Powderfinger
Transfusion


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jim USER (23 Reviews)
December 24th, 2008 | 16 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The second release from Powderfinger proved to be their best for some time.

"If it's a fight you want, my hands are untied.
A little bit of push and shove might make me feel alright"


As Bernard Fanning screams his way through these lyrics in the soulful epic Change the Tide, you wonder if this is the same Powderfinger that saw your shadow on the street now, and heard you push through the rusty gate. You look through the album credits, and see those same five members - then youthful faces with much more hair - staring back with a malicious intent missing from their current band photos. This is Powderfinger circa 1993, an entirely different breed to that which is now lost and running.

On Transfusion, the band's second and best EP, you can witness a hungry, fiery beast hitting it's stride. In an effort to silence the critics who misjudged the relatively successful self titled EP released in 1992, the band made an effort to modernise their sound. Mostly gone are the bluegrass influences that rang loudly before, replaced by a much grungier tone that was shared by pretty much every band in the early nineties. The heavy southern influence still lingers however, and what Powderfinger have achieved here is something of a missing link between Neil Young and Soundgarden; the heartfelt sentiment of the former, with the gruff angst of the latter.

This is most notable in opener Reap What You Sow, where Fanning's high-pitched, folksy delivery eventually gives way to a suitably face-melting solo by guitarist Darren Middleton, which is something sorely missed on most of the band's material post-growing up. Change the Tide proves to be a two-faced epic, with the sorrowful first half giving way to the cathartic bridge and a near inspirational close. Leaving aside the ballsy mid-section, it's probably the only song here that could sit snugly alongside their later, more popular efforts, and not leave you wondering if someone had switched the CD over while you were in the loo.

As epic as Change the Tide is though, it pales alongside the anthemic Blind to Reason, which is the dark and foreboding anti-government shtick the band would later perfect on such political hits as Day You Come and Like a Dog. Of course, at over six minutes in length, the chance of it ever receiving commercial success similar to these was out of the question, but it does prove that there has always been a common thread of political and cultural interest permeating throughout all of their work - as opposed to many of their contemporaries who may jump on such bandwagons only when the trend suits them.

It's refreshing to know however that the band were still in touch with their primitive side, as closer Rise Up steamrolls the listener with it's stomping riff and Coghill's ringing drums. Comparable to Double Allergic duo Boing Boing and Take Me In in it's ability to thrill on a mostly tribal level, it presents an easy case as the most crudely enjoyable song the band have ever recorded. There's not much going on behind the frontal lobe in this headbanger, and why should there be when you can have as much fun as this?

It's almost sad to see this meshing of styles disappear completely on the band's subsequnt LP, Parables for Wooden Ears, which proved a little too convoluted and self-conscious for it's own good. On this self-recorded and produced EP, Powderfinger struck the perfect balance between the old and the new - their influences and their colleagues - and it wasn't bettered until their breakout album Double Allergic in 1996, which was everything this EP implied their misguided debut would be. If you're interested in finding out where these Australian rock veterans cut their teeth, Transfusion would be one hell of a start.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jim
December 24th 2008


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ta-dah

lukadore
December 24th 2008


36 Comments


i didn't know this existed. i might hunt it down....
but just thinking if its pre-parables for wooden ears, it can't very good, coz i've noticed powderfinger get better with each record ('cept maybe the new one :S)

Jim
December 24th 2008


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this is way better than parables, as is their first EP. they went downhill for a couple of releases after this

Vooligan
December 24th 2008


3541 Comments


kewl, grungy powderfinger sounds fun.
nice review, lol first one in like a year?

Jim
December 24th 2008


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

and three months

bastard
December 24th 2008


3435 Comments


nah it's only a year, at least between your Contrive review and this.

Jim
December 24th 2008


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

really? i'm thinking of my last PF review i think.
still, it was too long :angry:

bastard
December 24th 2008


3435 Comments


true, plus you're a great review, really.

AtavanHalen
December 24th 2008


17927 Comments


Welcome back.
I liked reading this.

Jim
December 24th 2008


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

thanks. i'll try and keep the reviews up.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2008


20857 Comments


Guess who's back!? Great to see you back in excellent review writing form Jim. I absolutely loved the wordplay early on & I think it genuinely strengthened your point that the Powderfinger of yesteryear & today are 2 different beasts! Well done mate & definitely deserving of a pos.

Jim
December 26th 2008


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

thanks friend
my next review is done but will be up in a few days. i've caught the bug!
again

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2008


20857 Comments


Haha. The reviewing bug is one which Doctor Davey has no drug to cure.

Jim
December 26th 2008


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

actually i'll submit my review now. the technical problems i've been having have subsided

cb123
January 16th 2011


2054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review man, agree this is definately the highlight of early finger

WhiteNoise
January 16th 2011


3243 Comments


Fucking hate Powderfinger but this sounds really interesting.



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