After his band Flowers had released Icehouse
, Iva Davies went ahead with what was originally intended to be a solo project, but was eventually released under the new band name of Icehouse (infinitely preferable to Flowers), and so arrived one of Australia's most popular bands of the 80's.
Davies would rarely stray too far from a particular format throughout Icehouse's work, but there's always something worth listening to on each album, and Primitive Man,
very much a synth-dominated pop record, with moments of rock, is one of the best in that regard.
"Great Southern Land" has remained a favourite ode to everything Aussie, and it is pretty good, despite a considerable lack of melody, due to its undeniable mood and atmosphere. The harmonic "Uniform" is another highlight, while "Hey Little Girl" - another popular song by the band - is reasonable.
The true highlight for me however is the soulful "Trojan Blue". The chorus in particular just aches with emotion, helping make the whole song beautiful to listen to. There are other fine moments here and there, and no exceptionally weak track, although Davies can't help but show Bowie influences (and a bit of Jim Kerr) with his vocals during the likes of "One By One" and "Goodnight Mr Matthews".
Icehouse has never been lauded as one of Australia's truly great bands (as far as I'm aware anyway), but they sure had plenty of success in the 80's, and if anyone is interested in what they had to offer, Primitive Man
is as good a place as any to start. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor