Dom Mariani – Popsided Guitar

Anthology 1984-2004

No matter which way around you approach the idea, an overview of the Aussie power-pop/‘60s garage revival scene is pretty much what making a Dom Mariani Anthology-set ends up with.

The thing is that it was about time for it to be done officially, and a twenty-year anniversary is as good a reason as any. Even though it’s spread over two CDs, I’m sure that every true Mariani aficionado will find a reason to be not completely satisfied with the final choice of tracks.

As for myself, I’m pretty cool with the usual Big Starry-eyed dose of quintessential power-pop, delivered by DM3 tracks such as the opening Hold On, followed by Can’t Get What You Want, TV Sound, Second Floor or Show You, the Raspberry-flavoured Just Like Nancy, the Rundgren-like Something Heavy, powered up with the Spectorized Ramonesound of 1 Time 2 Times Devastated or the heavier Britsike “attack” of Lure, while it’s The Stems section in which I’d make a slight change or two.

Instead of the otherwise great folk rocking jangle, suggesting the time spent between The Stems and DM3, represented by the likes of For Always, At First Sight or Running Around, I’d prefer a bit more of the harder edged punky r’n’beat, as heard in Make You Mine, the Farfi-sized organ-isations of Mr. Misery and Just Ain’t Enough, or the Seedy fuzz of No Heart, which could’ve been even more effective with the inclusion of some of the tracks such as She’s Fine, Don’t Let Me, She’s A Monster, Tears Me In Two, Under Your Mushroom or the like.

As already mentioned, the time between The Stems and DM3, was fulfilled with the more jangly approach to the basically same concept of The Someloves, best featured through Know You Now, as well as some almost perfect power-pop too, as heard in Sunshine’s Glove, while the latter days solo years, continue not too far from where DM3 had left off, throwing in some power-chords, here featured with the horn-powered Homespun Blues, as well as some super-cool balladery (Prove).

Among all of the above, there’s also the Motor City-powered romp of Dom’s short tenure with The Stoneage Hearts (Rock ’n’ Roll Boys Rock ’n’ Roll Girls) and a whole bunch of instrumentals, perfectly harmonizing the usual power-chords with the surfy twang, with an additional eastern tinged tone or two.

There’s no better way to summarize the career of Dom Mariani than to cite his own words: “As long as the melodies keep coming, I’ll continue to write a song – Melody is King!”.

[Released by Citadel 2005]

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