By BILLY DIXON
SOMEWHERE back in 1996, a stupid conversation took place between four young blokes in a dusty oil shed on the trucking yards of Port Melbourne’s Dallas Crane Transport that went something like, “so ya reckon we could do this for a living?”
Almost 20 years later, Dallas Crane have become a not only a lauded constituent of the Australian rock ‘n roll scene, but a trend-proof mainstay that continues to exhilarate audiences wherever they bloody well set foot!
Some used to call them, “Australia’s hardest working band,” playing their guts out to anyone who’d listen, in which most cases was a packed out pub anywhere around Australia. They gave everything every time you saw them; no microphone left un-scolded, no denim jacket left un-soaked and no audience left anything other than completely satisfied with what they had just witnessed for the last hour and a bit. Even You Am I’s Tim Rogers had them down as his favourite band, immortalising them in their song Who Put The Devil In You?
After some more-than-healthy Triple J support in the early part of the millennium, the band were chased down by legendary Australian label Albert Productions (AC/DC, The Easybeats,) to come and add to their already killer legacy by laying down some choice cuts over two albums; one of their first rock signings in many years.
Their first offering, Dallas Crane / Dallas Crane was so well received, it even had Australian Idol’s Mark Holden begrudgingly asking the question, ‘who the hell are these guys, and how are they getting triple ARIA Award nominations?’
A little time away from the scene after their Australian tour with The Who in 2009 meant not a lot of activity for Dallas Crane over the last couple of years, but if their brand new long player Scoundrels is anything to go by, the Crane faithful can rest easy knowing that none of that original pent-up verve and vigor went missing in their brief sabbatical.
Recorded throughout 2014-2015 at Melbourne’s Hothouse Audio with Craig Harnath and engineering whiz-kid Jez Giddings, Scoundrels rounds up some of the band’s finest works to date with songs like The Sunnyside and Disillusioned proving just how gloriously majestic two guitars can be in front of a driving rhythm section.
The revitalised songwriting effort has yielded ten time-hardy gems on an extremely solid return-to-form release from the band. Dave Larkin’s Come To Light and The Good Times demonstrates the band is far from done with it’s penchant for the splendid epic, whilst guitarist/singer Pete Satchell adds his own gentler touch on the compelling and beautiful Lucky Me.
“Scoundrels” showcases a new level of sophistication in the band’s songwriting, not slowing in vitality or intrigue until the very last note. It’s become available to the wider public through the band’s own Nylon Sounds label.
Scoundrels tour dates will be announced soon. In the mean time, check out www.dallascrane.com.au for details or ticketing information.