Tell the Passengers Instead
While Australia has been churning out its fair share of incredible tunes these past couple of years, let’s not forget the musicians who’ve been digging out a path for rock down under before The Temper Trap picked up their first guitars. Mick Turner’s been in and out of bands since the late ’70s, and one can say his experience is laid out before us in his solo effort, Don’t Tell the Driver. A cacophonous practice in tone and mood, it’s the perfect thing to throw on just before the holidays.
The songs are mostly instrumental, with the occasional female vocals popping in to remind you that it’s okay to “feel things.” As a guitarist, Turner helps songs like “All Gone” and “Sometimes” along, just enough for you to appreciate the wet and chime-y percussion and harmonicas. It’s like hopping around a forest with enough energy to burst through the trees, but the weird elf grog you drank earlier only allows you a simple nudge against that cedar.
“Gone Dreaming” is exactly what you’ll be doing while listening to this song. The twinkly guitars, low bass and brushes tapping the snare are the perfect way to lay about when sleeping would be too much of a hassle. It’s slightly reminiscent of Richard Thompson’s Grizzly Man soundtrack. You can hear nature in these songs, although there’s not a bird chirp or duck call in the mix.
The album ends with the honestly titled “The Last Song,” a sweetly confusing piece of carefully placed snare hits and finger-picking. It definitely sums up the album– much like life and nature, there need not be linearity. These short bursts of calming passages and movements sort of creep into the world of “post-rock,” but it’s definitely unique in its own right. Turner, a man who’s been making music for the past three decades, has delivered something truly timeless.