to make an impression on the international music scene. Daddy Cool were perhaps the earliest Aussies to become known here, and 1976 has seen The Skyhooks, Ayers Rock and AC/DC all make the big hop to U.S. release.
The newest entry, and the most American sounding of the lot. is a six-piece entry called the Little River Band. Possessed of a style that can best be described as rock in the key of mellow, these guys don't upset your bio-rhythms, but they do plant an impression in your mind. The secret, ladies and gents, is their songwriting. Material comes from the three lead singers, and stretches back in some cases to 1973, so it's not a matter of a sudden gush of writing fever. The tunes are all well-developed, with natural spaces in the arrangements for any of the three lead guitars to come in. At times, the LRB resembles Ace, Little Feat, The Eagles, etc., but never too blatantly, and always with a sense of just who they are. They maintain their identity.
There are, of course, some drawbacks to this otherwise fine debut disc. There's a number of keyboard fills on the album, but they're all supplied by a session keyboardist; the band would not be hurt by the addition of a full-time keyboard player. Secondly, the band was responsible for all arrangements and production which is fine from a control point of view, but can lead to difficulties when one is too close to a song to be able to tear it apart if need be.
These, however, are minor details. and certainly won't detract from your enjoyment of the album. The string section is used most -tastefully, and the songs, especially Graham Goble's, are of the hummable variety.
The future should be most interesting for this band, but for the present, they've got an album to be proud of, and a following that's growing on the strength of the band's music. They'll be heard from in 1977—make sure you're listening:
LITTLE RIVER'S BEST CURRENTS: "It's A Long Way There," "Meanwhile . .," "I'll Always Call Your Name," "I Know It"
AL STEWART "Year Of The Cat"