ELVIS, Alexisonfire, Johnny Hunter soundtrack: new album reviews

As expected, when Baz Luhrmann is involved, you can forget about anything resembling a run-of-the-mill soundtrack PLUS Alexisonfire and Johnny Hunter.

This week’s album reviews from The Courier-Mail (five star ratings):

SOUNDTRACK

various artists, ELVIS

(Sony)****

With Baz Luhrmann involved, this was never going to be just another Elvis compilation – and like with his movies, you’re going to love it or hate it. As a white boy who sang the blues, The King would no doubt put up with modern rappers stealing his riffs (Hunting dog on Dojo Cat’s Vegas; Jailhouse Rock on Eminem and CeeLo Green The king & me). There are also more traditional versions, like Tame Impala’s energetic remix of edge of realityand the music to the film itself – which star Austin Butler not only looks like, but channels Presley with such stunning precision you’ll check the ‘now playing’ screen to confirm it’s indeed. him.

METAL

Alexisonfeu, Otherness

(Dinner Only/Cooking Vinyl) ***

The first studio album in 13 years from these Canadian hard-rockers is in your face and accessible all at once, in the vein of fellow Canucks Nickelback, or even the Black Label Society. “Which side are you on?” Dallas Green frontman demands open Committed to the Con, the scam being conservatism, while on the sprawling epic Sans Soleil he observes: “It is easier to love someone else than to be kind to yourself. There’s synth amidst the sheer metal fury of Survivor’s guilt and dark night of the soul – “We are not our bodies, we are not our minds” – while the penultimate Reverse the curse is contagious and epic closer The world stops spinning approaches the Floydian levels of power-balladry. A comeback and a return to form in one.

ALTERNATIVE

Johnny Hunter, Want to

(Cooking Vinyl) ***1/2

This quartet from Sydney, who played in south-east Queensland this weekend, bring to life everything that was great about the post-punk new wave era with their combination of driving beats, synth hooks and with a matching aesthetic. The opening title track has an Iggy Pop-like energy, while a Joy Division-esque baseline and synth make Life another highlight. Key to the equation is the smoking voice of Nick Hutt, commanding the voice of Phil Oakey, although he also channels Bryan Ferry on cry like a manand Blade Runner on Floor: “The flame that burns twice as intensely burns twice as long.” Hoping that their light shines for a while!

Originally published as ELVIS Soundtrack, Alexisonfire, Johnny Hunter: New Album Reviews