Record review: The Preatures – Shaking Hands (2012, EP)

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Formerly known as The Preachers before a potential legal wrangle forced a name change, Sydney Goth/rock/soul quintet The Preatures have made one hell of a second release in Shaking Hands. Having recently toured with the Cairos and Bluejuice, received healthy praise for a breakout performance at the BIGSOUND industry showcase, and inked a deal with a major label, the young band now have a record that goes a long way in justifying the hype. From start to finish it’s an effortlessly cool affair, centred on the distinct vocals of Isabella Manfredi and Gideon Benson. Manfredi’s delivery is at once sultry and seductive in a Chrissie Hynde kind of way, while Benson’s brash vocal power could probably knock out a horse at ten paces. Mixing genres seems to come naturally, as they throw elements of country, soul, and classic rock ‘n’ roll into the mix, with generally good results. Opener and lead single ‘Take A Card’ is an upbeat organ-driven ode to being courted by the wrong type of band manager; “the blander the better, they’ll love you forever” sing both vocalists together before Jack Moffitt’s classy guitar sound and someone screeching like a monkey bring the song to a close. ‘Pale Rider’ is another highlight; the dark country guitar twangs and Manfredi’s smouldering vocals sounding like a female-fronted The Byrds getting introspective. The band’s ambitions are probably revealed by the distinct American flavour throughout, and based on this evidence there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be realised. (Mercury)

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