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Album Review: The 80 Aces - Dollars (2012 EP)

The 80 Aces come from the West Victorian town of Warrnambool and have labelled themselves the town’s second most favourite band and they hope to become “your second favourite band too”. With a sense of humour like that, I’m willing to bet that Warrnambool only has two bands. But aside from trying to be everyone’s second favourite band, The 80 Aces have just released their second EP Dollars.

Dollars is a catchy blend of rock pop tunes that have a gritty underlay and contain absolutely no pretension. The 80 Aces seem like a straightforward band that makes straightforward rock music. Yet there’s an inherent pop element to many of the melodies that will see listeners humming tunes such as “Never Going Home” and “Girl From The Future”. The EP ends on the slightly grittier grunge-like Office Space, which also features a blend of voice harmonies. It’s a fusion that works simply, but it works well.

The main vocalist also seems to be channelling the crooning styles of Robert Smith - imagine Robert Smith’s voice placed in a gritty rock pop scenario and you have The 80 Aces. At times the singing almost feels a bit theatrical such as the opening track, “Magic Shoes”, but overall it provides a nice break from the soft choirboy style that seems to be the fashion.

Dollars is also extremely well produced; it’s rustic enough to contain a rock essence but is clean enough to be accessible. Of course when your EP is produced by Steven Schram, who has worked on albums for Little Red, San Cisco and The Vasco Era, it’s bound to be a pristine work.

Overall if you like your rock music cut, clean and simple then The 80 Aces are bound to please. Dollars isn’t going to go down in musical history, but it is a worthwhile listen.

Review Score: 7.3 out of 10.