Women in Docs,
Under a Different Sky
(Baria, 2005)

Australian folk duo Women in Docs has released what is easily one of my favorite CDs that I have had the pleasure of listening to in 2006. Under a Different Sky showcases 11 tracks spanning the range of genres from folk to a modern alternative punk tune. Roz Pappalardo and Chanel Lucas have been playing together since 1999 and are based in Brisbane.

Throughout the CD, I am reminded of other bands. "Your Town" sounds like it came straight off a Sundays CD. You might remember that band from the early '90s. The style would be classified as alternative folk. The melody is simple, the accompanying guitar sparse. The vocals carry the piece. The singer invites the one to whom she is singing to move to her town.

Immediately following is a track that would fit right at home on a Corrs' CD, "Fade Away." Sure, the Women's vocals are definitely distinguishable from what you would hear on a Corrs' release. But the fiddle adding a Celtic sound to the song and the lyrics discussing the end of a relationship while the melody evokes happy pop are resoundingly a Corrs' fixture.

"Noise Pollution" is reminiscent of the Breeders or Magna Pop. Again, vocals aside, it is the music I'm talking about. If there is any track that is going to get you up and dancing, it is this one. There is a lot of repetitive percussion and guitar riffs. The oldstyle-sounding keyboard adds to the fun. This is another short track that packs a lot of punch.

Both ladies sing, play acoustic and electric guitars and handle percussion. Chanel also plays bass. On Under a Different Sky, there is a long list of supporting musicians: Ben McCarthy (keyboards, piano, electric and bass guitars, percussion and vocals), Anthony Lycenko (electric and acoustic guitars and vocals), Yann Godillon (drums and percussion), Silas Palmer (violin), Jo Lack, Andrew Maddick, Rhylla Mitchell and Kathryn McKee (all on strings), Christian Pyle (banjo and vocals), Scott Tinkler (trumpet), Dave Sanders (drums) and Mitchell Smith (vocals). There is also a choir consisting of Adam Chakos, Miriam Chapman, Grace Hammond, Domenique Sherab, Matthew Moerig and Billy Marshall.

In many respects, Under a Different Sky sounds like a compilation CD. The music is quite varied. You have folk, country, Celtic pop and punk light. Chanel and Roz are talented musicians and provide good entertainment on this CD. Their vocals are their own even if the styles of their songs are not quite original. If I had one complaint, it would be that the entire CD only clocks in at just over 37 minutes -- long enough to whet your appetite, but not enough to satiate your hunger once you get a taste.

by Wil Owen
16 June 2007

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