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Album Review: Various Artists - Good For You

5 February 2016 | 12:39 pm | Steve Bell

"A fun and inclusive package by a group of friends favouring community over commercialism..."

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Melbourne indie Milk! Records began humbly as a fake entity scrawled on the back of an early Courtney Barnett release to lend it more credence, but has since coalesced into a vibrant roster of artists with shared tastes and agendas.

The label's second compilation shines a light on this happy little group, using Barnett's new global profile for the greater good.

Barnett's own offering Three Packs A Day opens play, a paean to every student's saviour — two-minute noodles rather than ciggies — riding upon a soft 'Lemonheads do country' lilt and her trademark world-weary resignation. As ever Barnett makes much from the seemingly mundane, although a hinted relationship context elevates it far above the mere culinary. The Finks' Moonlighting is beautifully restrained and lyrically strong, highlighting the unabashed talents of ringleader Oliver Mestitz, while Jen Cloher goes early-'90s Aussie indie on Famously Monogamous, channelling bands like Gaslight Radio with its chiming guitars and clipped vocals. Fraser A Gorman is at his cruisy, conversational best with the harmony-laden Skyscraper Skyline Blues, before East Brunswick All Girls Choir throw in the lengthy and poignant Red Wine Lipstick, an earnest tune emphasising tone and emotion. Ouch My Face bring it home with the heavily-affected vocals and faux-aggression of Nice Haircut, their electro-punk bringing some levity to proceedings.

A fun and inclusive package by a group of friends favouring community over commercialism, but well on the way to proving that perhaps you can have it all.

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