Review Summary: Derivative alt/prog saved somewhat by the voice of an angel.3 of 3 thought this review was well written
Adelaide is known for two things, being the ‘city of churches’ and being Australia’s capital of boring. This is unsurprising given its only real claim to fame is being the birthplace of I Killed The Prom Queen. Adelaidean alternative rock band Quiet Child’s debut album, Evening Bell
, continues the city’s boring and derivative nature perfectly. Following the ‘Karnivool and Cog blueprint for how to get massive on Triple J’ to a tee, one can’t help feel that with Evening Bell
, we’ve heard it all before. Down-tuned riffs? Check. Talented vocalist? Check. Hefty song lengths? Check. Semi-catchy hooks? Check.
This is the problem at the moment with the Australian alternative rock scene. Given the stupid amount of bands playing similar styles of music, there is, for want of a better word, some inbreeding occurring. Essentially, artists see the success of the likes of The Butterfly Effect and Dead Letter Circus and mimic them to the point that fans become disinterested with the scene all together. Quiet Child are one of those bands, wearing their influences almost too proudly and in the process, forgetting to add their own ideas. Take first single ‘Stealing Inches’ for example. It has all the makings of a great song, but after the first chorus it becomes tedious, never actually going anywhere. The same can be said for ‘The Dark Heart of Pleasure,’ which just seems pointless, whilst the final three tracks get tiresome very quickly.
In fact, for the most part, Quiet Child is summed up in one word. Boring
. After the first track, there really is nothing to write home about other than a few vocally outstanding moments sprinkled across the album. In fact, the last half of the record could all have been condensed into one track, as it is essentially the same idea repeated over and over. This wouldn’t be too problematic if it was Quiet Child’s idea, either, but it is the same idea a plethora of other bands have been using so that they too can ‘make it.’
The saving grace, however, is vocalist Peter Spiker. The man possesses the voice of an angel, easily one of the most impressive in the Australian rock scene. Coming across as a combination of Clint Boge, Kim Benzie and Matt Bellamy, he is the single reason this band is worth checking out. Opener ‘Flowers In The Middle of the Road,’ by far and away the best song on here, sees Spiker at his best, showing off his huge range at every opportunity. It is really the only highlight in terms of songs on an otherwise dreary album. Although, at ten minutes long the heavily repeated riffs of Spiker and Jason Mavrikis begin to grate after a while, such is the trend of the rest of the album. ‘Do You Know Me?’ is another highlight vocally, with Spiker’s voice taking over the whole song, backed only by some picked guitar.
What Quiet Child need to do is improve their song writing and find their own
sound. They have all of the tools necessary to do well as a band, being plenty proficient with their instruments and possessing one of the best vocalists in the country. The production on the record is also quite lacklustre, Brent Carell’s bass is hardly sighted and there is quite a lot of noise on some tracks. There is definitely potential to be found on Evening Bell
amongst all of the negatives, a couple of nice riffs here and there (‘Discipline’) or a catchy harmony appearing, if only for a fleeting moment (‘Captain Trips’). The potential to improve is there, Quiet Child just have to come up with a few more ideas and broaden their influences.
is a promising, albeit unoriginal record, suggesting Quiet Child have a little way to go before their ‘big break.’ If you’re a fan of the genre, it is probably worth checking out, if only for Spiker’s vocal performance. However, for a better example of Australia’s burgeoning alternative scene, one would be better off listening to Karnivool or Dead Letter Circus’ latest outputs. At least they’re trying something different.