Album review: Goanna, Spirit of Place (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 20, 1983

By Steve Newton

A very pleasing album of music that falls somewhere between light rock and heavy folk, Spirit of Place is yet another consistent and commercially potent release from Down Under.

Australia’s Goanna band takes the best elements of their countrymates’ music–the lovely vocal harmonies of a Little River Band and the contemporary stylishness of a Men at Work–and fuses them into an acoustic/electric guitar-based sound that is hard to resist.

And lead vocalist/songwriter Shane Howard crafts intelligent, insightful tunes about the spirit of place in Australia, the dangers of nuclear war, the evils of poverty and unemployment. The Goanna band are not just entertainers, they have serious questions to ponder with their music.

Outstanding cuts include “Children of the Southern Land” and “Razor’s Edge”. Were those songs to get even a wee bit of airplay in Canada they would surely make Goanna a favourite of many.

 

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