There is nothing subtle about The Rules of Attraction, the first album born from the union between Australian rock legend Tim Rogers and up and coming soul group the Bamboos. Nothing is done by halves: even the release’s ‘quiet’ moments drip with excess. But, whoever said restraint was fun anyway? Temperance would have ruined the record, and overall, there is something unabashedly, emphatically enjoyable about this overwrought slice of slick, sensationalist fun.
Album opener S.U.C.C.E.S.S. immediately and vividly establishes the record’s tone. It’s a bopping, bobbing number that is elevated to another level by Roger’s impressive tones. He never overreaches himself, but he knows when it’s appropriate to go for the throat too, and his soulful howl becomes genuinely invigorating by the time the track’s four minutes are up.
It would be wrong, however, to pretend like this is Rogers’ project. The Bamboos prove themselves to be very worthy musicians indeed, and the gyrating grooves of tracks like Better Off Alone and Walk Away, Keep Talking are highlights of the record. Best of all, at no point do Rogers or The Bamboos seem to be in competition. They work fluidly and effectively together, and their styles streamline beautifully, most notably on the retro flavoured Lime Rickey.
Nonetheless, at times things do teeter ever slightly into collapse. The singular vision of the album is admirable, but you can always have too much of a good thing, and the record’s slick, heavily produced sound does stop numbers like Me and A Devil and You Can’t Kill A Man Twice from hitting quite as powerful a note as they should. The album does suffer just a touch from over-length too: at an hour long, The Rules of Attraction slightly overstays its welcome.
But the key word there is ‘slightly’, and such rough edges cease to matter when the album is viewed as a whole. The Rules of Attraction isn’t a vanity project – it’s not a case of an older artist trying to stay hip by recruiting a younger band, and it’s not a case of up and comers trying to find relevance by attaching themselves to a musical legacy either. No: it’s a strong, endlessly euphoric, utterly passionate work that will undoubtedly score your Friday night for some time to come.