Sydney indie rockers Sticky Fingers are well known for their propensity to throw caution to the wind and give absolutely everything in their increasingly popular live shows. Even though they’ve played plenty of shows this year already, are about to do a national tour, then play a bunch of festivals; they’ll also be embarking on an even bigger Australian tour early next year.
Yes, the band has a larger-than-life stage presence; but their burgeoning success is largely off the back of the music they write and perform, and hasn’t there been plenty of breathtaking tunes from these guys? Now that the wait for their third album Westway (The Glitter and the Slums) has come to an end; Sti Fi are once again ready to go to new heights.
Recorded in Thailand, the 11-track album contains the previously released Outcast At Last, and Our Town – two simply stunning efforts and clear highlights. Knowing the standards set by these singles; it makes sense then to turn to the new tracks – and Sticky really set the tone with the first song One By One. It’s just one of a number of tunes on the record that form an integral part of the uplifting rock/psych/indie vibes that Sticky Fingers have a mortgage on. A collab with Remi called Something Strange also falls into this category, as does Tongue & Cheek, and too the final tune on the LP No Divide.
Even in the more stripped-back efforts on this record, like breakup song Angel, there’s an underlying feeling of heart and hope that make Sticky Fingers relatable for anyone who has suffered heartache or been on hard times. With this record, one gets the feeling that Sti Fi are trying to show there’s always something positive to be taken from tough times, and there’s always a reason to celebrate and be happy.
So although they’ve continued to delve into their niche as a group, there are definitely some tunes on the record that show some serious development and exploration by the band. One that really stands out is the title track Westway, which really tests out a less typical structure – as Sti Fi create something of a soundscape journey rather than a normal verse and chorus; whilst maintaining a very recognisable blend of rock and psych. It’s also the track that probably best shows off Dylan Frost’s vocal diversity and range.
Westway might not be exactly what you would be expecting from Sticky Fingers right now; and it certainly shows off a maturity and development in their songwriting that you’d perhaps expect from a band that had been around for a lot longer than Sti Fi. On this album, Sticky Fingers have backed up their electric live atmosphere with a real, raw and emotion-driven record.