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It's been a whopping six years since the brothers Meadows' last release with The Steinbecks, and the Aussie veterans haven't taken the obvious route of returning with slap-in-the-face mammoth of a tune, but that's never really been their style. Instead 'At Arkaroo Rock' reminds us of their talents in a more subtle manner, gradually permeating your brain with it's delicate charms and simple melodies. It's a measure of the band's cult status and also of their confidence that they're able to take this approach and pull it off in style. Crystal clear vocals, a wandering bass and gently meandering guitar lines are all present and correct and ensure that, although it doesn't knock your socks of instantly, 'At Arkaroo Rock' is a quite beautiful song.
The two B-sides both tell different stories, with 'All Desires Known' stripping-down even further. It sounds so intimate that they could be sat in the same room, singing the track just for you. What it lacks in fizz it more than makes up for in masterful songcraft, telling a tale of the passing of time and the sadness it can bring. It's an upbeat song they finish with though, and 'Cabin Fever' is possibly closer to the indiepop you may expect. However, it may be upbeat and electric but The Steinbecks don't add anything that doesn't need to be there. So there are no sweeping strings, no grand arrangements, just a good track, purely and simply. The news that there will be a new album, 'Kick To Kick With The Steinbecks', to follow later this year is, needless to say, something to look forward to.
The Steinbecks' website
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