The Drink, The Devil and the Dance – Graveyard Train

Graveyard Train may well be one of the best little things circling the Melbourne local circus, and their release The Drink, The Devil and The Dance is a sinful little delight.
The deceiving album opener ‘The Devil’s Drum’ plays like a call to arms for the wicked. Horns and trumpets welcome the listener into what may possibly become the soundtrack of a spaghetti western, complemented with flamingo guitar lines. The song then initiates the consistent call and response which resonates through the whole album. However, it then steers suddenly away into the macabre of high sea shanties and chain gang ballads.
‘Bit By A Dog’ is such a ballad. Stripped down to a simple guitar, banjo, possibly a washboard and tambourine, the song still retains a thick texture as the vocal lines sustain a haunting depth, resonating through it’s call and response sections. The result plays like a chain gang lead by Nick Cave. Nothing short of a murder ballad.
However, a downfall that becomes present throughout the thirteen morbid contributions to alternative country folk genre is that while at first the call and response techniques place Graveyard Train apart from the pack, they can soon grow a little repetitive, and the CD fails to replicate the full dramatic essence a live performance could capture.
That being said, this is one of the most exciting contributions to the local scene I’ve heard in a long time, and while the album may fall short of capturing the full extent of the bands musicianship, it is nether less a promising body of work from one of the most original acts floating around.
Matt Whiting

Taken from Graveyard Train’s Myspace