Powderfinger
Vulture Street


5.0
classic

Review

by Jim USER (23 Reviews)
December 22nd, 2006 | 14 replies | 6,967 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The 'finger deliver with this fifth studio effort. Without changing too drastically, they've provided a change in style but a sound still familiar to long-time fans.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

When providing a follow-up to a commercially and critically successful record, a band meets a fork in the road. Do they take a path of reproduction, and merely create an imitation of what was so profitable before? Or is it a task of evolution? When a band proudly states that they’re “changing their sound” for the next LP, most critics moan with boredom. They’ve heard it all before. And if it is indeed a change in pace as promised, it is usually far too much for a commercial audience to bear, and so suffers the fate of a lead balloon – straight to bottom of the charts. Powderfinger’s Vulture Street is a clear exception to both of these circumstances.

It’s fair to say that this much-loved rock band from Brisbane have always managed to keep the attention of both the commercial crowd and the more alternative music lovers over the last decade, which is all the more admirable considering their willingness to change musical directions so often. Grunge, Alternative, Indie, Pop-Rock and even sprinkles of Metal on earlier efforts are some of the genres they touched upon, up until this 2003 release. With Vulture Street-style Powderfinger, rock ’n’ roll is the order of the day. Unrelenting, stylistic and unashamedly oldschool – it’s the kind of sound acts such as Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones made famous years ago, and which still reverberates today.

Fans of the more atmospheric Odyssey Number Five have no need to feel neglected however. This is still the same Powderfinger that brought you Waiting for the Sun, there’s just a bit more fun to be had this time around. Fanning’s vocals are even more refined – particularly in heart-felt epic Love Your Way – and also provide a fair bit of mongrel in the more rock-fueled moments such as the brazenly intense Stumblin’ and killer first single (Baby I’ve Got You) On My Mind. The guitar is also kicked up a notch, and plays a much larger part in the proceedings.

Opening track Rockin’ Rocks for instance, opens with all guns a’ blazing. A simple riff is turned up to eleven, with a second guitar providing even more excitement over the top. With a head-banging chorus, and a running time of around three minutes, it’s the perfect introduction into what they’re trying to achieve with the record – less mucking about, and more rocking out. The most successful single from the album Sunsets, is another that keeps the volume turned up yet has the emotional impact to match. These songs only confirm Powderfinger’s status as a songwriter’s band, as the catchy melodies, simple structures and unpretentious arrangements prove that simplicity doesn’t necessarily negate depth.

Depth which comes in the variety of the songs themselves, rather than the production of them. Since You’ve Been Gone is a bluesy balled with enough rough edges to cause serious injury, yet works and stirs emotion all the same. On the other end of the spectrum, eerie epic Pockets floats on for a few minutes before hitting it’s stride and breaking out into monstrous guitar solos and heavy instrumentation. In fact, solos play a larger part too, with guitarists Middleton and Haug both having the chance to reveal the chops they’ve been hiding throughout most of Powderfinger’s history.

It’s not all fleeting moments however, as the album operates on a very consistent line that never drops for a second. Every track is strong, and justifies its place on the record. From the passionate war-ballad How Far Have We Really Come, to the beautiful closing track A Song Called EverythingVulture Street never gets dull and will always earn repeated listens. If you’re looking for a new rock fix, it’s hard to do better than this fifth studio album from one of Australia’s most respected outfits.



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user ratings (78)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
lz41 (4.5)
Each day, looking for new ways.......

leyleys93 (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
JumpTheF**kUp
December 22nd 2006



2710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sunsets is one of my favourite Powderfinger songs.
Great review, excellent album.
Votes.

Jim
December 22nd 2006



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

:thumb:

JumpTheF**kUp
December 22nd 2006



2710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Fast reply :P

Jim
December 22nd 2006



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm keen :D

JumpTheF**kUp
December 22nd 2006



2710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hahaha. Now that all the Powderfinger's done, what next? Grinspoon? 28 Days maybe?

Jim
December 22nd 2006



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'll probably review all of the Powderfinger album's I haven't done yet, as most of the reviews for them are pretty sub-par.
I couldn't say when though. I just had a sudden urge to write this tonight!

JumpTheF**kUp
December 22nd 2006



2710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh ok, look forward to them.

RandyfromPennywise
May 3rd 2007



752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Could someone explain why this is not the default review?

samthebassman
May 3rd 2007



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Anyone heard their new song? I reckon it sucks.

waxhead
December 23rd 2009



13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not quite as great as Odyssey #5 but close to it

Piglet
January 25th 2010



4653 Comments


I love hearing this album and the commentators of the cricket announcing "Mitchell Johnson is starting a new spell at the Vulture Street End..."

Douglas
January 25th 2010



9098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah they recorded the album across from Vulture Street, hence the name.

Digging: James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical

Piglet
January 25th 2010



4653 Comments


That's right... But i thought they just played a few gigs or something

NeoSpaz
July 20th 2013



4518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is a good listen every time.



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