|All Artists: INXS|
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Atlantic / Wea
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: New Wave & Post-Punk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
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Inxs Shows Their Punk/New Wave Roots - and a Promise of What
L.A. Scene | Indian Trail, NC USA | 11/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When Inxs went the reality show route to find a new lead singer to replace the late Michael Hutchence, it came down to two singers - J.D. Fortune and Marty Casey. Fortune would win this competition because he would have a style that would fit Inxs like a glove. However, many people felt that the revelation of this competition was Marty Casey. While Casey didn't emerge as the winner, many people felt he was the better vocalist and musician. One thing that worked against Casey throughout the competition and on his band's self-titled album following the competition ("Marty Casey and Lovehammers") was that he needed to "tone it down on his vocals". These comments were actually made by Inxs throughout the competition. This meant his vocals were a bit rough around the edges. Despite this "roughness", it was clear that there is potential with Casey. Perhaps Inxs saw a little of themselves in Casey because of you listen to Inxs' 1980 self-titled debut album, "Inxs", you can make the same argument. On this album you will see the promise of what was to become a great band, yet you can see where things were "rough around the edges" as well.
One fact that I find amazing about Inxs is that this six member band stuck together from their formation in the late 1970s through Michael Hutchence's untimely death in 1997. During this period, the band would release 10 studio albums, 1 Greatest Hits album, and 1 Live album. This has allowed the band to meld together and grow professionally. Much of this is due to the fact that three band members are brothers: Andrew Farriss (Keyboards), Jon Farriss (Drums), and Tim Farriss (Guitar). The other three members also stuck tightly with the band the whole way. These members include: Michael Hutchence (Lead Vocals), Garry Gary Beers (Bass), and Kirk Pengilly (Guitar and Sax). Hutchence - known for his long hair and theatrical performances in concert often gets the most publicity. But the remaining five members all make major contributions from a musicianship standpoint. It would eventually be that Hutchence and Andrew Farriss would form the core songwriting nucleus for the band that would yield some of their greatest successes. In the earlier days and on the "Inxs" album - all six members contribute to the songwriting.
I've always looked at Inxs' musical style to be an offshoot of the Punk and New-Wave movements of the late 1970s and early 1980s. These elements are combined with both traditional Rock and Dance to give the unique sound that has trademarked Inxs for the last 25 years. If you listen to the "Inxs" album, it is very clear that this is an album that has its roots around Punk and New-Wave. The band was very young when they recorded Inxs (i.e early 20s). Much of this album was recorded as they were touring the pubs in Australia -before they would emerge in popularity in Australia with their follow-up ("Underneath the Colours) or their American break-through album ("Shabooh Shoobah"). All of these factors contribute to why this album has a "rough" and "raw" sound, yet it still is a very good sound.
The lyrics to the songs are going to be much simpler, yet draw from the personal experiences of the band. It is clear that the Farriss/Hutchence songwriting combination was still a work in progress. The first song "On a Bus" is a simple one. It definitely reflects Inxs' personal experiences of touring the pubs in Australia. Another example of the simple lyrics are "Doctor" where Inxs sings about "I could've been a doctor; I could've been a lawyer....especially in the daylight" is a song where Inxs reflects on what could have been if they didn't enter the music business. Songs like "Roller Skating" aren't going to be very deep as the lyrics go - "I see a girl; she's roller skating; I don't know her; But she makes me feel; like roller skating". At the same time, the song "Newsreel Babies" goes a little deeper as Inxs discusses the skepticism of the TV news "All alone I'm cynical to the TV; Newsman's making passes to Newslady". While even "Newsreel Babies" seems simple on the surface, this song demonstrated the Inxs had the songwriting potential of what was yet to come.
As mentioned there are going to be songs where Inxs - and in particular Michael Hutchence will need to "turn it down a notch". You aren't going to hear the powerful vocals of such later songs as "Don't Change", "The Stairs", "Mediate", and "Never Tear Us Apart". However the potential for greatness still shines The best example of such a song is "Jumping". This is a clear place where I think Hutchence needs to turn it down on the vocals - the chorus "Jumping Jumping; All night long" definitely has a raw feel. Much of this is because "Inxs" really is a Punk and New-Wave album - and the raw sound is indicative of this. At the same time, when you listen to the instrumentation of that same song, you can hear the potential of what is yet to come.
There are a lot of good tracks on this collection. The better songs include "On a Bus", "Learn to Smile", "In Vain", "Roller Skating", "Newsreel Babies", and "Wishy Washy". All of these songs demonstrate the Punk and New Wave roots of the band. In particular "On a Bus" and "Learn to Smile" are going to demonstrate a Synth-Pop sound from the late 1970s/early 1980s. Overall I would say Andrew Farriss' synthesizers are going to play a prominent role on this album. Kirk Pengilly's trademark saxophone is present on many of the tracks throughout this collection.
The liner notes include the lyrics. Despite the "raw" sound, this is a very good collection and demonstrates fine musicianship. While these are not going to be songss known to the mainstream Inxs fan, they still will appeal to most Inxs fans. Highly recommended."
First attempt for Inxs
Cameron | Brisbane AUSTRALIA | 02/25/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is Inxs's debut album, and it didn't get much airplay in Australia at the time. A rocking post-punk New Wave album that didn't quite hit the mark upon release.
Despite that, there was still some great tracks from this one,'On A Bus' and 'Just keep Walking' spring to my mind. Their cover of 'The Loved One' was perhaps the stand out track, and they re-covered this song later on their famous Kick album
Its hard to recommend this album as a purchase for most people, although serious Inxs fans will certainly want it in their collection to see how the lads went on their first effort.
3 stars for Inxs fans, but 2 stars for all others