In terms of distribution and popularity, this is a step up for Aussie rockers Grinspoon. Issued exclusively to the US in 2009, Six To Midnight was released in Japan last year, but has finally been given it’s debut date in the UK.
Tormented by their own set of internal problems which culminated in Grinspoon frontman Phil Jamieson checking into rehab after a torrid time fighting drug addiction, the four-piece have done well to get this far. But that doesn’t mean their experience has matured them musically
Making use of simple chord progressions is an art unto itself and nailing a particular atmosphere or energy is a tentative process. There’s a careful garnering that’s not only required musically but also lyrically, and for Grinspoon, their shot at a stripped-down bombardment of basic powerchords and punchy lyricism is an attempt in vain. Working with less can be just as challenging as excessive mastery, and the ability to flourish with a less is more approach still an arduous task.
With a limiter on activity, it is a great shame that Grinspoon fail to do exactly what they should – demand a polar ‘love or hate’ from the listener. Unfortunately Six To Midnight is monotonous musical work with tired songwriting – a one-dimensional entity that doesn’t have any standout points. One thing it does assert is that the Australians need to have a re-think.
There’s the chart single Comeback that did get radio air-time in their homeland, but essentially fails to inspire with its dithering verses and weak chorus. Songwriting is a major downfall too. There’s a knack to pulling off bare-bone, fast-food lyrics and Grinspoon don’t have it right. The only thing remotely close to a highlight is the slightly varied, melodically charged guitar work on Innocence.
Whilst it is the first time for this record to hit the shelves in the UK after being released in the US two-years ago, excitement is drained and any anticipation of grandeur immediately transferred to await their next effort – which might not be too far off.