Australia have had a lot of bands that rule! AC/DC bolts to mind as does INXS and their late legendary lead singer Michael Hutchence who is arguably the greatest frontman and showman of all-time in music. Listen to the music feeds these days and you'll hear a lot more from this country through the airwaves from Boy & Bear to arguably one of the best and albeit underrated newer acts around today, The Jezabels. There's nothing immoral however about Jezabel Hayley Mary and the indie band she frontruns however. With vivid vocals that could scale the walls of the grand Sydney Opera House this landmark talent is more siren then Jezabel. She has a beautiful voice like no other in this indie industry. After three terrific E.P's ('The Man Is Dead', 'She's So Hard' and 'Dark Storm'), The Jezabels where set free with the bars of their classic debut 'Prisoner' and it's sensational singles 'Rosebud' and 'City Girl'. With a Sydney strong set of songs like 'Endless Summer', 'Horsehead' and you know what the whole album, the album was perfectly deemed "a cocktail of power and elegance" like the alternative acts lead. Now on the cusp of international stardom and Rolling Stone on the radar these rockers return with 'The Brink'.
Beginning with the title track of this album like the last album that opened with the wake up and go organ smash, 'The Brink' starts the party of this 10 track disco-pop record that finds itself on the playlist somewhere between their last albums underlining gothic glory and something off the 80's serious "fun" feeling beginning of the 'Drive' soundtrack down to the off-pink perfect, attracting artwork. 'Time To Dance' keeps that cocktail mix going with an atmosphere of the last rock road drive set but a dance beat anticipation clicking throughout along with the sing-a-long, inlay-read-a-long "Great cup, I love that had me maybe that could bring my passion back/What's that? I stumbled on a careful line on my track" lavish lyrics. 'Look For Love' steps it up even harder, with a fast and furious instrumentation from the vocals to the drum kick which is like diesel igniting the stereo. One of the pound for pound best however is the instant classic 'Beat To Beat' that you can expect to hear from stereo to stereo time after time. It's the lyrical "Cause I spent my life just fending off something I said or done/Encircles in a moment, been and gone" lead single 'The End' however that's been beginning to get worldwide attention with its chart crafting and soundtrack worthy success. Sophomore slump? Hayley and her group hasn't heard of that tired "cliche".
'Angels Of Fire' keeps the hail Mary, heaven sent one of a kind sound burning on this indie act who truly are independent, even releasing this album themselves to household acclaim with a Talib Kweli legendary like 'Gravitas'. 'No Country' keeps Australia and the youthful sound of its musical scene up with the old men that brought the platinum plaques back to the Aria Awards. AC/DC had the school clothing swagger and Michael Hutchence was the sex symbol but Australia's Mary is something else in leading a band. In fact flipping the 'No Country For Old Men' film title to young men and the youth of modern times, singing, "I heard there was a kind of tree releasing spores/That could enslave a mind, to follow secret laws/He came home one day and he was changed for good./Now he'll never walk, under sycamore", this is a chilling script of scathing and killing rhymes. There's serious substance behind the slick look of this set. Her angelic voice with a devilish dash of a lifetimes experience speaks for itself. As she sing about herself, her mother, father and sister being "in chains", the former 'Prisoner' sets herself and everyone who'll truly listen free. Free to the sound and feeling of real evocative and epic music that can still power its way to a passive mainstream diluted market.
This is industry inspiration in all the icon to be influence. 'Got Velvet' shows more smooth vocal styling of the beautiful baritone of this band. The baroness and her backing soldier on with some noble 'Psychotheraphy' and it doesn't get more powerful and beautiful on the brink of 'The Brink' than this. Then the final curtain is 'All You Need' a guitar and electric drum. beat that taps into the speakers smouldering vocal soul, building and brooding like a hallmark Jezabel classic. Sure some of the inspired instrumental breaks of the first album are absent here but on this independent set we are given the perfect ten tracks that confirm this band as second-album survivors and one of the best bands around today that need to be heard more around the world. In fact The Jezabels are the most exciting Australian band since INXS. They've found their 'intensindie' sound they'll find their intended place. Sure without the worldwide success right now they're not receiving their just deserves but like an unsigned act streaming their work online, they already existed as great music out there when they just released E.P.'s. Still after their first classic hit number 2 in the Australian charts, their second album should hit number one...everywhere. That's just the power and promise of great music. Like the biblical name Mary doesn't want this Jezabel to be "misunderstood and misinterpreted" for the right of women. If there's any justice in the world this band should not be on the brink, so to speak. They should truly enjoy an epic 'Endless Summer' for all-time. TIM DAVID HARVEY.