Leadfinger "We Make the Music"
No, put all thoughts of "thank-you for the music" middle of the roadness out of your heads, although Australian band Leadfinger certainly do take some of their inspiration from the 1970's, in their case the touchstones are more along the lines of Led Zeppelin, although maybe that's just the mandolin driven numbers talking to me there, and power pop blues driven bands - Mott the Hoople, yeah, that's in there too. The immensely radio friendly eponymous opener could have fallen off "All the Young Dudes". Whereas "The Price You Pay" could be Thin Lizzy.
There are any number of tropes you might expect to hear on a classic rock album - bad time girls ("Dragon on my Chain"), wistfulness for lost youth ("Fourteen"), bluesy cracked vocals and intimations of violent death (“Eucalyptus Blues"), anti-establishment attitudes and a rowdy nose thumbing at authority ("Anthem for the Unimpressed"), a willingness to take the rough times in exchange for the rock'n'roll life ("The Price you Pay"). That's no problem, that's the territory, these elements are anticipated. The important thing is what you do with them - are you going to go for by the numbers or are you going to really go for it ? Is it just going to be all present and correct or is it going to be all the energy you have, the sound of total commitment - heart and soul and rough times and rocking till you can't rock anymore and then still dragging one more encore out ? Leadfinger fall into the latter category - they rock and they rock hard.
Main man of the band, Stewart Cunningham, conveys the swaggering attitude that makes this kind of rock valid - he could be wearing a wedding dress and sipping Babycham for all I know, but his voice is leather jacket, shades and bourbon swigged straight from the bottle. I'm not saying it's perfect, but with the band - Michael Boyle, Dillon Hicks and Adam "Reggie” Screen - whipping up a storm of noise more often than not it nails the song. And maybe all I've done is give the impression that Leadfinger are just a bunch of guys making loud, sweaty, good time music, with a bit of a strutting up-yours the world attitude about them. Well, you got a problem with that, then?