SPIT POLISH
Rating: 4/5

This one is a grower, an album which requires some dedicated listening to discover all the blooms hiding in the crevices. The first question, and probably the one most annoying to the affable gentleman in question, is " What is the difference between a You Am I song and a Tim Rogers song?"

The easy answer is Rogers tends to indulge, or rather explore, more of his country leanings on his solo work. Although it could be said that the band's last album, Deliverance, had its fair share of those influences.
The real answer is intimacy. Rogers tends to let it all hang out on this album. The dedication makes that clear - For Rocio and Ruby - his beautiful wife and daughter, whose photos grace the CD artwork.

Some Fellas Heartbreaker, the opening track, could be a dad's lament for his adored daughter, albeit written from the perspective of a wise and cynical father who has been there before. It epitomises Rogers' melancholic humour. Time & Distance is a not-so-pretty tale of hooking up with his father in a tragic state after a big night. It's brutally melancholic, a sad portrait of someone who is suffering the travails of being separated from his loved ones. Rogers personalises Australian politics (Fiction), cleverly references pop culture (King Of The Hill) and gives Gene Simmons a piece of his mind (Letter To Gene).

He is valiantly assisted on Spit Polish by a band who sprinkle moondust on the tracks (Shane O'Mara, Ian Kitney, Stuart Speed) and vocal contributions from Lisa Miller and Rebecca Barnard. The only jarring note comes from Rogers squeezing all those words in - at times, his vocals slide into a distracting talk/sing performance. But he also has plenty of fun coming in and out of tracks with an infectious "Wooh"' or "Rock'n'roll all night" cry.

Those looking for You Am I's rock assault had better wait until they release a new album later this year but if you want to revel in fine songwriting played with love and plenty of red wine, here it is.

Kathy McCabe

SLM (Daily Telegraph)
21/4/2004