• Reels
  • The Reels (Polydor) 1979 
  • Quasimodo's Dream (Aus. PolyGram) 1981 
  • Beautiful (Aus. K-Tel) 1982 

Singer David Mason sounds like a deep-echo Elvis Costello with a nagging cough. The songs have a wacky Madness edge and the band leaps into them with the speeding ska fury of classic 2-Tone. The suspicion that you’ve heard it all before does not diminish the eccentric, energetic joy of The Reels, the only US/UK release by this Australian quintet. The Reels’ resounding lack of success in this hemisphere can probably be attributed to murky production too idiosyncratic for American radio and the fact that various English bands had already done this sort of thing better.

[David Fricke]