The On & Ons Let Their Hair Down
Many years ago I had the occasion to speak with Paul Collins about his touring arrangements (I was given charge of putting together acoustic shows for Paul and John Wicks about that time). That’s when I learned that Paul had a band in waiting for an Australia tour. Turns out, it was The On and Ons. With Let Ya Hair Down (their fifth release), The On and Ons have proven to be so much more than a touring footnote.
I didn’t realize at the time that this “backing band” had quite the lineage. Glenn Morris was with Screaming Tribesmen. Clyde Bramley was the Hoodoo Gurus’ original bass player. And Brian Morris was with brother Glenn in The Zeros. So it isn’t unreasonable to call them an Australian supergroup.
And they’ve proven to be worthy of that label with 2015’s It’s the On and Ons Calling (#6 on that year’s best of list), 2017’s Welcome Aboard (#11 on that year’s list) and Back For More (#14 on 2021’s best of list). The just released Let Ya Hair Down is more of the same. And that’s a very good thing.
Back to Their Power Pop Roots
The title track is a great period piece, employing a killer organ and guitar riff to help create a 60’s beach party vibe. “The Savager” employs a bit of psychedelia and a more muscular guitar sound. Both tracks are stylistic outliers.
But the band is at its best when it leans on its pure power pop roots. “Winter Shade” is propelled by an uber-catchy guitar riff. “Give Me Time” is chock full of guitar jangle and features a memorable, hooky chorus. And “Games People Play” is classic power pop the way God intended it.
Get The On and Ons’ Latest
The On and Ons’ Let Ya Hair Down is a must for any self respecting fan of Australian power pop. Get your copy from Citadel Records or Amazon Music.