Its been 30 long years since we got to hear new music from Australia’s iconic rockers Noiseworks but they are back with a brand new album ‘Evolution’ and it seems to have been well worth the wait. Recorded and readied for release before the two year covid-black out ‘Evolution’ is a collection of ten songs which take us on a journey from radio friendly rockers to emotive ballads and anthemic sing-a-longs, littered with positive messages of light, love & hope after times of darkness. Vocalist Jon Stevens, Steve Balbi (bass), Justin Stanley (keys), Kevin Nicol (drums) & Stuart ‘Chet’ Fraser (guitar) reunite for one very last time. Produced by Balbi they deliver an album of high quality and maturity.
Blasting out of the blocks with ‘Heart & Soul’, the first single to have been released earlier this year, you immediately hear & feel the chemistry that this band brought to the scene all those years ago. Punchy, rocky and extremely catchy it lays the foundations for an enjoyable body of work, and one which captures the late Stuart ‘Chet’ Fraser at his finest – immortalised in music on this very album. Fans who have seen Stevens on his regular tours in recent years will be well away that he is performing at his very finest (with many saying “better than ever”) and this is evident from the off. ‘Amerika’, written five years ago, is a message of hope by trying to return the world to harmony: “It’s up to you and me to make a better place, where we all got along and we could stand together”. ‘Chet’ Fraser gets to shine during the excellent ‘Stand Up’ with some exquisite guitar work and rocky riffs and early Dead Daisies vibe. Amongst the treasure trove of musical gems is the brightest jewel in the chest, the wonderful ‘Long Way’ with its emotive piano opening and Stevens heart wrenching vocal, before opening to be a real belter of a track…”I still got a long way to go”.
New single ‘Sunshine’ is a bright and catchy message of positivity, something we all need after the last few years: “All wars begin and end with pain and suffering but time moves on.” ‘Low’ is anthemic with its message of love conquers all before the earworm chorus of ‘One in a Million’ threatens to rattle round in your head long after turning it off. Another stand out track is the superb ‘Let It Go’ which grabs you instantly with its hooky chorus. ‘Ocean Girl’ is a dreamy ballad which closes the album as a full song before the haunting ‘Touch (Epitaph’, which gives us time to reflect on Fraser’s contributions to a band that will forever be part of Australia’s rock n’ roll history.
With the addition of Jack Jones, playing on ‘Heart & Soul’ and joining the band for their live shows, I really hope this isn’t the final chapter for Noiseworks after such a superb release. The fans still love what they do and judging by the performance at By the C last weekend here in Perth, the band look to be loving their return. ‘Evolution’ is beautiful way to say a fond farewell to Stuart Fraser, immortalised in time and in music.
Heart & Soul
One in a Million
Let It Go