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Firstly, thanks The Chelsea Drugstore for sending me your music. It was needed and it hit the spot. Sometime in late October last year, just as I was about to hop on the 438 bus to buy a cd in the city, Sophie popped around with the latest bundle of mail sent to Half A Cow. Amongst the bills and other demos was this one, with Sophie telling me: "This looks like something you'd like, Nic. Two cds from a band called the Chelsea Drugstore."
And she was right. Three Chord Theory is the better of the two. From the opening chords of 'Love that country fill' to the last bar of the final song 'All for show' I was hooked. And it wasn't just the incredible cache of catchy yet melancholic songs, rollickly outstanding music and thoughtful lyrics. These songs spoke to me. Was it the fact that I lived on a farm for nearly six years? That I love country-rock, folk-rock, Buffalo Springfield and The Band? Just not that big a fan of Exile On Main Street. But that doesn't matter, this is about the best record I've heard from a bunch of blokes since the last Smallgoods long-player.
Apart from the music, it was their story that won me over. Inspired by US musician Kelley Stoltz' fondness of home recording, guitarist Nathan Watson and bassist Scott Nelson - the remnants of a Melbourne band once known as The Chelsea Drugstore "spent a couple of years" with the help of other ex-Drugstorees and friends - doing some home recording of their own, producing two albums both self-released in 2007 and 2008.
And, like I said earlier, what great music! The 2007 album has a bit more electric guitar on it and the songs aren't as instantly top-shelf (but after a few listens they do creep up on you). The cover art of the self-titled album shows a ye-olde photo of a brass (?) band standing proudly on the verandah of the local general store. How fitting.
Three Chord Theory is a truly great album and I hope these guys continue following their heart and making music for themselves, that, like all the best honest music, makes other fall in love with it to. - ND