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coverpic flag Australia - Full Moon 108 - 07/21/05

Farewell to the Fainthearted
Laughing Outlwaw/Reverberation

Halfway is a seven-piece band playing rock Americana style. Or should I say Australiana if there is such a thing? Hailing from Brisbane, Queensland they present their pedal steel'n'banjo'n'harp flavored Aussie twang rock Yank style in the same league as Wilco and Calexico. As well as the "usual suspects", the old boys Gram Parsons, Neil Young (seems like the Halfway boys have raided Mr. Young's wardrobe shirt-wise...), Townes van Zandt.

Farewell to the Fainthearted is 2 sixpacks of songs of "travel, drinking, nostalgia, hope, love (lost and found)..." to quote liner note man Stuart Coupe. Of course there are cliches here - that's part of the genre I guess. Hence the nostalgia part mentioned, which easily leads to a path of well known curves and turns. That said Halfway sounds like a pro act, and I guess perfect for a beer-drenched listen from a nearby barstool in some sweaty, dusty hole in the wall. The semi-punchy "Patience Back" opens, before the more mid-tempo anger ballad "Get Gone". The sober (!) "Drunk Again" is one of the songs I like the better, along with the quiet "Miles and Miles" and the even more quiet ballad "Something for Yourself". The more up-tempo "Sixpack" is almost cheerful, at least it's one of the songs in the hope category. The closing "C.Q. Skyline" (another fine ballad. Hmm, I'm in this ballad mood tonight.) presents the line "Drivin round in your car, listening to Big Star, making enemies...", but doesn't appear like an agressive song. Probably just one of those moods. Well, Alex Chilton was sort of a pop delinquent.

Farewell to the Fainthearted is quite a sympathetic listen. Not that I'm well into this genre but I recall the American wave some years back counting names as BoDeans, Green On Red, the Long Ryders and Jason & the Scorchers which drew my attention as well. Country music for loneliness as well as comapany, for partying and definitely for drinking. Oops, I've poured myself a whisky...

Copyright © 2005 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Halfway articles/reviews: An Outpost of Promise, Remember The River.

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