Okay Aussies and, moreover, everyone else in the world, it’s time to stop giving the attention to Jet and the Vines. There is a far better band coming out of Down Under that we should be giving our attention. You might say, `well duh, that’s not rocket science.’ And yet, actually it is. Rocket Science hails from Melbourne and deserves to outshine most everything coming out of Australia today.
Although you might not have heard of the band, this is actually the foursome’s third record. Eternal Holiday is a mix of balls-to-the-wall guitar riffs that rival not only Franz Ferdinand, but also some of the great seventies guitar action as well. Roman Tucker and Kit Warhurst trade vocal duties and create harmonies on most songs. Go figure! Aggressive pop rock with harmonies and melodies! What will those Aussies think of next?
An amazing side story to the release of this album is that lead singer, organist, songwriter, and backup guitarist Roman Tucker had to relearn every song that he wrote. Why, you may ask? Mainly because he took a nasty header on concrete steps, fell into a four day coma and then suffered post-traumatic amnesia. The band played songs from Eternal Holiday for him and he found them to be fantastic, the only problem was he didn’t realize it was HIM playing the darn things!
The memory came back, luckily for us, because great songs like the title track, “Modern Life,” and especially the Knack / Cheap Trick-like “Connect Me” deserve to be heard. True, these songs might easily end up soundtracking the next iPod commercial, but they won’t have to create digital shadowy dancers to frolic to the songs, they just need to find people who have actually listened to the record and they’ll discover people dancing in revelry.
Alongside Architecture in Helsinki and The Avalanches, Australia is finally starting to return to the forefront of alternative music that the country once shared a piece of with acts like INXS, Midnight Oil and the Go-Betweens. One has to wonder whether Rocket Science achieves their perfect retro sound due to Australia being a few decades behind the times or whether they just do great homages. Either way, does it really matter when a great record like Eternal Holiday is the result?
Cheap Trick- Live at Budokan
The Knack- Get the Knack
Hot Hot Heat- Make Up the Breakdown