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Geeza - 1977 Streetlife




ARTIST: Geeza
ALBUM: Streetlife
LABEL: RCA
SERIAL: VXL1 4046
YEAR: 1977

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Terry Halliday - vocals * Gabriel Vendetti - guitar * Lee Martin - bass * Allan Fraiel - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sydney City Ladies * 02 You Can't Do That * 03 Song To Warilla * 04 Streetfighter * 05 Dragon Queen * 06 Run N Hide * 07 Too Much Going On Here * 08 The Jean Genie


Background
During the murky days of the 1970's Australian hard rock scene, it seemed there was an endless stream of long haired, flared jeans wearing freaks plying their trade around Sydney. Many boasting a crude, replicated early 70's sound with thin production values. Obviously the likes of AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, The Angels and few others rose above this quandary, but Geeza was a band who clearly didn't. Geeza sifted through members industriously following their inception in 1973, with the above lineup apparently the survivors from the wreckage of other failed versions of the band. Allegedly the band supported AC/DC, Sherbet and Buffalo among other notable acts and used a theatrical stage show to wow the punters. While hardly a novel concept this helped them win a contract with RCA and resulted in the lone studio album from these doomed Aussie louts.


The Songs
For 1977 this is incredibly dated when compared to the acts mentioned above and sounds more like 1971-73 for example, when the scene was still evolving musically. To think this was released the same year as 'Let There Be Rock' seems inconceivable. 'Sydney City Ladies' still offers a relatively crunching approach, the riffs caught well, but coming off as a poor man's MC5 circa 1970's 'Back In The USA'. The second-rate notion permeates 'You Can't Do That' also, the riffs so dated and caught in a 1971 time warp that it's instantly obvious why Geeza broke up almost immediately after the album's release. It's still catchy and raises a grin however, but perhaps for all the wrong reasons. 'Song To Warilla' pursues an acoustic and atmospheric direction, recalling Supertramp oddly enough, but without the professionalism. A title like 'Streetfighter' seemed natural for a band with a moniker like Geeza, but it's incredibly limp and the socially conscious lyrics are embarrassing, concerning a rebellious black street bruiser being gunned down by the white police. 'Dragon Queen' repeats riffs and ideas already heard, totally forgettable in all facets. 'Run And Hide' was a minor hit and is more pop-oriented, again sinking into the mire of early 70's rock, far past its sell-by-date in 1977. A cover of David Bowie's 'The Jean Genie' seems superfluous and fits right in with Geeza's take on 70's rock, which hadn't caught up to the year it was released in.


In Summary
If you're a devotee of this timeframe in Australian rock then there could be some attraction to Geeza's single recorded entity. In reality it's an amateurish effort from a band who had designs on being a major act, but were exposed in the studio and by the superior bands also gaining traction around them. This is borne by the band dissolving in the next several years, with the final lineup containing none of the members who played on 'Streetlife'. Amazingly Halliday put a new version of the band together in 2010 with a bunch of hired guns completing the lineup. What appeal a reconstituted Geeza had or has is unknown, but there must be some ageing rockers still yearning for the days of yore and the legend that definitely isn't 'Streetlife'.


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