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2003-04-15: Genevieve Maynard Band

Drum Media
by Ross Clelland

GENEVIEVE MAYNARD BAND
Rumanastone
Genshen

Proof yet again, if needed, that there is a range of music out in them there pubs beyond boys trying to look tough with guitars. Even moreso, the bands here have a range within their own canons, and do so very well.

You have heard of Brisbane's Genshen on the radio, the keyboard waves of Nothing Quite Like This sounding so very English, and so very perfectly fashionably 80?s. None of you are even gonna remember Fischer Z are you? Coz that?s who we decided Quentin's near-warble vocals reminded us of. In perfectly perverse way, they open with the 'hit', freeing them to hold the early arrivers with the tangents of their twin keyboard of rhythm section noise. There's some discordant harmonies as the synths bounce off each other and occasionally embrace. All members sweat darkly (but that may just have been the eyeliner) and they intrigue with what they might go with next. The noise if bigger than their status, and the venues may well grow as they do.

Rumanastone are just so damn, erm, 'likeable'. And that?s such a wishy-washy term. Ash Hansen's songs are built with care, and in basic three piece format, delivered with craft and enthusiasm. The newer songs still have a melody and hooks that got them signed to a major in the first place, but right now they are among that legion of the lost who deserve better than trying to scrape it all together indie style so people can hear. Hansen still has that slightly distracted stage presence but it all hangs together solidly. We all clap coz they work so hard, but don?t know what to suggest to get them off this middle-spot teadmill.

It's well-documented that Gen Maynard has been waiting more than long enough to be a solo artist, and that the Ghost Notes album shows some of the style, well, styles actually, that she does put her individual spin on. There?s some blues in there, some well textured layers of technology that almost verges on the trip-hoppy (is that still a pigeonhole we can still use?), much centreing on Ms Maynard's rich voice that can ride a swathe of emotions.

She's got a band that can go with her as well. The supporting cast of this version of the trio being well able to cover the longing occasional spit of bile The General can conjure. Drummer Josh Shuberth even opens on guitar, further highlighting the versatility. And former Swirl bassist Richie Anderson adds the necessary second layer of vocals to many of the songs, and between song chat the equal of the eponumouse leaders tangential conversations.

Johnny Lee has a clipped restrained distate, the radio-played Jackie In The Morning is backbeat solid, and the simple aching balladry of Aurora Borealis has me reaching for the person beside me who isn?t quite there. It all boils down to an artist experienced enough to know exactly what she?s doing, and doing it so well. You leave my impressed.

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