Saturday, July 9, 2011

A song a day: You Am I - Rumble

Even though you're reading this today, I'm writing this in the past (hello from the music criticism past) and on this day legendary Australian boxer Lionel Rose has died. I immediately thought of Rumble by You Am I which has the line:

R.A.D.I.O Hit me just like Lionel Rose

Rose was a living treasure in Australia both as a boxer and a leader of indigenous rights and it's sad to see him go. But when we talk of national treasures, I'd count You Am I as one of those bands that can easily make the pantheon of the country's best. Starting as a desperately talented three piece before expanding into a more considered but nonetheless incredible quintet, You Am I have been releasing great albums for years whether people buy them or not. Frontman Tim Rogers is the an unholy mix of the best of Mick n' Keef with a splash of Pete Townshend at his most furious. The band is anchored by Rusty, a drummer of titantic swing (who also hangs out at my local supermarket Banana Joes!) while Andy Kent pile drive s the groove on bass. They were joined by David Lane in the late 90's to extend the twin guitar attack.

Rumble may not be their best song but this is a band that know a lot about music and their songs have ranged from rabid indie attacks to blissed out sixties pop that the Kinks could only dream of writing. However, Rumble is a fun singalong that gets better with each listen. The cheeky replacement of "R.A.D.I.O" to "Ronnie James D.I.O" in the final chorus shows a band who are not only awesome but are having fun doing it. If you don't know them, you should go and buy some - now.



  1. The thing about You Am I is that they're so damn Australian. I don't mean any disrespect, but I have to look up stuff that Tim Rogers casually throws out all the time- and I've been to Australia for weeks at a time, often enough that it probably adds up to about a season. I can listen to a truly English band like the Kinks or Blur, and get the general idea, no problem, even though I've only been to England twice. But You Am I? Geez, try to listen to Hourly, Daily without living in Australia... I think that's part of what must make them a national treasure- they're so very, very Australian. Oh, and yes, I'm a massive fan of You Am I, as are a handful or three of other Yanks...

  2. Hourly daily is definitely the most Australian of their albums but I think that's great you've taken the time to look up those Australian references. That being said, I think the music definitely transcends the parochial in terms of feel and pure rock power. I'm on their mailing list and saw they're touring the states later in the year for the first time in ages so maybe you and the other two guys who like them might be able to meet up and catch them.

  3. Great choice, great album. #4 Record is very underrated as people always concentrate on Hourly Daily and Hi Fi Way (both also awesome . . .).