Album: Shangri-La, 2003
Justification: I’m not sure if I’ve ever made this clear, but I assume that you listen to these each day by pumping your speakers up nice and loud and experiencing the song in all its mighty glory. If you haven’t been doing this, might I suggest that you do so for this, because it’s a) awesome and b) incredibly underrated, even going by the always-underrated standards of this Perth-then-Melbourne supergroup. Even the band don’t seem to be too fond of it (it was a notable absence from their career-spanning four-disc set, for one thing) and while I appreciate that songs like ‘Smokin’ Johnny Cash’ and ‘This One Eats Souls’ are incredible, this is my hands-down favourite.
This album got a huge thrashing in the office of Adelaide’s dB Magazine in 2003, not least because it was one of the few records that my colleague Mercedes “Sid” Eyers-White and I could agree on (with ‘Lost in Space’ by Aimee Mann being about the only other one I can recall). The album had a tortured history, being slated to be recorded in 2000 but put on hold as record company buyouts, mergers and fuckups saw MDS (the Susans’ label, formerly known as Mushroom Distribution Services) gutted by Festival Records, who were in turn bought up and slaughtered by Warners as part of the music industry’s early 00s orgy of blood. Hence, the album’s vision of a mythical non-existant paradise seemed damn near prophetic.
This is by far the most upbeat song on the album, the rest being given over to Rob Snarksi crooning melancholic barroom ballads like ‘A Cat Needs a Mouse’ and ‘The Eastern States’, but his authoritative bellow here never fails to raise my spirits – as do lines like “The music plays all night in Shangri-La / And every singer has an endless repertoire” and “it’s breakfast anytime in Shangri-La!” As a man who considers the phrase “all-day breakfast” to be one of the most glorious the English language has to offer, this band are hitting me right where I live.
It’s the last new album the band have done, although they do tour sporadically.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010: None, so let’s have the June 10 choice which is Radiohead’s best video ever: ‘Just’.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2011: Again, June 10 gets an airing with the glacial shoegaze of Slowdive and ‘Alison’.
AND HERE’S THE LAST FIVE…