I guess it’s not hard to believe anything anymore at this point in my life or at this point in our world’s history. Anything can happen. Anyways I had to do a Google search to make sure that Wollongong was really the name of a real place and that it wasn’t just made up. Turns out Wollongong is a real place in New South Wales, Australia.
It’s coastal and from the pictures looks pretty beautiful. Five of its native sons who refer to themselves as the Dean, the Thunder, the Lightning, the Deluge and the Rain make a pretty simple yet dirty style of rock n’ roll that sounds more like it came from Detroit than anywhere else. Their band is called The Dark Clouds and their record is called After the Sun. Let’s see what we can make of all these ideas.
After the Sun opens with the raucous blues-fueled guitar rocker “The Study of Ill Vex” on which the band chugs through some garage-y riffs and acquires a verse chorus verse sentiment complete with backing vocals. It sounds like a call to arms of sorts or perhaps a football-inspired anthem of pride. The singer is proud of everything here; his street, his country, even his hemisphere.” It’s slightly cheesy at times as he grumbles over the power chords but also catchy enough. Next we move into the slightly darker but equally as rocking “Mother Earth” which has a pretty nice metal guitar solo that seems par for the course so far.
Later the boys speed the metal up a bit on the superb balls out rocker “Lilac Dress” which sounds like good old fashioned rock n’ roll of the style that never goes out of style and lyrically gives a nod to “making love to the Flaming Groovies” and definitely invites some of that ‘60s and ‘70s flair the Groovies had. This gives way to the punk-addled rocker “After the Sun” which is pretty much as perfect as a rock song can get. It’s dance-y and at the same time makes you want to get drunk and punch someone. Then they get into that sort of jokey and funny style of punk on “The Letter G (Barrie)” which has a lyrical ode to Johnny Cash which I really dug a lot and found quite clever.
With After the Sun, the Dark Clouds have made a sort of rock, metal and punk compilation record. It’s striking in the sense that it reminds one of how all of these genres really play off one another and it makes one wonder why more bands don’t color outside the lines more often. In the end After the Sun is a great reminder of why people make music in the first place; because it’s fun, and that’s the way it should stay. Good job mates.
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