By hmcclure | December 8th, 2010
The John Steel Singers (JSS) have someone who likes to be called Trimmington in their band… need I go on?
Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, they have had a long apprenticeship which is now starting to come into fruition. Forming in 2005, they released two EPs in 2008, The Beagle & The Dove and In Colour, before dropping their debut feature length album, Tangalooma (a tropical resort island off the Brisbane coast), this year.
The JSS is a little different, and not just because they have a member called Trimmington. Their stories are told using catchy pop, psychedelic melodies and a touch of brass; giving it a fresh, big band feel (I guess that could also be because there are 6 members). While similar “experimental” rock bands like Polyphonic Spree take some acclimatizing, the JSS are extremely easy to listen to and the album has a great shelf life.
The first single, “Overpass,” is a classic example of their pros as a band: upbeat tempo, brass section, as well as rather odd lyrics. My favorite track is “Rainbow Kraut,” a poppy, “heltah skeltah” offering in which the brass section is prominent. “Evolution” slows it down a little with a driving swing beat, while “Cause of Self” is another superbly crafted tune. It’s one of those albums you can listen to cover to cover… good one, Trimmington.
Currently on a seemingly never-ending tour of Australia’s East Coast, you may be lucky enough to see them don their horse helmets on stage at one of their gigs. Yes. I said it. Horse helmets.