Australia - Full Moon 89 - 01/07/04
Debut long player from Penny Ikinger, following on from 2001's Songs From The Deep EP.
Great to hear such a powerful statement under the Ikinger banner after years of worthy involvement
in Louis Tillet & Wet Taxis, Tex Perkins, Red Dress, Kim Salmon's Surrealists and others.
Though Electra is very much a collaborative effort (about fifteen or so musicians help
out on the album!) it hasn't suffered and doesn't sound disjointed in any way. Those of note lending
a hand include gun for hire Charlie Owen, Brian Hooper (both recently helping out The Beasts of
Bourbon in a blistering set at Sydney's Homebake Festival) and Rosie Westbrook on double bass.
Word is Ikinger received some vocal tips n' tutoring from Chrissie Amphlett of the Divinyls and
the bittersweet croon on "Kathleen" and "Electra" is really quite special - both tracks possessing
the kind of late night shimmer that does much to enhance the album.
"Andalucian Man" is the kind of psychedelic wig-out that would sit easily on The Verve's Urban
Hymns, whilst my personal fave "The One I Sent Away" would have all those 'new rock' bands
ducking for cover. Anchored by the rock steady double bass of Rosie Westbrook, the mid section has
all players jarring against each other bringing an explosive physicality to the track.
Ikinger possesses a grace similar to that of Louis Tillet, an obvious influence from mixing it
in the same musical circles. She also shares similar lyrical themes; the sensation of feeling
wayward/lost at sea, falling under the motions of the moon and ocean and other themes allowing a
genuine step inside her world.
Also worth a mention is Ikinger's outstanding use of guitar throughout Electra. Awesome
axe work that can be both soothing and searing, the restrained (and at times unrestrained) use of
feedback adds considerably to the barely contained malice in several tracks, not an altogether
unpleasant experience if such a thing exists! A truly electric style I'm fond of where The Ik ain't
afraid to emit a slow jangle then let it rip and burn where appropriate.
An impressive release for Career Records with Radio Birdman guitarist Deniz Tek (who must've
literally licked his lips upon first clapping his ears round Electra) at the label's helm.
Hopefully further releases soon to follow after this incredibly confident and resonant debut.
Copyright © 2004 Brian Stradbrook