Album Review – Marching Out of Time by Popboomerang (2022) (Popboomerang)
After 100+ releases, spanning over 20 years, Australia’s, Popboomerang label decided to call it a day, as founder, Scott Thurling had decided to concentrate more fully on his Sound As Ever 90-99 label.
Of course this is totally forgiven with this 40 track ‘goodbye compilation’ and the fact that he leaves the door open for a possible return with the final gambit of the Bandcamp release bio that states, “You never know! The boomerang may come back…… one day“.
We can only hope ! For Popboomerang has burgeoned a reputation for being the label where all of the bands that do not quite have a natural home, find a loving family. As such this release is dominated by the brilliant misfits of several genres.
Initially they house ‘wonk-pop’. This term, by it’s very nature, perfectly describes acts such as The Crustaceans, Aerial Maps, The Steinbecks, Jane Vs World and The Gaze. All such acts provide pop melodies, that fall in between the crevices of indie-pop, sophisti-pop and twee-pop and is just very much their ‘own thing’. A thing that Thurling plainly loved unearthing.
Similarly the ‘different sorts’ of Pop-Rock is celebrated. Here acts such as Georgia Fields, Nick Batterham and The Solicitors are vibrant and melodic enough to be attached to the genre, but left field enough to never really be accepted fully into its arms.
The same ‘obtuse’ is found in tracks submitted by Russell Crawford, Tamas Wells, Deserters and goyouhuskies. Indie folk? Americana? Australiana? No one really knew and as such they tended to be dismissed, until Popboomerang promulgated their absolute brilliance.
Of course all label owners tend to concentrate upon their first love. In the case of Thurling this affection was almost certainly directed towards the Power-pop genre as superb acts such as Danny McDonald, Starkey,Little Murders, Grand Atlantic, The Killjoys, The Wellingtons and Her Majesty’s Finest, excel on this release with the more traditional 90s pwer-pop sound that did so much to make the label so renowned.
As a label owner myself, when all the shit is happening with trying to keep acts happy (arty types are amoung the most precious and rightly so), balancing budgets (amid ridiculous postal costs) with your own funds and trying to persuade consumers about your perception of musical brilliance, I sometimes wonder whether it is all worth it and why to continue?
Popboomerang and Scott Thurling provide the answer by leaving a back catalogue as a wonderful legacy. I doubt he could ask for more fulfillment than that and this final 40 track hurrah, is a wonderful reminder of his achievements.