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THE HEARTACHE STATE

heartachestateThe Heartache State

+1 Records

Nick Barker may get larger royalty cheques than many Australian musicians, but he is anything but a household name. The rocker benefited greatly from the introduction of MTV in Australia in what was a fertile time for pub rockers. Since then he has been a stalwart in downtrodden pubs around the country with his brand of roots rock.

The Heartache State is the result of Barker teaming up with long term friend, Justin Garner (Southpaw), to try and find the middle ground between The Replacements and Aerosmith. Barker is a savant when it comes to guitars and broken hearts, with the foot tapping No Good Alone being a perfect example of his knack for a stirring chorus.

Minimum Wage is a mid-tempo rocker that lopes along as it builds a suburban tale of tattoos, drinking, hairstyles and weed. It is this unfettered look at average Australians that makes The Heartache State fit like an old boot. The down to earth punk rock leanings come to the fore as the whiskey-toned voice of Barker is partnered by some tidy Garner guitar work.

The Heartache State is an honest rock record that doesn’t dress itself up to be anything different. It is equally at home in dark sweaty rooms or the local bowling club’s keg party.

3.5 stars

CHRIS HAVERCROFT

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