We were immediately transported to a land of surf-westerns, and the effect was spellbinding. Their collection of original songs and instrumentals was much more than smart pastiche. It was delivered with style, humour and conviction. Culturazi
Mikelangelo & The Tin Star are a fucking experience. Yes, the music is great – it’s fabulously sexy and nostalgic – Sounding like a spaghetti western blended with a Beach Boys sex party. Paper Deer
The album is the brainchild of prolific and critically acclaimed Australian performer, singer and songwriter Mikelangelo. He formed The Tin Star in Melbourne in late 2009, inspired by a love of 50’s and 60’s instrumental guitar music and Western cinema soundtracks. Together the group have pioneered their own Surf ‘n’ Western sound.
Their debut album was produced by the band’s German-born lead guitarist and studio wunderkind Fiete Geronimo Geier at his home in Melbourne (Ebden Studios) throughout 2010 and early 2011. The album features nine tremolo-laden originals with wall of sound of guitar atmospherics and a strong pop sensibility. The album is split between vocal songs, including lead album tracks Midnight Flower and Action (Is My Middle Name) and dynamic instrumental rock tunes with a distinctive retro-allure.
Mikelangelo speaks of his inspiration behind the songs he wrote for the album: “Certain albums can shape your perspective on music. There was an old record in my father’s collection – Al Caiola’s ‘Solid Gold Guitar’ – that was very influential on me when I was young. Al’s smooth tremolo tones took me to another world, the thrilling western tunes, the dreamy late night Latino numbers, and the cool go-go tracks. I listened to that album throughout my childhood and now, as a man, I walk down the street whistling melodies for my own instrumental guitar tunes.”
With echoes of The Shadows, The Ventures, Dick Dale and Link Wray, Mikelangelo’s instrumentals find great realisation in the playing of The Tin Star’s lead guitarist Fiete Geronimo Geier. His tone, style and ability show him as an inspired musician, totally capable of holding his own in the company of these guitar luminaries.
The sultry songstress Saint Clare, who has become a big part of The Tin Star’s touring live show, makes her assured recording debut on The Surf ‘n’ Western Sounds Of… Her dreamy vocals add layers of mystery, playfulness and dark sexuality to the latter part of the record. She duets with Mikelangelo on lead album track Midnight Flower and with guitarist/producer Fiete Geronimo Geier on the haunting closing song of the album, which is his composition and lead vocal.
The line up of Mikelangelo and the Tin Star consists of:
Mikelangelo – Lead Vocals, acoustic & electric guitar
Fiete Geronimo Geier – Lead Guitar, backing vocals (lead vocal on track 9)
Gareth Hill – Bass, Backing vocals
Pete Olsen – Drums, Percussion & Backing Vocals