Iron On Oh the Romance

Brisbane’s Iron On have bravely been dipping their toes into the Canadian market with a certain amount of success. They were nominated for Favourite New Artist/International Group Indie Award at this year’s Canadian Music Week (where they lost to Norwegians Rumble In Rhodos) and are currently busy touring their native Australia with Tegan and Sara where they are very likely wiping the stage with the Canuck twins. That’s because down under, Iron On’s reputation has been built on their live shows. And maybe that’s why they’ve taken four years to release their debut album (although there has been a couple of EPs). They’ve spent that time wisely by honing their material and by recruiting esteemed producer Magoo (who has worked with the likes of Midnight Oil) to give the wisdom of his years. He has helped to give the band a bigger sound which is free of clutter, leaving the vocal interplay of Kate Cooper and Ross Hope front and centre. It isn’t a complicated or original approach, but it is very effective when it all comes together. And most of the time it does all come together — Oh the Romance has catchy, energetic songs that are hard not to like. What it does lack though is personality — Iron On are very businesslike and that prevents this from being the triumph it could have been. (New EmPire)