Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Painkillers - Feel the Pain

The Painkillers
Feel the Pain
Off the Hip

All I really wanted was a really good time moans the magnificently named Joe Bludge mournfully in On a Lyric by Robert Herrick (no, I don’t know who that is, either), and that sums up the attitude driving this Perth duo’s third record Feel the Pain. (Former Hoodoo Gurus skinpounder James Baker mans the traps.) Armed with a battered acoustic guitar, Bludge spins tales of lovers, losers and loners with nothing to their names but hard luck, woe and debauchery. Coming across almost like Jonathan Richman if he’d grown up in Perth and never lost his love for the Velvet Underground, Bludge parts the curtain betwixt performer and spectator, plopping his rockers (Lipstick), ravers (Leave Me Alone) and rants (Gamblin’ Bar Room Blues) right in your lap whether you like it or not. In Bludge’s world, the catchy folk rock of Memories isn’t a celebration of the past, but a desire to purge the offending thoughts so they don’t kick up any emotional shitstorms. The Painkillers aren’t noisy, particularly – they just cut the crap and tell their stories with little regard for niceties or etiquette, and that makes this pain worth feeling.

- Michael Toland

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