popboomerang - The I-94 Bar

It's all Ups and no Downs as pop powers on at Sydney launch

greg atkinsonGreg Atkinson of Ups and Downs. 

"Shake Yer Popboomerang 3" Sydney Launch
Ups and Downs
Halfway
The Aerial Maps
Marrickville Bowling Club
Friday February 29, 2020
Photos by Mark Fraser of Redback Rock

This isn’t going to be one of those reviews where someone walks you through a song-by-song recreation of the gig. For starters, I’ve seen Aerial Maps once, Halfway never, and Ups and Downs twice. None of them are really big on song introductions either. So I have no idea what any of the tunes were called, besides a couple from the headliners.

I guess a dedicated reviewer would have gone and had a squiz at the set lists, or maybe bailed up a hapless band member, but to be honest I was too busy drinking with a dear friend I hadn’t seen in ages to worry about that. So it’s going to be more about the vibe, man, and a few observations I jotted down in a notebook.

Jangle-pop near perfection that doesn't wear out its welcome

modern architectureModern Architecture EP - Danny McDonald (Popboomerang Records)

As the former Oscarlima and Jericho frontman, P76 leader and onetime member of Little Murders, Danny McDonald should need no introduction. But if you're curious about on of the most ybderrated purveyors of Aussie guitar pop and want a jumping-in point, his new EP is as good a place as any.

Danny plays guitar and writes pithy, Australian-tinged songs with depth and there are five crackers on "Modern architecture". They range from punky-pop to jangle-rama and are chockfull of melody and fire. McDonald has armed himself with a sterling engine room (Tim Mills on bass and David Klynjans on drums), a stellar vocal partner in Anna Burley (Killjoys) and an ace producer in Craig Pikington.

Popboomerang caravan reaches Sydney

ups and downs 2019

You might have read our recent rave about the latest “Shake Yer Popboomerang” compilation. It was recently launched in Melbourne and Brisbane. Now it’s Sydney’s turn. 

Ups and Downs(pictured above), Halfway and The Arial Maps will do the honours at Marrickville Bowling Club on February 29. Tickets are on sale here.

"Shake Yer Popboomerang 3" is the latest in a series of compilation albums released on the Popboomerang Records label to document and celebrate the finest melodic pop, jangle, folk and rock music in the Australian scene. The label was founded by Scott Thurling in 2002 and has released more than 80 recordings.

Shake Yer Popboomerang Vol 3 - Various Artists (Popboomerang)

popboomerang3Great pop music is timeless. The proof is right here in the 37 rare or previously unreleased tracks on this compilation of Australian bands from Melbourne label Popboomerang.

Ask yourself this question: When did Pop - as the ‘60s defined it - become uncool with the masses? Who forced it to go sit in the naughty corner with its rowdy sibling Rock and Roll and its odd cousin Free Jazz? Best guess is when the corporatised music industry ate itself in the 1980s and all the people with emotional intelligence were replaced by spreadsheets. 

Melbourne pop fan Scott Thurling and his prolific label just deals with it. With more than 100 releases in the back catalogue, for almost 20 years it’s been the go-to place in Australia for “real” pop - not the soulless pap that passes for the same for most people. As you might work out from the title, “Shake” is the third volume in a series and the label’s fourth compilation. A handful of these tracks date back 20 years but you'd never know.