the straight path - The I-94 Bar

On Top - Straight Arrows (Rice Is Nice)

on top straight arrowsThey’re not its most prolific band but they’re one of Sydney’s best. The Straight Arrows seem like kids but have been around for nearly a decade and this is only their third long player. It’s doubtful they care about keeping score and neither should you.

What you need to know is that “On Top” is uncomplicated, nicely raw and melodic. Two guitars, bass and drums and well-crafted, economical songs. Tight but loose. Cleaner-sounding on this record than before but still rough enough around the edges. 

Owen Penglis writes good songs, alright. Cock an ear to the grinding yet light fuzzfest of “The One” or the buzzsaw burst of album opener “Nothing To Me”. They’re instantly catchy - like early Ratcat to cite a band that was around before these guys were born. Penglis and Al Grigg weave curtains of fuzz with their guitars and the energy level never sags. 

The Straight Path - Chris Klondike Masuak & The North 40 (I-94 Bar Records)

kn40 front smCanadian-expat Aussie Chris “Klondike” Masuak’s the kind of guy who likes to put pictures of his guitars (Strat! Robin! Perspex Dan Armstrong! Firebird!) on his records (like his pal Deniz Tek did on his back-from-the-Navy career restarter “Take It to the Vertical:). One gets the sense that Klondike’s the kind of cat who just purely loves to play, and is as much of a fan as a muso.