28 Days - Upstyle Down

If I didn't know better I'd be slightly dubious about 28 Days. After all they hail from the great cultural melting pot that is Australia and history has taught us to beware of any Aussie touting as musicians. Dare I mention a recent episode of Neighbours where the teen lolita Flick persuaded Human Nature to play the deb ball? Now I pretty sure any heterosexual male would have done anything to gain her attention...but you can take a thing too far and I think the 4 guys involved will be hanging there heads in shame right now.

28 Days thankfully are the anti-thesis to all this and I'd like to say they'd never be mentioned in an Aussie soap but there's always the one smart ass middle-class kid with a half decent record collection. Its so hard to classify that I almost reach for Mulder and Scullys number. Try call it punk, hip hop, rock or pop and you'll fall short each time at expressing the 28 Days sound. While being hell for a critic like myself, its great that we can get new music hitting the stores that defies the usual trappings and mingles in the eclectic sub sectors lacking in 2001.

Its funny because just taking a simple look at the previous Australian singles can bring up perhaps unfashionable reference points into society. "Sucker" strangely enough mixes up RATM verses alongside a chorus derivative of Greenday. Ok, they're not exactly obscure death metal references but even with its mainstream potential its more structurally innovative than 99% of rock music today. "Goodbye" takes in a whole host of riffs borrowed from Brit heroes Bowie, Oasis, the Jam and spits its back in the faces of their detractors.

If all this sounds like a musical Chinese Banquet then you can add Run DMC ("Deadly Like"), The Beatles ("Song For Jasmine") and a healthy dose of US skate thrash ("Rollin Gang"). With "Upstyle Down" 28 Days have not only made one of the most adventurous albums this year but also a contender for album of the year.

Alex McCann