Picks and Pans Review: Desperate
updated 04/18/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 04/18/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
There is more than Air Supply and Men at Work going on Down Under. There is Christina Amphlett and Divinyls, too. After forging their identity before hard-drinking bar patrons in the seamy King's Cross section of Sydney, the group has released a debut LP that could give nervy, aggressive rock 'n' roll the kind of boost Men at Work's Business As Usual gave pop and New Wave last year. Home and hearth are not the first things Amphlett's voice brings to mind, yet, sexy as she sounds, there's a girlish vulnerability to her style. She manages to convey a lot of urgency without resorting to screaming. So does the band. Boys in Town is a heart-pounding flight shaped by a taut bass line, quick guitar incisions and Amphlett's dire lyrics, which effectively condense the picture: "I am just a red brassiere/To all the boys in town/Put this bus in top gear/Get me out of here." Like Men at Work, the Divinyls have the skill to vary their pace and tone while creating a consistently identifiable sound. The album is well titled, and in rock 'n' roll, desperation can often be the sound of success.