Volunteering when you are 4 double Jameson’s into a double-figure session down the Pub to review an album is probably not the way to do things. However, yours truly did just that with regards to Stiff Richards’ “State of Mind” album. Two days after my drunken endeavours the WeTransfer file arrived. “Please be good” I hoped. Have you ever, from the opening notes of a record from a band you have absolutely no knowledge of, known instinctively that you’re gonna love every single one of the songs? Again, that’s what happened to yours truly. “Point of You” kicks in with top quality jangly guitar before the rest of the band cotton on and let rip. Almost immediately, I was singing along, all right shouting along, at the idiot box with “What’s the point of you?!” For those of you wondering why I had the Television on whilst listening to music, I have the subtitles on whilst using the home Gym, gotta burn those Jameson Calories off somehow and being annoyed at the News helps. It’s almost like the guitarist came into the rehearsal studio with a whole bunch of riffs, started playing them and the rest of the band automatically knew what was expected of them, with the bassist on “Glass” Peter Hooking things up in the manner of Joy Division’s “Dance To The Radio” but not. “Got It To Go” sounds like Rod Stewart and the Faces have rediscovered their swing or gin. The songs are loose, tight and explosive all at the same.  

The nine tracks on offer come and go in less than 30 minutes leaving me gasping for more, the fast pace does easy up towards the tail end of the album allowing me to catch my breath but not enough that I need to lie down. 

I resisted the temptation to discover more about Stiff Richards whilst writing this as I didn’t want to be influenced or swayed by anyone or anything else. I did get it into my mind that they must be Australasia as the singer sometimes hinted at Rob Younger, either that or he was a fan of Radio Birdman and The New Christs. Turns out that the band are Australian residing in Rye which is just outside of Melbourne and consist of Wolfgang Buckley on vocals with Arron Mawson and Tim Garrard on guitars, Raf Heale on Bass and finally Lochie Cavigan on drums.  

“State of Mind” from Stiff Richards is available right now from the aptly titled Legless Records. UK label Drunken Sailor Records will also have copies available in December/January.


Author: Armitage Smith