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PETER BIBBY’S DOG ACT Whyalla gets 7.5/10


Peter Bibby’s Dog Act

Whyalla
Spinning Top/Caroline

7.5/10

WA’s own musical troubadour Peter Bibby, and his band Dog Act, return with new single Whyalla from the forthcoming LP MARGE (out Friday, September 18 via local legends Spinning Top). Described by Bibby as a “love letter and a cursing damnation to regional Australia” which “goes out to my South Australian people, you know who you are”, the track continues the noiser, distorted blues-rock direction premiered on first single Oceans (released in May) that when fused with Bibby’s uniquely Australian vocal delivery, evoke the ragged landscape and surrounding blue expanse of Australia.

Whyalla jumps out of speakers, led by its distorted, grungy guitars which then eclipse into the sweet, wistful refrain of the chorus, “Whyalla, why won’t be my home?” Clocking in at over six minutes, Bibby and co have more space to experiment and have used the extra room to explore a sonic palette akin to Aussie acts like The Drones or Peep Tempel.

Lyrically, Bibby pays homage to the steel city of Whyalla, the South Australian settlement “just south of Iron Knob” and references the city’s landmarks and its heroes in his typical tongue-in-check way. However, there is a genuine sense of love for the old world in Bibby’s vocals and an emotive declaration not dissimilar to that expressed by Johnathan Richman’s Old World: “I still love the old world/ I wanna keep my place in the old world”.

Ultimately, Peter Bibby’s Dog Act have captured the spirit of Australian rural communities on Whyalla, evoking the harsh-yet-beautiful, simpler times of small towns with their local heroes that are under threat from the ever expanding modern world of technological cities. Heck, they must be doing something right when even the locals share the same sentiment, as evidenced by peoples’ reactions to the track on the city’s newspaper.

MICHAEL HOLLICK

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