Album Review: Ben Ely - Strange Tales Of Drugs And Lost Love

7 September 2017 | 4:35 pm | Mac McNaughton

"Having Ely stripped down to his guitar and fifty-buck amp yields ample intimate rewards."

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Seeing Ben Ely move back to the Brisbane haunts of his formative years perhaps explains the age-conscious banter of recent Regurgitator shows, which also heavily informs his third solo album.

Dispensing with his trademark raucousness, companion songs 1988 and 1989 deliver on the album title's promise with stories from his LSD dabbling, biffo-evading late teenage years. These Strange Tales seem regaled for an Aussie David Lynch movie with the confessional tone of Billy Bragg and the rawness of (The Basketball Diaries author) Jim Carroll. Having Ely stripped down to his guitar and 50-buck amp yields ample intimate rewards.