Mick Harvey - Australian Rules

As well as being a founder member of Nick Cave And The Bad Sees Mick Harvey has also been very, successful scoring soundtracks for films such as "To Have And To Hold" and more recently the explosive prison drama "Chopper". His latest venture is his score for the new film from director Paul Goldman, "Australian Rules" which tells the story of a young white boy growing up in a small coastal town. It deals with issues such as relationships, racism, family and courage.

"Australian Rules" is avery difficult album to listen to. It has 23 tracks and with the exception of "What I Done To Her" by Tex, Don and Charlie are all instrumental and all last for just under 2 minutes. So while overall it's exceptionally arranged, produced and painstakingly intricate, it's very bitty and hard to listen to in just one sitting. That said it does contain some mesmerizing and emotional arrangements. Matt Walker on lap steel guitar and Naomi Radom on violin add light and shade to the overall mood this soundtrack has. The music evokes images of the films ideals and compliments the visuals to a high degree.

The most satisfying piece is saved till the end and unlike the other short two minutes or less tracks really builds and has urgency and panache. The self explanatory "End Titles" begins in a low key, almost hypnotic sense then naturally, slowly takes the most simple yet translucent instrumental route to new dimensions.

When both the visuals and the music are experienced together, only then will you appreciate fully the beauty and dramatic tension Mick Harvey and his musicians have gone into making "Australian Rules" a quality album. It's an acquired taste, but one which deserves the time and patience to become accustomed to and enjoy.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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