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The Music: Psych Class.

20 January 2003 | 1:00 am | Mike Gee
Originally Appeared In

Off With The Hairy.

The Music play the Essential Stage at 3.15pm at the Big Day Out at the Gold Coast Parklands on Sunday.

It's a long way from Kippax, Leeds, to New Jersey, America, whichever way you look at it. Even more so for a trio of school mates and the drummer from the next town down the road whose self-titled debut album has yet to be released in the US. The Music's singer/guitarist Robert Harvey seems remarkably unperturbed though. "It's good people see us before they hear the album," he says on a mobile that ebbs and flows disconcertingly as the their tour bus cuts through the 'burbs. "That way they know what to expect and can get into the songs a little more easily."

You certainly need a presence before releasing a record in the States, no matter if it's as oozed upon by the Brit and Oz press as The Music's debut. And it really is a fine opener. The NME, instantly besotted, acclaimed The Music as "potentially the most important group since Oasis", which - depending on your feelings about the brothers Gallagher and co - may not be saying much at all. The Music have the potential to mix it with the Stone Roses, Primal Scream and The Verve, all of whom they can sound like. Add a healthy dose of U2 and Harvey's Robert Plant-style wailing, the band's penchant for the odd led Zeppelinesque blues-metal histrionic and an obvious love of psychedelia, big atmospheres, and you have The Music. Both shaggy and baggy. Definitely hairy.

"Honestly, we don't worry about what people say about us," Harvey says. "When Steve Lamcq (famous rock journo and Radio 1 DJ) said we were 'the best unsigned band in England' we didn't get over-excited. You can't worry about the so-called pressure or anybody's expectations. All we care about is touring and getting together to write the next album."

What they come up with will be interesting. There are options a plenty. The Music, the album, is one of those records where you can see possible futures every third or fourth chord or harmony. That's the band's strength. They write with an obvious sense of the key elements of a song in mind - hook, harmony, melody - yet they aren't scared to then stretch it all out and see where it goes.

"With the album we just wanted to make it sound as real as possible because we're comfortable with our live sound. We like that tension we get on stage and we wanted to get that onto the record."