The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




MAY 16 2014



Most people either rail against or over-emphasise the importance and quality of their local scene but Perth Australia’s geographical isolation does strange and sometimes wonderful things to the bands that inhabit the planet’s most isolated city. Perth has lots of great bands and whether that’s out of necessity or our unique melting pot of talent is probably only something you can qualify at some point in the future. Either that or you can listen to releases like this and make up your own mind.


Hailmary has long been known locally for their great live show, and with a number of releases under their belts now, it’s always interesting to hear where the ship is headed to. Latest offering ‘Navigate the Sunrise’ is a short five tracks long but displays enough diversity to make you wonder what next for a band that has already taken its primary Alice in Chains influences to their logical conclusion. The answer might well be that they have taken it to surprising new territories and hitherto unexplored continents, as the EP title suggest.


Opening track ‘Liar in My Chair’ seems to draw a line in the sand and say ‘enough of the gunge’ by ironically being possibly their best ever translation of that genre. It’s a sound that fans will be instantly familiar with and its execution is sublime: a fiery opener that shows the band has mastered that particular aspect to their make-up.


Refreshingly and for some perhaps unexpectedly the EP opens up from thereon in and it’s a move that is as welcome as it is unanticipated. ‘Navigate the Sunrise (In the Black Hole)’ shows a more progressive leaning to the band. Melodies fall somewhere near a lighter Soundgarden with a cool pop-oriented sheen. It’s a great hooky chorus that sits on top of a song just off-centre enough to capture your imagination.  ‘Anything is Possible’ that follows has a bigger kick that you can imagine a band like Pearl Jam tackling circa ‘Vs’.


The biggest surprise on the EP is the plaintive ballad ‘Waiting For My Time’ which softly sways in the autumn breeze underpinned by a nice low-key female vocal. It’s a strangely uplifting low key ballad, with a strong soft vocal and a fairly traditional arrangement. It stands up beautifully in isolation but sticks out like a sore thumb sonically. And that I guess is the point as you find yourself wondering what these guys are going to do next!


My favourite track here though is closer ‘My Song’ a great fired up anthem – the kind that Stone Temple Pilots at their peak were producing and it has a riff to hang your hat off. It’s sheer class.


Hailmary has always had a lot to say but on the basis of this EP the next Chapter is going to be the best yet.



by Mark Diggins