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THE PAINKILLERS

painkillersGarage Sale Girl

Independent

When a gig supporting The Ape was postponed at the last minute, The Painkillers took the opportunity to use the downtime via a day in the studio. The five songs that make up Garage Sale Girl are the result, and it is the first time the new fleshed out version of the band has been heard on record.

As if the names Bludge and Baker weren’t enough of a drawcard, The Painkillers have now pulled in historical Perth music luminaries Martyn P. Casey (The Triffids, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Grinderman) and Richard Lane (The Stems) to add spice to their garage roots. Any residual folk element of the band is pushed firmly to the background during the swampy title track with drums prominent in the mix and vocals as impassioned and charismatic as ever.

Bludge is a seriously skilled interpreter of song, and he turns the ominous taunt of A Red Headed Woman from Gershwin’s opera Porgy And Bess into a guitar-chugging sultry ode to the burning bush. The minimalist leanings of the band come to the fore during Animals which is an eight-minute slow burn that revolves around a stoic Baker beat and builds to become a monolith.

Garage Sale Girl may only contain five songs, but there is not a wasted moment on the disc. The fuller sound is serving The Painkillers well, building on what was already a formidable formula and offering unlimited promise.

4.5 stars

CHRIS HAVERCROFT