A few years ago, Australia appeared to be on the verge of becoming a legitimate rock power. Though a few Aussie bands have succeeded either commercially or artistically, the majority have proven to be disappointingly conventional and uninspiring.
Count Pseudo Echo among the bands that should have stayed way Down Under. The quartet's Roxy show on Tuesday was basically a routine party-zone affair that offered a lot of formless uptempo tunes with absolutely nowhere to go. The Melbourne band did rock harder and somewhat more convincingly than on its latest album of bland, post-disco dance exercises. But no matter how hard Pseudo Echo huffed and puffed, it couldn't compensate for a dull and unvaried song catalogue.
Singer-guitarist Brian Canham, who rarely missed a chance to flash those ivories, played the role of the congenial rock ambassador, but without the good hooks, these synthesizer-drenched mates left you more apt to throw a steak on the barbie than put on those red shoes and dance the blues.
Like Pseudo Echo, the second-billed Stabilizers seemed like friendly enough chaps. And they too had difficulty establishing much momentum. The Pennsylvania foursome delivered a mostly anonymous-sounding set of pop-rock in much the way an amusement park dance band would rehash the hits.