Arts & Entertainment


Dom Mariani, a seasoned songwriter and singer for seminal Aussie psych-pop legends The Stems, steps forward in the midst of his second age to recount his songwriting career with a collection of stripped-back versions of songs from his catalogue. Normally alarm bells would ring here – aging rocker goes acoustic for a greatest hits play-list – but this is different. Firstly, it should be pointed out that Mariani wrote some genuinely great songs – songs that shine through as true pop statements, regardless of the format in which they’re played. And Mariani has not decided to opt for a super-clean, adult contemporary approach to performing these semi-acoustic numbers. Instead he’s recruited a band of close friends and perform the songs in a relaxed, rough-hewn way that feels at keel with the garage leanings of the Stems. Highlights here are Melt, a particularly weary and bittersweet rendition of the Them classic Here Comes The Night, and of course, the 12-string-laden power-pop heart-breaker At First Sight, which, like Big Star’s September Gurls, never fails to raise a flutter in the chest. Great stuff.