2) A Shape in the River
3) Baby Don’t Be There
4) Heart Turned Blue
5) Te Amo!
6) Followed Home
8) Prayers Answered
10) Erotic Thriller
11) Moon Under Water
Reeking of after-hours city laneways and seedy dive bars at the peak of a sweltering summer, the new Melbourne Cans album—their second—Heat of the Night is crammed with jilted imagery of hope and despair, of lust and desperation, of impossible promises and busted dreams.
Album opener ‘Heat.Night.City’ is a an apocalyptic love song set in a city on fire, whilst first single ‘A Shape in the River’ reflects upon a doomed relationship in which one member of the union has an underlying anger that can only survive by feeding off the happiness of the other... and by dragging their remains down into the depths of the river.
The emotive melodrama here is suggestive of the album's primary inspiration as a whole: film noir and neo-noir. Angel Heart, Body Double, Assault on Precinct 13, Body Heat, Chinatown.... Steeped in the stink and sweat of the city, Heat of the Night pays homage to these grimy, shadowy thrillers.
Ian Wallace’s ghoulish croon adds an air of creepy desperation to second single ‘Heart Turned Blue’ whose tremolo-heavy 50s balladry eventually gives way to a rush of low-down twang and swirling organ. Wallace tells the sad tale of Peggy Sue—in this case the embodiment of 50s rock ‘n’ roll—who has been found dead in her bed in a film-noir, Old Hollywood-type setting.
Elsewhere, Wallace hands the mic over to his bandmates—Nina Renee (of Suss Cunts) lends her wholesale wail to six-eight rollickers ‘Baby Don’t Be There’ and ‘Erotic Thriller’ while drummer Ash Buscombe takes lead on the joyously unhinged afterparty anthem ‘Prayers Answered’.
‘Moon Under Water’, a loving dedication to the late actor Debbie Reynolds, rounds out the set with some quality nostalgia, complete with old-timey whistled intro.
Heat of the Night was recorded and mixed by Morgan McWaters and is out on July 13, 2018.
Melbourne Cans are: Rob Andrews (bass), Ash Buscombe (drums), Nina Renee (organ and vocals) and Ian Wallace (guitar and vocals).