Cold Chisel

Cold Chisel

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AllMusic Review by

By the time Aussie rockers Cold Chisel did their sold-out farewell shows at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in December of 1983, they had established themselves as one of the all-time legendary bands down under. But this is the album that lit the fuse in the days when the crowds were eager but thin. After migrating from their home town of Adelaide, South Australia, to the big smoke of Sydney in 1977, the Chisels gained a rep for slugging it out on the pub circuit with an ardor worthy of their illustrious forebears AC/DC. But as Cold Chisel clearly illustrates, Chisel was a band married as much to melody as power. Pianist Don Walker's songwriting reflects an emotional depth and range rarely rivaled by other max-volume outfits. The Vietnam-vet song "Khe Sanh" became one of Aussie rock's most enduring anthems with its punchy piano line and everyman pathos. But full-throttle rockers like "Juliet," "Home and Broken Hearted," and "Daskarzine" -- with Ian Moss' Page/Hendrix-tinted guitar histrionics blitzing away -- packed all the clout pub fans could want. At the other end of the spectrum, gin-soaked ballads like "Rosaline" and "Just How Many Times" reveal the band's predilection for the occasional jazz/blues-inflected number. An enhanced, remastered version of the disc was released in May 2000 and included four bonus tracks. The lyrical imagery, the mix of musical finesse and freneticism, and Barnes' razor-wire vocals all came together in perfect synergy on this stunning debut album. At once polished and raw, this is a classic.

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