Lifting their namesake from singer/songwriter Lex Koritni, 'Night Goes on for Days' is these Australian rock merchants' fourth studio album since forming nine years ago. Seemingly the latest antipodean export to be making waves within the scene in a post-AC/DC generation, following the likes of Oz rock hegemonists Airbourne and Wolfmother, whether or not there's space in the market for yet another retro rock act from down under remains to be seen. However, based on the strength of some of the material on 'Night Goes on for Days', Koritni, at the very least, deserve to be taken seriously with a degree of credence.
First off, I have to assert that Koritni's music is hideously clichéd. As well-composed and executed as some of the music is here, it lacks that extra punch of wonderment because, to be frank, this is a no-frills album that holds very few surprises. Genericism reigns throughout... occasionally, to the point where songs' central melodies engender that most unwanted of contemplations, "now, where have I heard that before?" So, we're talking genericism in terms of both stylistic pastiche and partial plagiarism here. I'm sure there's been no overt plagiaristic intent at work, although the all-too-familiar motifs in certain tracks abate their overall effect.
All that said, despite the album's generic and clichéd disposition, there's still a great deal to enjoy on 'Night Goes on for Days'. Lex's largely gravel-toned vocals, sporadically flavoured with a few other stylistic inflections, have a nice, raw quality. There's no rock polish in this man's vocal chords; rather, he sings with a passionate intent that, while a little pitchy here and there, adds an almost authentic and live quality to the songs. Likewise for the music in its raw-ish, live-sounding sonics. With Lex producing, he obviously knew the precise sound he wanted for his band, and mixed by the ever-reliable Kevin Shirley, the instrumentations and vocals are as well-balanced as they possibly could be.
Stylistically, the compositions on 'Night Goes on for Days' borrow primarily from blues rock templates, mixed up with hard rock persuasions and a sporadic country twang. In fact, mid-album number, 'Seal the Deal', seems to be a perfect amalgam of all three of these elements, whereas other tracks have a bluesier, country or hard rock bias. Also of note is the most emphatically country blues track on the album, 'Water of Life', that features none other than Status Quo's original drummer, John Coghlan, which marks his first recorded performance since 1985 - quite a coup for Koritni in luring such a legendary stickman back into the studio.
This isn't an inherently bad album per se; my modest 6/10 score is more a reflection of its inescapable flaws - namely, the lack of originality throughout. Stylistic pastiche is one thing, but melodic mimicry is inexcusable for any band. As such, while 'Night Goes on for Days' provides an enjoyable listen, it's also not a very refreshing one and is, ultimately, an album with finite appeal in terms of repeated playability.
NIGHT GOES ON FOR DAYS
Review by Mark Holmes
4th Sept 2015
1) Horns Up
2) Try to Live (A Little Bit)
3) Rock 'n' Roll Ain't No Crime
5) Night Goes on for Days
6) Woman in Love
7) Seal the Deal; 8) Breakdown
9) The Mississippi Delta
10) Water of Life; 11) Little Man
12) Waking up the Neighbours
13) Fortunate Son (Live 2013)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"As well-composed and executed as some of the music is here, it lacks that extra punch of wonderment because, to be frank, this is a no-frills album that holds very few surprises."