Mental as Anything

Cats & Dogs

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

With a great debut and a so-so sophomore effort behind them, it was make-or-break time for the Mentals when they went in to record this, their third effort. With sympathetic production from Bruce Brown and Russell Dunlop, the Mentals created their first true "classic" album, which takes the best elements from their debut album and betters them by leaps and bounds. Greedy Smith's bouncy "Too Many Times" leads off the album like a gunshot starting a race, but there are only winners from here on out. "If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?," a huge single that made them superstars in Australia, is a fantastic blend of pop smarts and roots rock. "Let's Cook" is more fun than the Galloping Gourmet could ever hope to be. "Walking on Rails," "Got Hit," and "Looking for Bird" are meat-and-potatoes rock & roll with hooks aplenty. "Chemical Travel" is an absolute treat with a driving beat. Everyone in the band shines on this album, from Martin Plaza's warm drawl to Reg Mombassa's amazing slide fretwork and Greedy Smith's confident and playful keyboards. O'Doherty and Delisle are the backbone of the album, one of pop music's finest rhythm sections. All in all, a fantastic album that bears repeated listenings.

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