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SWEATING UP A STORM

Southern River Band
Southern River Band

SOUTHERN RIVER BAND
‘VICE CITY II’
Released everywhere 28 May

Having spent their formative years ripping most of the 70s a new one, Southern River Band have now started in on the 80s with new single, ‘Vice City II’.  Taking in all of the bombast and serious silliness of an 80s power ballad, ‘Vice City II’ is not so much a new direction for SRB front man, Callum Kramer, and his comrades, it’s more a spreading of the wings.  The riffs are still there, the magnificently chunky power chords and the searing lead breaks, all present and correct.  So is the humour and vivid imagination of Kramer, who, in his dreams, must sweat up a storm as he’s pursued by hordes of underworld figures and cops, all equally intent on putting a bullet in his hide or otherwise doing him harm.  All of this comes through in his widescreen lyrics.  ‘Vice City II’ is music from, or for, a film.  Either way it’s RFG.  I’m trying not to swear too much while writing these things, so fucking work that out for yourselves.

If Southern River Band don’t take over the world with ‘Vice City II’ it’s only because the world’s not worthy of them.

So, ‘Vice City II’, it’s typical Southern River Band?  Yeah, pretty much.  Current fans will go big for this new song.  New fans will come into the fold and want to know more about this bunch of rambunctious rapscallions from the dusty southern fringes of Perth, where getting busted up means you don’t necessarily have to fear for your life and the streets are paved with ten cent pieces dropped by people staggering out of the pubs, because most of the residents still prefer the cash economy.

But wait, there’s more.  Along with all of Southern River Band’s magnificent array of guitars, drums and hirsuteness, there’s the vocals.  This is where the spreading of the wings really comes in, because, while he’s always been much more than just a serviceable vocalist, ‘Vice City II’ is a song written to give Kramer the opportunity to show us what he’s really got.  Maybe while he’s been working on his six pack he’s also been working on his vocal range? From the power-ballad restraint of the opening stanzas to the wail as he sings, ‘cos there’s a bullet with my name on it, to the almost spoken word moments of narration, and everything in between, Kramer’s vocals show he’s got it all.

If Southern River Band don’t take over the world with ‘Vice City II’ it’s only because the world’s not worthy of them.  Hell, even fucking Triple J like this one. No wonder they’re waving their own flag.

Oh, fuck, swore again!

The video for Vice City II was released today.  It has comedy and some singing and playing on it.  Watch it here.

The Southern River Band – There will be no surrender

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