs at the Crazy Horse in Adelaide. Mate that gig will go off like a bride’s nightie. Am I right? Or am I right?