Shake Yer Popboomerang Vol 3
Review by Geoff Jenke
First up a bit of history, as until recently, like me, you probably have not heard of Popboomerang Records if you live outside Melbourne. Scott, who runs the label, decided way back around 2002 to take his passion for local unsigned bands and give them a voice on a record label. A brave move in the early 2000’s with downloading running rife. One hundred and fifteen releases later Scott has released a compilation album that goes under the name of Shake Yer Popboomerang Vol 3. As the title suggests, this is the third in the series of a collection of mostly obscure pop gems from bands the majority of readers probably have never heard of.
Shake Yer Popboomerang Vol.3 consists of 37 wonderful songs that will have you feeling really good about yourself after listening to them all, well perhaps, except for the last song, Wade Jackson’s ironic The Last Song, but the song had to be on the album as it is a great song AND naturally it had to be the last track on the CD
The two CD set kicks off with the best song the Who never recorded in City of Thievesby Loose Pills. This is classic Pete Townsend sounding complete with the oooh lalalala’s. A truly wonderful tune and we are only one song in.
The Beatle’s Daughterby The General Lees(“The fourth best band in Melbourne” according to Scott) gives us a bit of funk with nice jangly guitars and some quaint “Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. She maybe a Beatles Daughter but she really loves the Stones apparently. From a forth coming album.
Coming at you straight from 1965, or so it sounds like, is The Umbrella Man by The Likes of You. A true pop song like they use to make but sounding fresh and vital. The Kariannes, This Song Is A Cure,may be a nod towards the band in the name of the song, but it sounds like all the classic “girl” bands of the 60’s and 80’s that ever existed, rolled into one.
Those who know me, know I am an Eventragic, so it is great to see Even’s The Memoryget a CD release. It’s Even, so it is a great power pop song. Previously only available on 7-inch vinyl (50 copies only), this gives more people the chance to hear this finely crafted pop song.
A bit of fuzz/buzz guitar never goes astray and Glomesh deliver that in plentiful supply during their song Crawlin’ Up AC/DC Lane.The Glory Box’sBlack Skyis their first release for 20 years and the wait has been worth it. More buzz guitar, sounding slightly like Jesus & Mary Chain, (nothing wrong with that) it has it’s dark and lighter moments with a drum beat to wake the dead.
The Ups and Downs, Two Weeks with a Good Man in Niagara Falls reminded me a Queen’s She Makes Meon first hearing, well the beginning anyway. Nice joint vocals by Greg and Darren Atkinson and a beautiful haunting guitar sound in the middle. Just a lovely song.Ok you get the picture and if I continue to review every individual track, I am guessing you will stop reading. There is so much on this album to like and enjoy. Charles Jenkins and the Zhivagos, which includes You Am I’s Davey Lane, are at their best with the previous unreleased Horatio Hornblower. You have to love a bit of horn in a pop song.
The Ronson Hangupshould be one of the biggest bands in Australia (along with Even) and I am eagerly awaiting a new album but for now we get the wonderful Tragic to tide us over. A big call, but this maybe the best track on the compilation.
Some of the songs on the compilation are new and were recorded for the CD, some are older releases and some have been hanging around awhile awaiting release like Ryan Ellsmore’s 3 or 4.This song was recorded around 15 years ago, never completed, dusted off in 2017, then mixed in 2019 for the CD. If it wasn’t for Scott, this little gem would probably have never been released. Blackbirds FChave a new album out on Popboomerang (review soon) but the track Bye Bye Pridedidn’t make the cut. This is a Go Betweens cover so you have some idea of the sound. Listen to this track and you will buy their new album.
The Melbourne scene see’s band members bob up on other bands recordings. Doing a Melbourne bands Family Tree would be a nightmare. Ash from Even on The Ronson Hangup track, and Mal Pinkerton from Ronson Hangup appears with Luke Thomas on Central Rain’s Madeline,a song written on an acoustic guitar “in the calm of the morning after a rather large night out” and the most beautiful track on the compilation.
If you are only going to buy one album this year, this should be it. If you are a lover of fine music, especially Australian music, you must have this CD. I have lived by the DJ John Peel philosophy when it comes to music. I listen to everything I can because I am scared, I will miss hearing something great. If I hadn’t listened to this set, I would have missed a lot of great songs.
As we all know, for every band that “makes it”, there are thousands of bands who are probably better that don’t make it. Scott is giving some of these bands a chance to be heard ……. and they need to be heard by you.
Definitely the best $20 I have ever spent on a CD.
If you want to check out the tracks just head on over to https://popboomerang.bandcamp.com/album/shake-yer-popboomerang-volume-3and have a listen online. (Then head back to the home page to listen to other fine treats) Have your credit card ready because you will order it (and maybe a few others).
Limited to only 500 copies so get it quick.