ROCK

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

WITH ‘‘ lip­stick on the mi­cro­phone and a tear in my eye’’, Syd­ney singer, song­writer and ac­tor Loene Car­men sets off on a bluesy rock ’ n’ roll jour­ney, flex­ing mus­cle, melan­choly and sim­mer­ing sex­u­al­ity in equal mea­sure. In au­then­tic blues fash­ion, Car­men recorded th­ese 12 songs on her own with just a gui­tar and the odd bit of per­cus­sion, but then in­vited friends such as drum­mer Paul Dunn and the Mess Hall’s gui­tarist Jed Kurzel to add their blus­ter to the fiery mix. The re­sult is akin to Mar­i­anne Faith­full jam­ming with the Jon Spencer Blues Ex­plo­sion — not a bad prospect — and the com­bi­na­tion of Car­men’s breathy whine and the all- out as­sault of the ensem­ble is loose, oc­ca­sion­ally threat­en­ing and full of drama. The pleas­antly ram­shackle ti­tle track sets the tone for most of what fol­lows, in­clud­ing Oh Yeah and Ev­ery­body ( Makes Me Wanna Lie Down), but there’s a pop­pier, Vel­vets edge to Nashville High and the clos­ing The Bee is a beau­ti­fully stark acous­tic bal­lad that am­ply dis­plays Car­men’s craft in the coun­try id­iom. If there is a fault, it’s that her voice over 12 songs is too one- di­men­sional, and even flat in places. Rock ’ n’ Roll Tears Loene Car­men Shock

Iain Shed­den

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