Criminally underrated Perth (Australia) pop king Dom Mariani first came to prominence in the ’80s as a member of the garage/pop combo the Stems, whose best recordings can be found on the Australian-only Buds CD. After the Stems splintered (singer/guitarist Richard Lane went on to form the punk-pop Chevelles), singer/guitarist Mariani put together the Someloves with guitarist Darryl Mather. The Someloves’ only full-length release is one of the great lost power pop masterpieces of the modern era: words like “jangly,” “chiming” and “hook-filled” don’t even begin to do it justice. Produced by Mitch Easter, a man who knows a great pop artist when he hears one, Something or Other features guest shots by Easter, Angie Carlson of Grover on keyboards, as well as SpongeTone Jamie Hoover and Windbreaker Bobby Sutliff on backing vocals. Mariani has one of those perfect pop voices and can write a melody with the best of ’em, two qualities that make Something or Other a real revelation. The Sunshine’s Glove EP includes two killer tracks from the album and four others of equal quality.
After Mather and Mariani parted company, the latter formed the DM3 with bassist Toni Italiano and drummer Pascal Bartolone. Recruiting Easter to mix (and add some guitar and sitar to) their debut release, Mariani and friends came up with the awkwardly titled One Time, Two Times, Three Red Light, another monumental achievement (or, as the back cover states, an “unashamed pop recording”). The overall sound is a bit more guitar-heavy than the Someloves, but the perky melodies have no problem coming to the fore.
Road to Rome, again produced by Easter, is more of the same: dazzling guitars, delicious melodies and hooks, hooks, hooks are the order of the day. Particularly noteworthy are the Rundgrenesque single “Something Heavy,” the amazing “Soultop” (imagine a collective raveup by early Deep Purple, the Zombies and the Plimsouls) and the anti-Albert Goldman vibe of “Dead Stars.”