2 Disc Special Edition

with a 28 Page Booklet packed with lots of Photos

and Lenny’s terrific drawings and images of all releases.

Free Postage in Australia

Long before Tame Impala, there was Tumbleweed. ‘Twas the early nineties, when Powderfinger was the skinniest next big thing and Spiderbait, Custard and The Meanies were still oddball-fresh, like that newfangled ‘grunge’ word. Sharing band camp with spotty youngsters You Am I, The Fauves and Grinspoon amongst many others, Australian indie rock could only spare a square of fame (or infamy) to “the Weed”, but it’s all they’d need. Radio airplay plus disparate teen spirit saw them infiltrate shared-house record players nationwide, growing virally (pre-internet) from garage le Wollongong one day to The Big Day Out the next. This neat little two-disc package chronicles that whirlwind first three years of studio releases and captures the band at their most creative, credible and unique.

  In 2010/11, now that every eligible band from nineties superfuzz has happily reformed (except maybe Caligula &/or Def FX, or the equally unlikely Incursion or The Fat Thing) we can all smile, sigh and continue. But like long lost friends you’ve hoped haven’t just lost themselves, it’s great to see Tumbleweed not only back but also successfully blitzing the live circuit. There’s some new material in the pipeline too but for now let’s just reminisce. And regardless of how much Tumbleweed stuff you might already have (if any), surely it can’t be all this…

  Both discs are strictly chronological, the first being a complete scoop up and remastered lay down of their rarefied earliest singles and four EPs, while disc two is their 1992 album followed by another EP. Earmarking their classic three-year itch on the Waterfront label, it’s an extremely well presented and inclusive compilation containing artwork and info galore, with absolutely no B-sides omitted. This complete lack of editing does replace some quality with quantity though, as we get the good ‘weed A sides with some not so good B’s. Whilst bearing all and sundry studio output it doesn’t include any live or alternate takes, which compatriots The Hard Ons did superbly on their old Best of & Rarities compo.

  The inclusion of the entire self-titled debut Tumbleweed album is a grand gesture but valid. In the year prior to its release, there’d been huge progression from their debut 7-inch single Captain’s Log b/w Space Friends – in which you can hear them still emerging from the same smoky haze as The Proton Energy Pills and Zambian Goat Herders – to the rebellious scene-stealing single Stoned and mushroom coloured / magic mushroom themed 12-inch vinyl Theatre of Gnomes EP. Tracks like Carousel and Shakedown‘s twirling guitars, fantasy lyrics and extended outro runaways were the keys to alt-Nirvana for waves of Aussie flannel-clad slackers. Then despite its added muscle, the much-anticipated album was almost a tad self-conscious for its predominantly stumbling audience, the band launching a more concise melody-driven route instead of the familiar cascading rambling stoner guitar lines. Today it also (still) sounds great though, especially those nipple-peeling riffs on Sundial, Atomic, Acid Rain, plus the Daddy Long Legs EP.

  The once plentiful merchandise has all but faded away but fortunately Tumbleweed say the fun continues, long hair intact. Amid its rather delicious gatefold packaging adorned by guitarist Lenny’s artwork this lovingly manufactured retrospective from Collingwood’s reissuing label Aztec bears the slogan “preserving Australia’s rich musical heritage”. Richly deserved, both by Tumbleweed and maybe, just maybe the odd new Impala fan.

Review courtesy of http://thedwarf.com.au/album_review/the-waterfront-years-1991-1993

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