Livingstone Daisies specialise in guitar-driven paisley-tinged power pop. The lineup consists of Van Walker (guitar, lead vocals), Liz Stringer (guitar, vocals), Cal Walker (bass, vocals) and Michael Barclay (drums, vocals). With echoes of Teenage Fanclub, Big Star, Ice Cream Hands, The Smithereens and The Byrds, the album still crackles with its own distinctive energy and a refreshingly raw edginess. The band recorded Don’t Know What Happiness Is in “a beach-house shack in Inverloch, Victoria” and by all accounts had a lot of fun in the process.
The down-to-earth lyrics on opening track Wednesday are dry and humorous yet oddly touching: “I’m leaving home/ the bins go out on Wednesday.” The melody-rich vocal harmonies throughout the album are such a treat and boy, can this band sing! The warm, chocolate-coated backing vocals on Redhead alone will justify your expenditure on this album. The deft guitar work in Safety In Numbness is wonderful – understated yet plaintive. Walker’s expressive lead vocals contain an undertone of bourbon-soaked garage snarl which is put to great use as he exclaims, “Wipe that smile off of your face!” on the powerhouse Die On The Vine or “C’mon baby light my fire!” on the anthemic Everything Has Got To Go. Standout track I Still Believe In You, features an eerie intro that would not have been out of place on an ancient prog rock opus, is stylistically different to the rest of the album yet provides a fittingly dramatic conclusion to this mighty fine collection.
BY GRAHAM BLACKLEY
Best Track: I Still Believe In You
If You Like These, You’ll like This: Time Between – A Tribute to The Byrds VARIOUS ARTISTS
In A Word: Harmonic