Dom Mariani - Popsided Guitar 1984-2004:
But wait, as the saying goes, there's more. In October 2004 yet another Mariani-related recording appeared in the shops, this one a 180 degree turn from the solo album. Joining forces with drummer Mickster and bassist Ian Wettenhall of Melbourne garage rockers The Stoneage Hearts, Dom spent time in the studio on and off between April '03 and June '04 working on material that would become Guilty As Sin. Issued as a Stoneage Hearts record by the Off The Hip label (it was subsequently picked up for American release in 2005 by Alive/Bomp!), the album was a dream marriage of chugging, psychedelic pop and unabashedly retroish garage. Shades of the Stems, perhaps?
Indeed, lead off track 'Eye Of A Lie', a Mariani composition, was actually written back in 1984 as a proposed Stems tune while 'Rock'n'Roll Boys, Rock'n'Roll Girls' included on this set was written shortly before he was asked to join the fold, and as Dom himself admits, "I'm never too far away from my sixties garage rock roots. Hooking up with the Stoneage Hearts was a lot of fun. The recording was quick and the music felt very natural to me. I really enjoyed the simplicity of it."
In 2005, it's a completely different world than it was two decades ago when Dom's career was first kicking into high gear with the Stems, something the man tacitly acknowledges when he observes, – "We came out of Perth, the most isolated city in Australia if not the world and you needed to head to either Sydney or Melbourne to get any recognition. The world now seems a smaller place - the classic four-piece rock 'n' roll band is just a small part of things."
That duly noted, however, Dom's determined to keep doing what he's always done, which is to make sure the songs come first. After that, all the other pieces usually fall into place.
"As long as the melodies keep coming, I'll continue to write a song - Melody is King"
There you have it. To listen to the music on these two discs is to be a fly-on-the-wall observing the man's craft evolve and mature over the course of two decades. Yet it's also a remarkably consistent collection of tunes, at times gutsy and brash, others lush and dreamy, without fail pulse-quickening and intensely melodic. As such, it represents one of the more solid bodies of work the Australian pop scene has ever produced. Come to think of it, the entire international pop scene, too.
Liner notes courtesy of Fred Mills (June 2005)