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The DomNicks

Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia | INDIE

Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia | INDIE
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"Hey Rock 'n' Roller review"


Big Takeover

4 February 2010

The DomNicks – Hey Rock ‘N’ Roller (Off the Hip)

by Michael Toland

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Here’s a mind-meld I didn’t see coming: Australian underground rock legend DOM MARIANI (STEMS, SOMELOVES, DM3, STONEAGE HEARTS) teams up with British punk & roll journeyman NICK SHEPPARD (the CORTINAS, the CLASH of Cut the Crap) to form the DOMNICKS. Eschewing both the power pop that’s Mariani’s forte and the punk with which Sheppard is most associated, the DomNicks instead explore the R&B roots of garage rock for an EP that owes as much to blue-eyed soul as stripped-down rock & roll. It’s a fine line to walk, but the band (the songwriters plus rhythm section) does it with style and substance. Sheppard proves to be a fine singer, even if he sounds unnervingly like DELBERT MCCLINTON at times, and he’s a strong writer as well, with a working-class sensibility that sets his tunes above simple garage soul retreads – cf. “Party’s Over (Part 2)” and “Busted.” Mariani contributes only two songs, but both “Honeypot” and “Already There” reaffirm what a masterful tunesmith, vocalist and guitarist he is. At only seven tracks, Hey Rock ‘N’ Rollers may feel a bit brief, but for the DomNicks it’s a kickass start.

- The Big Takeover


"Super Real Album Review"

THE DOMNICKS scorching new album 'Super Real'..

18/09/2012 , 3:14 PM by David P. Weber



'Super Real' is the best WA rock album of 2012 so far. It's ripe for national attention (at least!).

A former member of The Clash, Perth resident Nick Sheppard has been playing with local legend Dom Mariani in The Domnicks for some time now and 'Super Real' is their long awaited and most welcome LP.

For those not in the know, Mariani has helped steer a variety of quality rock acts such as The Stems, DM3, The Majestic Kelp, The Someloves, and Datura. He's also released excellent solo recordings.

The other Domnicks members are also veterans of the scene-- bassist Howard Shawcross (The Elks) and drummer Marz Frisina (The Chevelles).

The album sounds like a nice slice of sleazy rock, the likes of which The Rolling Stones made-- or were trying to make-- in the early 1970s. Writing duties are shared, with Sheppard notching the lion's share.

Sheppard's catchy, unpretentious lead single "Cool Runnings" is one of those perfect summer songs that could've emerged from California in the early 1970s. "Reconcile" and "Wonder What You're Doin' Now" are nice slices of the kind of Byrds-via-Faces sound that Mariani long ago stamped for himself.

Then there's a brace of Sheppard tracks. "Colour Me Gone" slides around uneasily with a yearning guitar line, before spanning out into a warm pay off coda that you don't want to end. "I Don't Wanna Live Like That" is as down and dirty as the title suggests, "Winter" is a curious, almost uplifting track, and then we get the boogie-driven title track which breaks into a groovy jam.

"Too Late" should probably be the second single, featuring a shout-out chorus, an ascending horn line and a blazing guitar solo. Dark but still fun. The album closes with "Miracle"; a great rocker which hangs together like a rolling cartwheel. This should be the third single.. if not the second!

There are sinful covers of "I Woudn't Treat A Dog" and "Black Eyed Girl", and a steaming version of Robert Parker's "Where The Action Is". Some tracks sport a keen horn section-- very sweet to hear in an album released in 2012.

There are loads of rock songs that are less interesting than all of these which nevertheless receive high rotation on Perth's radio stations. The Domnicks should replace these acts. Firstly, because they're local. Secondly, because our ears would be better for it.

They're smoky but melodic tracks and are thus even attuned to ABC airplay.

The album's out on the classic rock label Citadel, with a bursting light colour cover straight out of 1975..

The launch is on SEPTEMBER 22nd at Mojos, where part of the video clip for "Cool Runnings" was shot (see it, the video takes in several sites in picturesque North Freo).

If you miss the launch, the band's sure to be playing around so keep a lookout.

###
- 720 ABC Perth


"Super Real Album Review"

CD – THE DOMNICKS – Super Real

Shane | Sep 21, 2012 |






Label: Citadel
Date: 22 September 2012
By Shane Pinnegar
10/10

The Domnicks boast an impressive pedigree: Dom Mariani (The DM3, The Someloves, The Stems) brings his jangle pop and 60’s garage guitar riffing, fellow Nick Sheppard (The Cortinas, The Clash) has one foot in punk attitude and one in the glorious simplicity of early soul, r&b and rock and roll, Howard Shawcross (The Elks, The Jackals, Dave Warner’s From The Suburbs) boasts forty years thumbing his four-string, and drummer Marz Frisina (The Chevelles, The New Egyptian Kings, The Calhoons) is a veteran of a myriad of surf-punk and indie-rock outfits.

With such rich pegigrees, Super Real ends up being quite the homage to rock and roll’s early days – there’s a glorious simplicity in the songwriting and performances that you rarely hear nowadays.

With about two thirds of the vocals by Sheppard, most of the rest are taken by Mariani (usually on the songs they individually brought to the table), and Shawcross gets to pitch in a heavy hitter with the famous Bobby Bland tune I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me).

Opener and first single (as part of a double A side vinyl single) Cool Runnings is summery pop n’ roll par excellence – it’s melodies burrowing deep, and quickly, while a potted history of rock n’ roll plays out in the lyrics – Doodle-Langs abound from the backing singers (Courtesy of Monica Guerrini) and even Jamaican dancehall MC Dr Alimantado’s The Best Dressed Chicken In Town gets a mention.

Reconcile is Mariani at his garagey best evoking the spirit of early Faces or Stones, and Sheppard’s gruff take on Robert Parker’s Let’s Go Baby (Where The Action Is) is channelled directly from early club-era The High Numbers (The Who’s original name) in all their R&B glory.

I Wonder What You’re Doin’ Now is another of Mariani’s instantly accessible guitar-pop classics and was recently found sharing the Cool Runnings Double-A side vinyl single.

Colour Me Gone is another Stonesy rocker with a raw, garagey soul feel. Through this lament Sheppard pours his heart out at the same time as putting his foot down. Another fine example of what Keef Richards calls “the ancient art of weaving” as Mariani and Sheppard’s fiery guitars snake around each other.

I Don’t Wanna Live Like That starts with a grungey Spoonful-like riff, and Winter throws down some laid back and twangy sitar. The boogie chug and jammy feel of the title track belies another simple yet catchy hook, and Beautiful Black Eyed Girl is funky R&B soul full of Stax horns of the kind they simply don’t make any more.

Sheppard’s Too Late turns the rock n’ soul up to ten a la The Small Faces or Humble Pie, whilst Mariani flexes his muscles with some Hendrix styled lead guitar. The Shawcross-sung I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog is full of early 70’s soulful Stonesy swagger, before Miracle closes things out in high-powered Faces/Stones style.

Super Real is an album which beats with the heart and soul of rock n’ roll, and the sheer love of early Faces, Stones, Small Faces, Humble Pie, strutting soul & grooving r&b sides and, quite simply, great music. Super Real is the music lovers feel good hit of the year.
- 100% Rock Magazine


"Super Real Album Review"


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Super Real


The Domnicks
Super Real

12 Track, LP (2012, Citadel)
Related: The Domnicks, Dom Mariani.



Thirty years ago, John Needham’s band Minuteman recorded a now-classic single, ‘Voodoo Slaves’. While the song itself has become the province of collectors and the occasional compilation of Australian independent music, ‘Voodoo Slaves’ might be best remembered for being the first release on Needham’s Citadel Records label. At the height of the label’s output – some years before the major labels fellated the independents into corporate submission – Citadel released records by The Died Pretty, The New Christs, The Trilobites, Wet Taxis, The Screaming Tribesman, The Stems and The Moffs. Anyone after a succinct lesson in the brilliance of the 1980s Sydney garage and power-pop scene need go no further than Citadel’s Take Everything, Leave Nothing compilation – if you can find a copy, that is.

Save for the very occasional release, Citadel has been largely moribund in recent years. Now, just in time for its 30th anniversary, comes a rare Citadel full-length release: The Domnicks’ Super Real. The Domnicks comprise Perth garage and power-pop legend Dom Mariani (The Stems, DM3) – whose composition ‘Make You Mine’ remains one of the all-time great Citadel releases – and Nick Sheppard. Sheppard’s pedigree is less recognised in his adopted country of Australia: he was in The Cortinas, one of the more obscure (but still provocative) English punk bands of the 1970s; later on, when Mick Jones found himself turfed out of The Clash, Sheppard was enlisted as his replacement, remaining with the band until it fizzled out in 1986.

Super Real is, in pithy terms, power-pop with soul. The album comprises predominantly Sheppard’s originals, punctuated with a couple of Mariani’s tracks and the odd cover. With the notable exception of the opening ‘Cool Runnings’ – which could be the power-pop soundtrack for an FM radio campaign glorifying the wonders of a Perth Sunday afternoon – Sheppard’s tracks tend more toward the English soul and r’n’b style that lay just beneath English punk bands like The Jam.







‘Colour Me Gone’ is reminiscent of the Orange Juice; ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Like That’, with its dirty harmonica and primitive blues licks, throws back to the r’n’b attitude of Dr Feelgood. ‘Winter’ has a hint of The Lovetones’ pop, but without the psychedelic wash. ‘Super Real’ rolls its hips and shoulders with swagger and mod attitude. ‘Too Late’ might be a lost West Coast soul track from 1978, loitering around on an obscure LA album wasted under the weight of gratuitous production and cocaine psychosis – not that either of those attributes are present here, thank god. ‘Miracle’, the closer, is classic rock ’n’ roll with just a hint of Status Quo’s patented blue-denim rock riffs and a lyrical narrative as simplistic as it is amusing, in a subtle sort of way.

Mariani’s tracks are further evidence of his power-pop genius. ‘Reconcile’ is the time-honoured teenage love song, replete with elegant melodies, bashful attitude and vaguely expressed regret. ‘I Wonder What You’re Doin’ Now’ might be the track Paul Weller left off Our Favourite Shop (or even Cafe Bleu), and sparkles with uber-cool post-mod style. The covers sit perfectly within The Domnicks’ broader context – Robert Parker’s ‘Let’s Go Baby (Where the Action Is)’ is given the sincerest of treatment (though part of me wonders what The Horrortones could do to the song). ‘Black Eyed Girl’ – not the track recorded by The Bob Seger System – is all hip-thrustin’ goodness, while Bobby Bland’s ‘I Wouldn’t Treat a Dog (The Way You Treated Me)’ is so soft and groovy that you barely even notice the self-pity of the lyrics.

It’s been a long and hard road for Citadel Records, and it’s good to see it’s still around. It’s been super real; so, too, are The Domnicks.

by Patrick Emery
- Mess and Noise


"Rewind and Play - Album Review"

Rewind and Play - Dom Mariani
by Patrick Emery
With The Stems now in permanent hibernation - save of course, for the odd national and international pseudonymous gig - Dom Mariani has been released to write more music outside of the garage confines of The Stems. But before indulging his other outlets even the DM3 seem to be half a chance, if the stars line up - Mariani has decided to accept the offer to put out a record on the Liberation Blue label, and to breathe more life into his already thriving back catologue.
Rewind and Play covers a section of Mariani's career comprising his sonegs from The Stems, The Someloves,DM3 and his solo career. While many of the tracks featured are already undeniable classics - The Stems "At First Sight" (surely verging on the pinacle statement of adolecent love), The Someloves "Melt" (Twenty years on, still one of the most dazzling Australian pop songs ever written) and the DM3's subliminally seductive "Just Like Nancy" - on Rewind and Play Mariani wipes awy the garage fuzz and Power Pop production to highlight the elegance of the songs themselves. On The Someloves "Know You Now", the combination of piano and acoustic guitar exposes the pop sensibilty of the original, the version of The Stems "For Always isn't far from the original, but who's complaining. The DM3 tracks - Take it All, Show You, Everything That You Told Me, Second Floor - are just as enticing as ever, stripped back to a basic formula.
On the solo front, throws in a new tear-jerking version of When it Ends, while for a window into his early garage influences, there's acover of Them's "Here Comes the Night". Perhaps the most intriguing r-interpretation is the vaguely countrified version of "Undying Love" from The Stems final album "Heads Up". Dom Mariani didn't need to release Rewind and Play to demonstrate the perenial quality of his song-writing. But now that the album's with us, it's another telling reminder of just how good Mariani's songs are. - Beat Magazine


"Dom Marianii Interview - talking about The Stems new album Heads Up"

Interview by THE BARMAN
Live Photos by KARENA HOYER

It's less than a week after the Clash of the Titans tour pitted the Hoodoo Gurus, Radio Birdman and The Stems against each other on a national tour around Australia. Stems singer-guitarist Dom Mariani is on the line from his Fremantle home, expressing quiet disbelief.

"Really? Is that what they said?" questions a stunned Stem to news of consensus among punters in various online forums that his band matched - andat times scored a TKO - over their bigger name headliners.

"That's great but it was just really fun to be on tour with those guys, to share a stage and to see them play.

"We just wanted to show we're a rock and roll band," he adds almost as an after-thought. It's a comment that pops up a couple of times - notably, regarding the band's new album "Heads Up".

If there were any doubts that The Stems could be a viable concern two decades on from their original split, "Heads Up" proves their place in today's musical scheme of things.

It's a return to the band's original early '80s rock roots and a deliberate move away from the classy but radio-sanitised pop of their only album. "At First Sight Violets Are Blue".


Richard Lane cooks up a storm on harp.

"The hooks are there but it's more a rock record," Mariani says.

"We started recording songs for a proposed new album a few years ago at Off the Hip in Melbourne.

"We put down five songs, which included some covers, and went back to Perth to do some more work on it. The original idea was to release an album and tour Europe in 2005.

"As we working on these tunes it became apparent that we hadn't spent a lot of time on really nailing the arrangements and sounds. The songs seemed underdeveloped.

"We knew that we could do a way better record if we put our minds to it, so the decision was made to scrap these recordings and use them as demos. Recording for the new album proper started in January this year and completed in Cincinatti in May.

"We recorded the album in Perth in an analogue studio using old equipment...small vintage amps , a '60s kit and the original fuzz box I've always used. I think it's fair to say that it's more like the band was when it first started out."

Make no mistake: "At First Sight Violets Are Blue" is still a great album - mostly because the songwriting of Mariani and keyboardist/guitar sparring partner Richard Lane shines through. Production-wise, it was a sharply different proposition to the preceding run of two singles "Make You Mine" and Tears Me In Two") and an EP ("Love Will Grow - Rosebud") on Citadel.

Citadel boss John Needham once described The Stems as "my Music Machine" and their tough cross of Pretty Things/Yardbirds/Chocolate Watch Band rock-pop set a benchmark in the 1980s that waves of succeeding bands could only hope to match.

"At First Sight Violets Are Blue" marked The Stems moving to a major label - and the beginning of their end, at least in their original lifespan.

"I think the pressure of being on the road all the time just built up. I quit and the band fell apart," Dom recalls. "I got ill - got depression - and it took a while to come out of it."

It's the first time to my knowledge that Dom's spoken on the record about that period and it provides a basis for at least two songs on the new album.

" 'Surround Me' is a Dave Shaw tune and possibly my fave on the album,"he says.

"I really enjoyed putting this song together with Dave (but) the lyrics are close to bone as I spent five years fighting depression and 'Leave You Way Behind' " deals with the same thing.

"It does make 'Mr Misery' (from the first album) cruelly ironic. The dark humour behind that song was written as a response to Richard Lane's 'Rosebud'."

Post The Stems break-up, Mariani's dipping a toe back in the water with the studio-only Someloves started him on a part-time powerpop path that continued with DM3, the Stoneage Hearts and (more lately) The Majestic Kelp, but the demands of the business of music - and whatever shadows they brought with them - were kept at bay.


Julian Matthews on bass.

The other Stems dabbled in music - bassist Julian Matthews was briefly in DM3 and the Shivers, while drummer Dave Shaw played in The Neptunes and Richard Lane with the The Chevelles - but the band never convened in full until 1997 with a spate of two shows.

"We only played the West Coast and the shows went so well that we wished we'd done more and gone over East," Dom says.

"It wasn't until 2003 that we actually toured the east coast and were amazed at how well we were received."

Things grew from there into a second East Coast tour with the likes of the Crusaders and Even, a run through Spain and an appearance at Little Steven's Underground Garage Festival in New York City, on a bill that included Iggy and the Stooges, the Dictators, the Pretty Things, the Chocolate Watch Band and the Electric Prunes.

"That was so great, esp - i94Bar webzine


"Dom Marianii Interview - talking about The Stems new album Heads Up"

Interview by THE BARMAN
Live Photos by KARENA HOYER

It's less than a week after the Clash of the Titans tour pitted the Hoodoo Gurus, Radio Birdman and The Stems against each other on a national tour around Australia. Stems singer-guitarist Dom Mariani is on the line from his Fremantle home, expressing quiet disbelief.

"Really? Is that what they said?" questions a stunned Stem to news of consensus among punters in various online forums that his band matched - andat times scored a TKO - over their bigger name headliners.

"That's great but it was just really fun to be on tour with those guys, to share a stage and to see them play.

"We just wanted to show we're a rock and roll band," he adds almost as an after-thought. It's a comment that pops up a couple of times - notably, regarding the band's new album "Heads Up".

If there were any doubts that The Stems could be a viable concern two decades on from their original split, "Heads Up" proves their place in today's musical scheme of things.

It's a return to the band's original early '80s rock roots and a deliberate move away from the classy but radio-sanitised pop of their only album. "At First Sight Violets Are Blue".


Richard Lane cooks up a storm on harp.

"The hooks are there but it's more a rock record," Mariani says.

"We started recording songs for a proposed new album a few years ago at Off the Hip in Melbourne.

"We put down five songs, which included some covers, and went back to Perth to do some more work on it. The original idea was to release an album and tour Europe in 2005.

"As we working on these tunes it became apparent that we hadn't spent a lot of time on really nailing the arrangements and sounds. The songs seemed underdeveloped.

"We knew that we could do a way better record if we put our minds to it, so the decision was made to scrap these recordings and use them as demos. Recording for the new album proper started in January this year and completed in Cincinatti in May.

"We recorded the album in Perth in an analogue studio using old equipment...small vintage amps , a '60s kit and the original fuzz box I've always used. I think it's fair to say that it's more like the band was when it first started out."

Make no mistake: "At First Sight Violets Are Blue" is still a great album - mostly because the songwriting of Mariani and keyboardist/guitar sparring partner Richard Lane shines through. Production-wise, it was a sharply different proposition to the preceding run of two singles "Make You Mine" and Tears Me In Two") and an EP ("Love Will Grow - Rosebud") on Citadel.

Citadel boss John Needham once described The Stems as "my Music Machine" and their tough cross of Pretty Things/Yardbirds/Chocolate Watch Band rock-pop set a benchmark in the 1980s that waves of succeeding bands could only hope to match.

"At First Sight Violets Are Blue" marked The Stems moving to a major label - and the beginning of their end, at least in their original lifespan.

"I think the pressure of being on the road all the time just built up. I quit and the band fell apart," Dom recalls. "I got ill - got depression - and it took a while to come out of it."

It's the first time to my knowledge that Dom's spoken on the record about that period and it provides a basis for at least two songs on the new album.

" 'Surround Me' is a Dave Shaw tune and possibly my fave on the album,"he says.

"I really enjoyed putting this song together with Dave (but) the lyrics are close to bone as I spent five years fighting depression and 'Leave You Way Behind' " deals with the same thing.

"It does make 'Mr Misery' (from the first album) cruelly ironic. The dark humour behind that song was written as a response to Richard Lane's 'Rosebud'."

Post The Stems break-up, Mariani's dipping a toe back in the water with the studio-only Someloves started him on a part-time powerpop path that continued with DM3, the Stoneage Hearts and (more lately) The Majestic Kelp, but the demands of the business of music - and whatever shadows they brought with them - were kept at bay.


Julian Matthews on bass.

The other Stems dabbled in music - bassist Julian Matthews was briefly in DM3 and the Shivers, while drummer Dave Shaw played in The Neptunes and Richard Lane with the The Chevelles - but the band never convened in full until 1997 with a spate of two shows.

"We only played the West Coast and the shows went so well that we wished we'd done more and gone over East," Dom says.

"It wasn't until 2003 that we actually toured the east coast and were amazed at how well we were received."

Things grew from there into a second East Coast tour with the likes of the Crusaders and Even, a run through Spain and an appearance at Little Steven's Underground Garage Festival in New York City, on a bill that included Iggy and the Stooges, the Dictators, the Pretty Things, the Chocolate Watch Band and the Electric Prunes.

"That was so great, esp - i94Bar webzine


"Dom Mariani article"

Dom Mariani: An Appreciation
Submitted by djbrian on Thu, 2008-11-13 14:17. garage rock | Nuggets | power pop | psychedelia | The Total Experience
Dom Mariani: An Appreciation

Trying to get your head around Dom Mariani’s long and wide-ranging musical career can be both a confusing and an exhilarating adventure. Every time you get a handle on one of the great bands he’s been in, you find that there is another one to learn about. As you sort though all of this, two things become very clear: (1) Mariani has a deft touch and keen musical instincts, allowing him to approach each of his projects with command (2) You should never expect one Mariani band or project to sound like the one that came before it.

Mariani formed ‘60’s garage revivalists the Stems in Perth, Australia in the early 80s. The band released a smattering of singles and an album, At First Sight Violets are Blue (1987), that stand up to the best of all the fuzz psych releases circulating the indie markets at that time (think Fleshtones/Telltale Hearts/ Lyres/Chesterfield Kings/Vipers, et al). Their sublime track “She’s Fine” was included on Rhino’s The Children of Nuggets, a box set of songs by ‘80’s bands influenced by ‘60’s psychedelia and garage. But just as the Stems were promoting their first long player, and as they were enjoying both critical acclaim and success on the Independent charts in Australia and other parts of the world, they broke up.

“I was always into ‘60’s music, but originally maybe just the more well known bands, like the Beatles, Stones, and Kinks,” Mariani told me over the phone recently, by way of describing his personal musical evolution leading up to the formation of the Stems. “But then I discovered the Nuggets double album, and the Electric Prunes Underground record, so I saw there was this other kind of thing from the ‘60’s, which was more like garage rock, and I got totally into that.”

Mariani cites pressure from the band’s management and the label to relentlessly promote At First Sight, and the resultant exhaustion, as causes of the Stems’ untimely implosion. Also, he soon had another project cooking. While in the Stems Mariani met Darryl Mather, then with Sydney’s the Lime Spiders (another Children of Nuggets band) and later with the Orange Humble Band. The two discovered a mutual affinity for ‘60’s and ‘70’s radio pop and decided to get together and make music that would sound more like the Raspberries than the Stooges. The resulting LP, 1990’s Don’t Talk About Us, is now widely considered to be a power pop masterpiece.

“My musical background is very much steeped in Top 40 radio from the ‘60’s, things like the Monkees and girl groups and all,” Dom says when I ask him about the poppy departure the Someolves were from the Stems. “And even during the Stems, although we had kind of a hard rock sound, we were listening to things like the dBs and the Plimsouls, which were more pop.”

Don’t Talk About Us was recorded with Mitch Easter at his famed Drive-In studio in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Easter has continued to mix, and sometimes play on, Mariani’s recordings throughout Dom’s career). A great meeting of musical minds, an album made at one of the coolest studios in the world at the time, two songwriters with no apparent lack of inspiration . . . the future held no barriers for The Someloves, right? Wrong. Their label, Mushroom, would only agree to a second album if the band committed to tour to promote the first, something Mather – a studio animal not interested in playing live – refused to do.

Someone with less fortitude or creative drive might have given up after seeing his first two bands split up just when they seemed to be going on the rise. But Mariani was only getting started. After an enforced recording hiatus which was part of the contractual baggage from The Someloves/Mushroom situation, he exploded back onto the scene in glorious fashion a few years later with his new band, DM3.

To this listener’s ears, DM3 is where Mariani fully hit his stride, combining the adrenaline rush of the Stems with the pop craftsmanship of the Someloves. DM3s albums One Times Two Times Red Light (1993), Road to Rome (96) and Rippled Soul (98) are power pop gems (the first two are, anyway; Rippled Soul has some stellar songs but doesn’t quite match up in overall quality level with the others) with a little garage energy to them, and are where Mariani pulled off tracks that stand comfortably alongside records made by the likes of Dwight Twilley, Big Star, Badfinger, et al.

“We were trying to make records with a rock & roll edge to them, but also with great melodies,” is how Dom sees DM3, a project he clearly put a lot of himself into and feels passionate about.

Some of DM3s best songs weren’t on the three main albums, but can be found on the odds-and-ends collections Garage Sale Vols 1 & 2 (as well as a Mariani retrospective covered below). One of these oddities, “Hold On,” is something I ha - Lost in The Grooves


"Rewind and Play - Album Review"

An Australian legend in the power pop underground, Don Mariani is virtually unknown outside of that circle. His abilities as a singer, songwriter and guitarist would seem to guarantee a bigger measure of fame, simply by virtue of his talent, but that’s not how the world works, and much of his best work is out of print. Rewind and Play (part of an acoustic series, though there’s plenty of electric instrumentation here) gives some surcease by presenting contemporary re-recordings from his catalog with the Someloves, the DM3, the Stems and solo work. The stripped-down presentation only highlights the irresistibly winsome nature of his tunesmithery – “At First Sight,” “Melt,” “Just Like Nancy (Girl in Boots)” and the rest have melodies for miles. If you’re a guitar pop fan, you need this. Jack Rabid - The Big Takeover - October Issue - US magazine


"Popsided Guitar Anthology 1984 -2004 - Album Review"

Power pop Dom-ination, August 25, 2005
By Roy Pearl (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Popsided Guitar: Anthology 1984-2002 (Audio CD)
This two disc compilation certainly makes the case that Dom Mariani is one of the most unjustly ignored rockers of the past two decades. He's been the main songwriter/singer/guitarist for (by my count) six different bands in that time, three of which are responsible for absolute classic albums (the Stems' debut "At First Light... Violets Are Blue", the Someloves' only full-length "Something Or Other", and the DM3's "Road To Rome" and "One Time Two Times Three Red Light"). Of course, none of of those albums have made the tiniest ripple in North American charts, so I can only hope Mariani sells truckloads in his native Australia. After all, there's gotta be some kind of justice in this world, doesn't there?

One thing that's immediately impressive throughout the entirety of this set is Mariani's consistency. Whether in the context of the garage/psyche revivalism of the Stems, or the sweet pop of the Someloves, or the more muscular power pop of the DM3, his emphasis is always on indelible hooks. He's also an ace guitarist, as evidenced by the blistering solo at the end of the DM3's "One Times Two Times Devastated" as well as the three instrumental tracks by the Majestic Kelp (on which Mariani sounds like the direct descendant of the Ventures and the Raybeats). And to give a little hope for Mariani's future, his most recent band the Stoneage Hearts clock in with the pounding "Rock And Roll Boys (Rock And Roll Girls)", which zips by at a Ramones-like pace while Mariani sings lines like "I wanna hang with Mick and Keith, and play my guitar with my teeth."

It's almost hard to believe that someone so good can be ignored for so long. If you're a fan of Big Star, Badfinger, the Hoodoo Gurus - or any ultra-melodic power pop/punk band of the last twenty years - then this collection is guaranteed to amaze you. - Amazon.com Music


"Music to Chase Cars By - Album Review"

Australia's Best Kept Secret, May 4, 2007
By Otto Luck (Detroit) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Music to Chase Cars By (Audio CD)
I've been playing catch-up with Dom Mariani's back catalog ever since a friend steered me towards Citadel's Stems compilation "Mushroom Soup" a few years back, quickly realizing as I spun upward and outward through The Someloves and DM3 that resistance is futile. Not to mention very stupid.

Mariani's latest, his second with The Majestic Kelp (Robbie Scorer, Stu Loasby, and Tobias Gosfield) exposes him as a show-off, managing to lambaste the neurons without so much as opening his mouth via about a half-hour's worth of instro shamanism. Maybe I just haven't been paying attention like I should, but the guy sure knows his way around a fretboard and fuzz box, something that's probably been obscured by his knack for a flat-out, beautiful power pop hook.

This is impeccably arranged, played, and recorded stuff, Mariani slurping from a 50-year wellspring of reverb trailblazers like Dick Dale, Nokie Edwards, and Hank Marvin and spitting it right back in your face, one hand on the whammy bar and the other covering a yawn, vacillating widely between dreamy ("Drivin' South), shimmering ("Occhilupo"), menacing ("Run Cheetah Run") and waggish ("Traffic Jam City").

The fact that Mariani toils away in semi-obscurity, remaining virtually unknown outside of his native Australia, is an abomination. Majestic Kelp's very existence may be a sign that he's willing to live with it and simply get on with the business of making the music he loves, troubling the charts be damned. - Amazon.com Music


"Rewind and Play - Album Review"

Dom Mariani – Rewind And Play (Liberation)
July 26, 2010 by Andrew Watt
Filed under Music Reviews

Dom Mariani is somewhat of a hidden Australian pop-rock treasure. Through bands such as The Stems, The Someloves and DM3 he created a body of work that should have him regarded as a peer of acclaimed international artists of a similar ilk like Ken Stringfellow, Evan Dando, Pat Dinizio, Matthew Sweet and Mitch Easter – masterful creators of melodic power-pop tunes and memorable, often under-stated sparkling indie gems.

On this album he takes a selection of songs from all three of those bands, a couple of solo recordings and even one cover (Here Comes The Night as previously performed ina more epic manner by Van Morrison) and re-makes them in a semi-acoustic mode. “Semi-acoustic” shouldn’t be taken to mean a folky album of strummed guitars though– the core arrangements are supplemented by some lovely keyboard work and plenty of tasty electric guitar lines.

But the emphasis is on the songs and while Mariani isn’t a vocalist of “Farnhamesque” proportions his gentle melodic reading of these songs in this context is ideal and appealing. Dare I say it, he actually seems to take some vocal cues from the late Alex Chilton – making his delivery all about an honest and pure reading of the songs more than appearing desperate to impress.

There are some absolute gems here – Just Like Nancy (Girl In Boots), Melt and Sunshine’s Glove are three that jump out at me immediately and of course At First Sight (which closes this album) is, and always will be, one of Australia’s great contemporary guitar pop songs.

There’s probably nothing about this album that is suddenly going to change everything and alert a worldwide audience to the quality of Mariani’s songwriting but that doesn’t prevent this being a completely worthwhile and delightful exercise. Great songs performed with great taste and pure intent – you can’t ask more than that.
- Hey Hey My My - Music for Adults


"Rewind and Play - Album Review"

Dom Mariani – Rewind And Play (Liberation)
July 26, 2010 by Andrew Watt
Filed under Music Reviews

Dom Mariani is somewhat of a hidden Australian pop-rock treasure. Through bands such as The Stems, The Someloves and DM3 he created a body of work that should have him regarded as a peer of acclaimed international artists of a similar ilk like Ken Stringfellow, Evan Dando, Pat Dinizio, Matthew Sweet and Mitch Easter – masterful creators of melodic power-pop tunes and memorable, often under-stated sparkling indie gems.

On this album he takes a selection of songs from all three of those bands, a couple of solo recordings and even one cover (Here Comes The Night as previously performed ina more epic manner by Van Morrison) and re-makes them in a semi-acoustic mode. “Semi-acoustic” shouldn’t be taken to mean a folky album of strummed guitars though– the core arrangements are supplemented by some lovely keyboard work and plenty of tasty electric guitar lines.

But the emphasis is on the songs and while Mariani isn’t a vocalist of “Farnhamesque” proportions his gentle melodic reading of these songs in this context is ideal and appealing. Dare I say it, he actually seems to take some vocal cues from the late Alex Chilton – making his delivery all about an honest and pure reading of the songs more than appearing desperate to impress.

There are some absolute gems here – Just Like Nancy (Girl In Boots), Melt and Sunshine’s Glove are three that jump out at me immediately and of course At First Sight (which closes this album) is, and always will be, one of Australia’s great contemporary guitar pop songs.

There’s probably nothing about this album that is suddenly going to change everything and alert a worldwide audience to the quality of Mariani’s songwriting but that doesn’t prevent this being a completely worthwhile and delightful exercise. Great songs performed with great taste and pure intent – you can’t ask more than that.
- Hey Hey My My - Music for Adults


"Rewind and Play - Liberation Blue - Album Review"

DOM MARIANI – REWIND AND PLAY
Author:Aidan RobertsPosted:Monday, 19 July 2010Dom Mariani, a seasoned songwriter and singer for seminal Aussie psych-pop legends The Stems, steps forward in the midst of his second age to recount his songwriting career with a collection of stripped-back versions of songs from his catalogue. Normally alarm bells would ring here – aging rocker goes acoustic for a greatest hits play-list – but this is different. Firstly, it should be pointed out that Mariani wrote some genuinely great songs – songs that shine through as true pop statements, regardless of the format in which they’re played. And Mariani has not decided to opt for a super-clean, adult contemporary approach to performing these semi-acoustic numbers. Instead he’s recruited a band of close friends and perform the songs in a relaxed, rough-hewn way that feels at keel with the garage leanings of the Stems. Highlights here are Melt, a particularly weary and bittersweet rendition of the Them classic Here Comes The Night, and of course, the 12-string-laden power-pop heart-breaker At First Sight, which, like Big Star’s September Gurls, never fails to raise a flutter in the chest. Great stuff.

****

- Alternate Media Group of Australia


"HEADS UP ALBUM REVIEW"

It’s incongruous to think that Heads Up is only The Stems’ second full length album, and the band’s first new release in twenty years. Incongruous not just because The Stems remain one of Australia’s most virtuous garage and power pop bands, despite a playing and recording history that lasted a mere few years in the mid 1980s, but also because Heads Up is so pure, fresh and potent that it could have been recovered from recording sessions shelved at the height of the band’s original popularity or – better still – found lying dormant on tapes discarded at the apex of the halcyon days of the 1960s garage rock era.

Whereas Iggy meandered through the motions on The Stooges’ The Weirdness, and David Johannsen and Sylvain Sylvain mocked band branding reality on One Day It Will Please Even Me to Remember This, on Heads Up The Stems – comprising original members Dom Mariani, Richard Lane, Julian Matthews and Dave Shaw (sometime drummer Gary Chambers is, by some reports, farming potatoes in rural Western Australia) – are as vibrant as the day they first donned stove pipe trousers, flopped their fringes over their eyes and went in search of fuzz laden lands.

Mariani's opening line on the stomping Leave You Way Behind – "I'm feeling so much better/All of my pain has gone away" – is significant. The Stems imploded in the late 1980s under the weight of a relentless touring schedule and egos unable to manage the pressure of burgeoning national and international fame. Twenty years later the band has rediscovered the basic ingredients of the rock'n'roll form, sans all the industry bullshit that smothered their original zest and enthusiasm. She Sees Everything gives a power popped Loved Ones flavour to the wild eyed perspective on matters of the heart, and the Dave Shaw penned Surround Me is positively drenched in the sunny eyed optimism that none of us should ever forget (and neither should we ignore Mariani's spin on Roger McGuinn's Eight Miles High solo that appears late in the song).

For a healthy dose of garage attitude, '60s fashionista style and a slick sound to die for, you'd be insane to go past What's Your Stand, while Hellbound Train finds Mariani rediscovering a brutal riff he left lying around the studio after the recording sessions for the last Stoneage Hearts album, and discovering his band mates love it just as much he does. The rock'n'roll perfection that characterises Get to Know Me puts the seal of authenticity to the rhetorical statement that forms the song title – why would you do anything else but embrace contemporary The Stems after hearing this song?

Richard Lane's Only if You Want It shows what you can do with a bit of garage spice on a simple pop tune, and Liar is as down and dirty as much of the rest of the album is brimming with sunshine and beauty. Finally, Mariani is at his power pop best in Get So Bad – a tale of adolescent emotional dysfunction, a simple and catchy melody, and a guitar solo that slices and dices the air like a razor sharp Ginzu steak knife.

The ironic beauty of rock'n'roll is its seemingly infinite interrogation of simple riffs, melodies and specious narratives. If you need an antipodean example of the intrinsic attraction of garage rock and its close cousin power pop, look no further than The Stems – and if you need proof that rock’n’roll is an attitude, not a date on a birth certificate, check out Heads Up. - Beat Magazine


"THE STEMS LIVE IN ADELAIDE"

By the time THE STEMS are finishing their set with a staggering She's A Monster, my face hurts from smiling so much and my voice is shot from singing along! holy moly they were fantastic. There's always a real danger of disappointment when a really cool band from a long time ago reforms for whatever reason. Will they be able to recreate the magic, the sounds and the energy after 17 years apart? Will they live up to the memories (or the legend), will they look old (or make me feel old)? When they were around the first time in the mid 1980's riding the wave of 60s influenced garage rock (Lime Spiders, Hoodoo Guru's, et al) they were one of the most exciting bands you could ever want to see. They looked and sounded great : all pointy boots, paisley shirts, pageboy hairdos, Rickenbackers, Vox amps, groovy keyboards and an armful of killer songs. But that was almost 20 years ago, could they still pull it off.

The paisley shirts and do's were gone but last Thursday The Stems surpassed our wildest dreams, with a perfect set of sixties tinged garage rock, dripping in perfect pop, the songs are still killers and band air tight. Dual singers Dom Mariani and Richard Lane have had their differences in the past, the hatchet seems well buried, with them obviously digging playing these classic songs together. Make You Mine, Can't Resist, Love Will Grow, At First Sight and the underground classic Tears Me In Two were slotted amongst b-sides and album faves like My Beach and Mr Misery. They are so powerful, their songs so tuneful, I felt I should be out in the streets dragging people in to see a blueprint of how to be a fantastic band.

The night belonged to the mighty Stems, let's do this again - soon! - ADELAIDE TIMES


Discography

Hey Rock 'n' Roller - Off the Hip - 2009 CD mini album
Super Real - Citadel - 2012 - CD and 12" vinyl album
I Wonder What You're Doin' Now/ Cool Runnings 7" single

Photos

Bio

The DomkNicks Bio

Perth-based explosive rock’n’roll combo
THE DOMNICKS release its first full length album Super Real

Super Real marks a coming of age for The DomNicks, forged by Dom Mariani and Nick Sheppard five years ago. A powerful blend of swagger ‘n’ roll rock, soul and pop smarts – The DomNicks are a band of seasoned players who punch above their collective musical weight.
Super Real continues in the tradition of The DomNicks recording debut, Hey Rock ‘n Roller (2009), but expands on that gutsy guitar driven sound taking a ride through some very different genres interlocking into one seamless musical journey. The band’s remarkable songwriting talents are augmented by a couple of soul stage favourites that feature their distinctive styling.
Among the 12 tracks you’ll find the exiled Stones sound of Reconcile, the brazen brass and swing of Let’s Go Baby, the Soul flavours in I Wonder What You’re Doin’ Now and the tantalising twists and turns of the electric sitar on Winter. The rest of the album is liberally peppered with the flavours of the blues, funk, soul and classic guitar pop. The band’s already full sound is enhanced by horns and keyboards to fill every musical nook and cranny. Recorded at Kingdom, Loop and Real to Real studios, Super Real fuelled by the vim and vigour of a noble era is bound to cause the head and heart to shake.

The DomNicks boasts very impressive musical pedigrees from all its members particularly those of musical stalwarts Dom Mariani and Nick Sheppard who formed the band five years ago.

The DomNicks
A brief History

The DomNicks combine Perth Garage Rock/Power Pop legend Dom Mariani (The Stems, DM3, The Someloves), with guitarist Nick Shepherd of English punk legends The Clash & Bristol punks The Cortinas. Nick replaced Mick Jones and was in the Clash from 1983-86.

Formed in 2007 the band was a meeting of musical minds for Dom and Nick have teamed up with Howard Shawcross (The Elks, The Riptides) on bass and Marz Frisina on drums.

This hang loose combo plays a mix of Dom and Nick originals with a nice spread of 60's and 70's garage soul classics. One part Memphis stew, one part Stones and Faces inspired and one part Aussie garage guitar rock this band of seasoned players punches well above its collective musical weight.

In 2009 they released the mini album EP Hey Rock ‘N’ Roller the band’s first assault on CD through Off The Hip Records. Consisting of 5 Nick and 2 Dom penned tracks Hey Rock ‘N Roller was recorded in three studios (Kingdom, Loop and Forrest) over the space of ten months and was mixed by the formidable duo of Rob “Radio Birdman” Younger and Wayne Connolly (producer of You Am I and The Vines). The release received good airplay and encouraging reviews.

Since 2007 The DomNicks established a fine live reputation playing at some of Perth’s top venues. More recently they have performed at The West Coast Blues and Roots Festival, toured Japan, toured the east coast with Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman), invited to play alongside The Hoodoo Gurus on their recent tour of the west, supported US 70’s band The Doobie Brothers and were headliners at the Joe Strummer Tribute (Strummerville) - Revolution Rock Charity Event in Sydney.