Tags are annoying to most musicians but even James McCann must acknowledge he gets to wear the ‘veteran’ badge when he arrives at the company Xmas party by now. There at the earliest days of The Drones and Nunchukka Superfly, he’s been one of those “best kept secret” solo artists Australia seems to bury for more than a decade, making a name for himself in his adopted home of Melbourne (and in France) but deserving much wider attention.
“James McCann and The New Vindictives” was a couple of years in gestation with French label Beast Records taking its time to squeeze it into their schedule. Contrastingly, the band and the recording came together with spontaneity very much the name of the game.
It’s their fifth studio album and it’s tempting to say the lines have become blurred between Nunchukka Superfly and the Hard-Ons, from which two of its three members are drawn. That’d be convenient but also wrong.
Would you buy a song a day from this man?
Peter "Blackie" Black, notably of the Hard-Ons and Nunchukka Superbly, has always done things differently. He’s taking his own path again as a solo artist, releasing a song a day via his Bandcamp site Subscribe to Peter Black Solo.
Why, you ask?? When we asked him, after scrunching his face for a few minutes, his reply was: "Why not!"
Hard-Ons and Nunchukka Superfly co-founder, Peter Black, (aka Blackie) is launching his third full solo album with an Australian tour that includes a run of dates as special guest support to King Buzzo of The Melvins.
"The Paintings On The Wall Say Gambler! Gambler!" is said to be "a flaming solid ball of creative explosion, whereby storm-trooping guitars and rhythm" that abandons the storm-trooping sounds of Hard-Ons and Nunchukka for "beautiful, introspective and whimsical".
It might be apt to drop in some Dylan to catch your attention from the get-go (“There’s something happening here and you don’t know what it is/ Do you, Mr Jones?”) but it’s not necessary. Cutting to the chase, Peter Black is using melodies and colouring here to make a solo album that’s his most captivating to date.