THE WARRATAHS: Keep on
By Mark Laurent
The Warratahs are a Kiwi institution, and possibly the ideal pub band. This is their sixth album and in many ways it sounds like any Warratahs' album which is not a bad thing - these are good songs. Heavily influenced by Americana (note the toy cowboy wagon cover photo) there's still something very NZ about the way these guys play and Barry Saunders' lyrics have a definite 'down under' flavour, especially on tracks like The Devil I Know and Down Reefton. A couple of numbers, BIack Eyed Girl and Peggioh, had me reaching for the booklet to see if they were arrangements of old folk songs, but that's just because Saunders has a penchant for reinventing classic hooks. There are a couple of nice instrumental tracks too, including an un-credited one featuring Nik Brown's fiddle and mandolin, which could be an out-take from the Cold Mountain soundtrack. This is a nice, live sounding, well-performed set which doesn't add a lot that's new but should keep any Warratahs fan very happy.