Zac Gunthorpe w/ The Brown Byrds(AUS)
Supported by Mexico City
Zac Gunthorpe w/ The Brown Byrds
Have you heard? The Laurel Canyon sound is back! No, it’s true! In California, there are all manner of lank-haired, trust-fund youngsters brandishing exquisite vintage equipment and worshipping at the alter of Buffalo Springfield/CSN/Byrds, et al. And they’re making money, goddamit!
Zac Gunthorpe had been waiting for this moment all his life. Biding his time in a quiet Australian seaside hamlet; nightly watching The Last Waltz and memorizing every line; painstakingly learning every chord Neil Young ever strummed; growing his hair and suede-brushing his vintage tasseled jacket. He was R-E-A-D-Y to take those Californian sissies head on! And yet, his diabolical plan went awry somewhere between conception and execution. That infuriating, irreproachably honourable, Andrew Morris (Wilson Pickers, etc), cooked up some nauseating notion of home-recorded integrity, talked Gunthorpe out of spending his entire inheritance on flying to ‘The Canyon’ to record straight to tape on the very studio desk that David Crosby once vomited on, and instead lured him to his own modest seaside home-studio to record.
The results are what you have before you. Disappointingly, they don’t sound one bit derivative. Hell, they’re not even retrospective! No epic guitar solos recorded backwards at midnight on a blue moon. No posse of hopped up pro musicians. No drugs, no sex, very little rock and roll. Just a young man with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica finding his own voice.
I’ve been waiting for so awfully long.. That I saw the moon turn blue…
So goes the opening line of the closing track from When The Day Goes Dark (Plus One Records), the latest missive from Brisbane’s Mexico City. In that time the lads have been busy starting families (three marriages and seven kids between them since 2009) and putting food on the table, while scratching around for time to record their third full-length record.
But good things come to those who wait, and When The Day Goes Dark delivers on the promise of the band’s previous releases in emphatic fashion. Combining the sombre moodiness of their debut album, 2006’s Black Comedy (Reverberation), with the maturing songwriting of Brown Bird, When The Day Goes Dark sees Mexico City dig even deeper into the stories that surround them. And what a wait it’s been, coming six years after the band’s sophomore album, 2009’s epic Brown Bird (Plus One Records).
Combining songs recorded by Jeff Lovejoy (Tex Perkins, The Cruel Sea) and Jamie Trevaskis (Robert Forster, Texas Tea) between 2010 and 2014, When The Day Goes Dark reconfirms Mexico City’s status as one of Australia’s best-kept secrets. But don’t take our word for it. Take a listen and discover for yourself.