Album Review Swap: Shiny Joe Ryan & Gum on each other’s debut records

June 5th 2014


There’s nothing like a bit of sibling rivalry – particularly when there’s music involved.

Perth band-brethren Jay Watson (GUM) and (Shiny) Joe Ryan know this better than anyone – having spent years sharing branches of the infamous WA musical family tree; spanning Tame Impala, Pond, The Growl, Allbrook/Avery, Space Lime Peacock, Mink Mussel Creek and Felicity Groom, just to name a few.

In December last year, their management-turned-label Spinning Top Music announced that:

“Sticking to their promise made earlier this year, good friends, band mates and collaborators GUM (Jay Watson) and Shiny Joe Ryan (Joseph Ryan) will release their debut full length albums on the same day early next year.”

That day (May 30) has just passed – leaving two albums, simultaneously released, to vy simultaneously for our hearts. Instead of picking favourites though, we got the boys to do the tough work for us and review each other’s releases.



Shiny Joe Ryan & The Cosmic Microwave Background’

Reviewed by Gum

Shiny Joe Ryan and the Cosmic Microwave Background. The name says it all. Motorik bliss, flick of the wrist. Give Jerry Garcia a Juno synthesiser and get him going. Whatever Happened to the Space Race indeed. Who is Devonvare $amson? Why didn’t he think it could be love? Only Shiny Joe knows. The first song’s my favourite, I’m Always Wanting More. What a chord progression!! He’s a pop classicist, self-proclaimed “hero of the people”, through a 2 dollar shop filter. Like a ketamine-damaged Elton John, only gayer. In the original sense of the word. He’s got the sunglasses too.

‘Comic Microwave Background’ on iTunes // limited edition vinyl coming soon



‘Delorean Highway’ – Gum

  Reviewed by Shiny Joe Ryan

Gum, ‘Delorean Highway’, an epic name but one appropriate for Jay Watson’s first solo release. The mind of such a hypochondriac pop scholar couldn’t have produced anything different. It is the music of a guy who knows everything about pop music but is influenced undoubtedly by Jay’s own personal taste and character. My favourite song off the album is ‘Summer Rain’, a soppy but undeniably powerful ballad with incredible chords that just moves me. The whole album darts between fast paced pop songs and heart wrenching ballads but all in all is just a fantastic album. Get it in ya like peas and potatoes with a heart roast.

‘Delorean Highway’ on iTunes // limited edition vinyl coming soon



So… who’s the better reviewer, mum?!


RELATED :: Interview: Kevin Parker on the (almost) long lost Mink Mussel Creek album


Host of Thursday Lunch, 1-3pm on FBi 94.5FM.

Read more from Beth Dalgleish