Jack Ladder and The Dreamlanders : Hurtsville

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Jack Ladder and The Dreamlanders : Hurtsville


But there’s still a whole lot of Jack Ladder too. Hurtsville comes as a pleasant surprise after a dreadful Golden Plains performance that, in retrospect, seems to have been some sort of deconstructive transition between two contrasting styles. The sweeping, epic sound of this album is a great fit for his booming voice and the Dreamlanders (Laurence Pike, Kirin J Callinan and Donny BenĂ©t) provide a masterfully moody backdrop.


Ladder’s lyrics have a streak of black humour that helps to level out some of the gloom but sometimes we just get bad puns (‘I want to make like a tree and… leave’ from the otherwise sublime Cold Feet) and sometime they’re just a bit strange (‘Now lumberjacks go deep-sea diving in wet dreams’, Short Memory).


While he successfully captures a mood and pays tribute to a particular era in musical history, most of the songs lack a bit of the Love Is Gone soul. However, Ladder goes a fair way to redressing the balance with the spectral closing ballad Giving Up The Giving Up .


The chameleon-like Ladder continues to thrill, frustrate and intrigue. Despite all the twists and turns that isn’t likely to change.


Best track: Cold Feet


If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Love In Bright Landscapes THE TRIFFIDS, High Violet THE NATIONAL, The Good SonNICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS


In A Word: Gloomy