Powderfinger
Double Allergic


3.5
great

Review

by blueyxd USER (15 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 11 replies | 9,230 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist


Ahh Powderfinger, why didn't you stay like this?
Double Allergic was the second full length by the Brisbane band Powderfinger, it was released in 1996. Due to a couple of catchy songs, it got them widely recognized, and subsequently snatched away by the beast that is mainstream music. But still, Double Allergic comes with an undefinable decency that can only be realized by listening. I'm sure plenty of people know what I mean by that. I won't mention the instrument playing as there isn't much to say, it's innovative enough to bust out some different styles, but there's nothing super special worth saying.

Powderfinger's first album Parables For Wooden Ears was somewhat experimental, and Double Allergic does carry over a bit of this. Mostly in the instrument playing and some of the unusual styles used, and even some of the themes and lyrics are quirky, e.g. Skinny Jean is about people being obsessed with health food, "They say you like it sun dried, tell me, is that right?", D.A.F. being named after the chord progression used in the verse, and Come Away/the CD suddenly ending while the music is still going along quite happily.

I could say with confidence that each song has it's own distinct sound, styles are spread throughout the rock spectrum, with some experimentation to keep it interesting. For example, there's something close to hardcore in Come Away, disco in Glimpse, J.C. has some good rootsy sounding acoustic rock with a great string section.

So there's some pretty straight forward rock too, and I can see why the mainstream monster picked on them, Pick You Up, D.A.F. and Living Type were singles released off it.
There's some no frills harder songs on here too, like Give, S.S., and Turtle's Head. For some reason. It seems all the no frills songs are also the least interesting songs to me, however I think it's because they are surrounded by much more interesting stuff, not because they are poor songs.

It's the experimental bits that made me like Double Allergic, and the few Powderfinger songs I've heard since this have been lacking that, which saddens me, as they have shown some potential with this and earlier work. Maybe the radio will only play the straight forward stuff, and I have missed it, if so, someone tell me.

Overall, it's a fairly accessible, yet solid rock album. The diversity within the rock genre is good, even if most of it has been done before, at least they didn't repeat themselves within the album. I would call just one or two songs filler, and this would just be an average if they didn't experiment the way they did, so I'm glad they did, but... even though it's good, I think they could have done just a little bit better.

Song suggestions

Plain and simple, Powderfinger like they are these days?
Pick You Up
D.A.F.
Living Type
Vladimir

Something a bit different, but not too much?
Skinny Jean
Oipic
J.C.
Take Me In

Something wack?
Boing Boing
Glimpse
Untitled
Come Away



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user ratings (29)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dancin' Man
December 28th 2004



719 Comments


Eh, sounds decent. I won't look too hard.

Badmoon
December 28th 2004



384 Comments


I have never even heard of them. Well, I'll try to check them out

Great review also :thumb:

Tapeworm
December 29th 2004



118 Comments


God this album is great. Definately Powderfinger at their peak. One of the first albums I owned too.

Great work on reviewing this, and great review my Australian music buddo.

Tomahawk
December 29th 2004



124 Comments


I kinda hate Powderfinger but I like some songs that I've heard, and I've been thinking about checking them out more.

So I might pick this up, although a friend of mine told me last week that their best album was called Internationalist, or something like that.

blueyxd
December 29th 2004



77 Comments


Internationalist was the album after Double Allergic, I haven't heard it all, what I heard was more simple, but I suppose that's all I would hear on the radio. The wack recommended list might be good for you Tomahawk.

also, the drummer's father is/was a teacher at the high school I went to.

Tapeworm
December 30th 2004



118 Comments


Internationalist is their second best album IMO, and is quite a very good album. It's what boosted them to popularity, so that kinda gives you an idea.

Jim
July 23rd 2005



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why, oh, why, whenever anyone talks about the 'finger's best album they always leave out one of the best Aussie rock albums of the last fifteen or so years- Odyssey # Five. IMO it's their best. you can't argue with songs like 'My Happiness', 'Like a Dog', 'Up, down and back again', 'My kinda scene', 'These days', 'Thrilloilogy' and , of course, the almighty 'Waiting for the Sun' (Their best song IMO).

Maybe someone should do a review on this?

Brohedia
October 8th 2006



23 Comments


Best Powderfinger Albulm. It's a real insight that shows all the influences of Rock N Roll that has made them one of Australia's most favoured band by far.

StickmanSouffle
February 24th 2009



286 Comments


I have Odyssey Number 5, Vulture Street and Dream Days... but I want to get this and Internationalist.

Jim
April 16th 2010



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this style suited powderfinger more than any other.

even the b-sides recorded during the album are almighty.

Jim
April 16th 2010



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo4D-OS1FVI

seriously how does a song this good not make an album. this is third most played on my itunes



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