Husky – Ruckers Hill
By Aino Vaino
Good guitar licks can be as free and inspiring as the open road.
You get that on Ruckers Hill, the latest release from Australian band Husky. The lyrics and fawning voice of frontman Husky Gawenda comes across as slightly self-indulgent. But he’s backed up by strong music, including keyboards played by his cousin Gideon Preiss and some nice drumming and bass. Look at it like this. Like any road trip aimed at self-discovery (we’d settle for self-reflection) there’s that narcissistic look inward accompanied by new experiences that make it all worth while.
Listening to Ruckers Hill is a similar experience. The album’s lyrics reflect on experiences while the music fills the listener with pools of sounds of various colors that are explored and digested.
This is the second release from Husky. The bands’s first album Forever So came out in 2012. They’re from Melbourne, that city deep down under in southeast Australia. With some luck, they’ll tour the United States soon.
“For To Make a Lead Weight Float” is the song I want see them play live. The sense of suspense on this song is great. It slips into a break down that is impossible not to be in awe of: it’s like swimming lost through deep waters. In a good way.
If you want to sit back and swoon there’s “Gold In Her Pockets.” “I’m Not Coming Back” is another one to hope they play if you’re lucky enough to see them live. “Heartbeat,” the third track on the album, is very Dylan-esque
I did wonder at some points why Gawenda is not consistent vocally, as if he’s not fully settled into the role of singer. This contrasts with the music, which is pretty solid.
Did Gawenda record those songs singing to specific person or people? Did they break him so badly? Not badly enough? Is that why he comes across like a man with stories to tell, but not able to settle on the tone to deliver them?
All questions worthy to ponder while hitting the road with Husky and the 13 songs on Ruckers Hill.
High points: “For To Make A Lead Weight Float,” “Drunk,” “Saint Joan”
Low points: “Leaner Days,” Deep Sky Diver” – (7/10)