Powderfinger: Odyssey Number Five

By Russell Baillie

(Universal)

Herald rating: * * * *

Review: Russell Baillie

They're a guitar band from Brisbane, are named after a Neil Young song and already up to their fourth album without having made much discernible impact on this side of the Tasman.

Plenty of reasons to go on ignoring them really, even with their upcoming Big Day Out appearance. Except that Powderfinger's new record is a cracker, the sound of a band come good, a hearty rock record of hearty songs without the hairy chest factor that their Oz post-grunge origins might suggest.

If we're to make a comparison, Powderfinger sometimes remind of the Verve. That's down to the vocal presence of frontman Bernard Manning and the often towering tunes that drive the likes of single My Happiness, the lushly pastoral The Metre, the acoustic-driven Up & Down & Back Again and the grand guitar psychedelic scorches of We Should Be Together Now and Thrilloilogy towards the end.

Add evidence of a sense of humour - the Bowie and Iggy-aping Like a Dog - and the result is quite the best Ozrock offering you're likely to hear this year or next.

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