Midnight Oil- Here Come the Mummies- White Buffalo Woman- Another Lost Year

Midnight Oil
Essential Oils


Fans of this Aussie band should really like this 2-CD compilation as it not only collects the band's many hits but also includes deep album tracks, including selections from before the band broke big stateside. The band put out four releases before they started racking up major sales and eight of the included tunes, including the twangy, Ventures-like instrumental "Wedding Cake Island" are drawn from those lesser-known efforts, Midnight Oil, Head Injuries, Bird Noises and Place Without a Postcard. The voice of singer Peter Garrett is instantly recognizable on the early tunes but the band had not yet polished their knack for setting politically-charged themes to radio-ready pop hooks. They found the formula in 1983 though and began a decade-long run of ruling radio and MTV with hits "Power and the Passion," "Best of Both Worlds," "Beds are Burning," "The Dead Heart," "Blue Sky Mine," "Forgotten Years" and "King of the Mountain," all included here. Midnight Oil's popularity started to wane around 1993 but the hits are bookended here by nine cuts from their most recent albums through 2000's The Real Thing.

Here Come the Mummies


This band has a penchant for getting a little bit naughty with their lyrics (add a second "t" to the last word in "Everything But" and you get the idea) but they are not to be mistaken for a novelty act just because they call themselves Here Come the Mummies. Completely to the contrary, HCTM are a funk/pop band and Cryptic is packed with fun and hook-filled dance numbers; "Infinity" is done in the style of late-'70s disco pop but most of the album has a much earthier sound, often recalling something from Rick James, Parliament or the funky side of the Bee Gees.

White Buffalo Woman
The White Buffalo Woman EP

Beef and Cheese

Evan Rutledge, the singer for White Buffalo Woman, has a soulful voice that's similar to that of Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band and the four tunes on this EP, the spritely pop of "On My Own," the smoky barroom pleading of "Baby Please," the somewhat eerie, organ-enhanced rocker "Because of Your Love" and the gritty "You Will See" all sound very much like deep album tracks J. Geils at their best.

Another Lost Year
Better Days


This alt metal quintet has a sound that is not unlike that of Nickelback but Another Lost Year doesn't have a disliked lead singer betrothed to Avril Lavigne. That means that when people talk about the band they're doing it because of the music: driving, well-written radio rockers like "What You Deserve," "Your Last Goodbye" and standout "All That We Are." With tunes that are angst-y but not angry, ALY also sounds good toned down a bit, like on "Angels" where Kiwi songstress Lish joins Clinton Cunanan at the mic and on the acoustic guitar backed and orchestrated "Come and Gone."

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