ALBUM REVIEW: 78 Saab – Good Fortune (2010)

Some bands take their unique recipe and keep on serving up the same music over and over again. For many this spells staleness but for others it can mean a progressive refinement of something special and the continuation of the search for the perfect song. 78 Saab are into their fifteenth year and with album number four they give us everything we have come to expect from the Sydney quartet. Guitar pop songs that always head skyward on chemtrails of glorious jangle and power pop.

Good Fortune rises and falls on the voice of Ben Nash and the guitar of Jake Andrews. Nash has always had that yearning quality to his voice – a kind of widescreen melancholy that allows the words to take flight instead of retreating into a foetal position. Warm Jets sees Nash reflecting on the loss of a friend with an uplifting send off and it is a perfect example of Andrews’ sparkling guitar, inventive and soaring with indie and post-rock melodies that bring their 60s-tinged sound into the now.

If anything has changed with 78 Saab it is that the positivity is tempered by a little more realism. They have allowed us to view the shadows in the corners of their songs a little more. Musically, Avarice borrows some note bending psych from Brian Jonestown Massacre and Nash’s proclivity for lyrical affirmations has been softened, their naivety scuffed.

78 Saab are surprisingly one of the few survivors of the 90s indie scene in Sydney and though their evolution has been slow and subtle, they continue to write inspiring songs and Good Fortune is an extremely satisfying and engaging listen. As Miguel de Cervantes said – Diligence is the mother of good fortune…

by Chris Familton

This review first appeared in Drum Media




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