The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - An­thony O’Grady

WHEN Dave Warner’s from the Sub­urbs Draw WHEN is drawn from Dave Warner’s 40-year ar­chive of un­recorded songs. The two new­est, I’m on Face­book but Where’s My Friends? and Snapchat de­pict dif­fer­ent out­comes for the Sub­ur­ban Boy of 1978 in the 21st-cen­tury dig­i­tal do­main. On the pop-de­light­ful Face­book he ditches his com­puter, con­nects with hu­man­ity and (fi­nally) en­joys “skin to skin most ev­ery night” (pre­sum­ably not the mother/baby kind). On the fran­tic dance tune Snapchat he’s an in­ter­net stalker, thor­oughly nasty and em­pow­ered by anonymity. Run­ning Through Brix­ton was writ­ten in 1976 when Warner lived in Lon­don. The song chan­nels a singer­song­writer grasp­ing for recog­ni­tion and a volatile, mul­ti­cul­tural dis­trict on a short fuse: “Run­ning through Brix­ton with an axe in my hand / Feel­ing lotta shit in­side I don’t un­der­stand.” Wim­ble­don (rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent from 1979’s Cor­rect Weight ver­sion) and Old Gui­tars (writ­ten in the late 1980s) ques­tion the rock ’n’ roll dream, with the for­mer fan­ta­sis­ing about es­cape into sport and the lat­ter lament­ing en­trap­ment. Warner him­self has di­ver­si­fied into fic­tion, theatre and film. San Tropez is a nod to French noir while Last Night Jim Mor­ri­son Came to My Win­dow is a sur­re­al­is­tic lib­er­a­tion of imag­i­na­tion a la Luis Bunuel. We Want a Kid is Alice Cooper-style hard rock, with a rich cou­ple clam­our­ing for the most per­fect em­bryo money can buy. Im­pres­sively, Warner varies the mu­si­cal and vo­cal iden­ti­ties of each song. Martin Cilia pro­duced, co-wrote and played on ev­ery track. Old friends Tony Du­rant, Greg Ma­cainsh, Greedy Smith and Mick Thomas fea­ture. Warner likes to value-add. His 1978 de­but Mug’s Game in­cluded a board game. WHEN’s lyric book­let fea­tures il­lu­mi­nat­ing il­lus­tra­tions for each song.

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