- As far as immaculate studio creations go, the Earthmen's
debut album can hardly be faulted. Aspiring to the ambitious production heights of the
great pop albums (hats off here to producer Daniel Denholm), core duo Nick Batterham
(guitar) and Scott Stevens (vocals) have finely crafted a carefully thought out, sound
connoisseurs album. The unashamedly sensitive and articulate songwriting displays a
wonderful understanding of melody and harmony, restraint and timing. The concentration on
creating sounds and bothering with details, treating each song as a sonic universe unto
itself with unique feel and texture, also has spectacular effect. So many bands strive for
so little. But the Earthmen have succeeded in technical brilliance without sacrificing
tenderness or emotional resonance. Impressive.
- 4/5. Rolling Stone, April 1997. Lauren Zoric.
- Whoever's Been Using This Bed was one of the best
singles of last year, and this long-awaited album provides another 10 good reasons why you
need The Earthmen's brand of pop in your life. Forget Brit-pop, Europop, the Beatles
revival - forget it all - because if you liked Suede, Manic Street Preachers, Menswear,
even My Bloody Valentine, Love Walked In will gently blow your mind. Focusing on melody,
structure and dynamics, the songs flow into each other, benefiting from a slick and
polished production. Opening with the tense Hug Me Tighter, The Earthmen take your
hand and lead you through their lush garden of remorseful love songs and wistful melodies.So
Far So Wrong brings you down momentarily, at the hands of a Smiths-flavoured guitar
riff, but Second Sights' chiming intro and swelling strings kill you softly once
again. Song To Sing rocks out a little, but beneath the colourful pop shell lies
more regret, loss and longing. The Earthmen have recorded an immaculate, classic pop album
which could have easily come from Abbey Road in the past or Manchester in the present.
- 5/5. The Herald-Sun, 17 April 1997. Andrew
- The Earthmen's debut album is a confident and polished
affair. Anyone with a liking for guitar pop will be won over with the swoon and swagger of
the Earthmen's impressive tunes. The album features track after track of expertly crafted
pop songs with choruses so good they should be beatified and sent to heaven to keep John
Lennon company immediately. The correct influences are all there from the Smiths, Bernard
Butler era Suede, the Byrds and the Beatles but it is the way these influences are
combined that sets the Earthmen apart from the majority of revivalist hacks. The
unashamedly romantic nature of this album (I can't remember the last time I heard the L
word used so frequently) is something that is pulled off with the type of sincerity that
will see lonely teenagers across the country clutching their stereo's as it plays
"Love Walked In" during times of need. This is the type of record that people
working in music shops should make kids buy when they come up to purchase the new
Pollyanna or Everclear album and say "No, no take this instead you'll thank me for
it". And they would too. This is my favourite release of the year so far and the best
debut by an Australian band I can recall in a very long time.
- BMA Magazine, Canberra, April/May 1997. Benn Barr.
- RECORD OF THE WEEK
- Over the last 18 months or so, you could be forgiven for
wondering if The Earthmen would ever release their much anticipated debut album. With
numerous singles appearing every couple of months, getting solid airplay on Triple J on
each occasion, the question was always - so how about the album then? However, finally Love
Walked In has appeared, and for those fans of smooth brit poppy tunes it's sure not to
disappoint. Working with Daniel Denholm, who of course produced Max Sharam's record a
couple of years ago, Love Walked In is therefore not surprisingly a smooth flowing
record, with plenty of the lush melodies and string arrangements that Denholm does so
well. From the opening singles, Whoever's Been Using This Bed and Hug Me Tighter,
with their cruisey pop melodies, the smooth vocals of singer, Scott Stevens, and more than
generous string interludes, the listener gets an indication of what much of Love Walked
In is about. Lush harmonies soon follow on Coloured In, and before too long
you're singing along, as you happily swing from side to side. Of course, one of the main
strengths of The Earthmen (apart from the well- crafted songwriting skills of guitarist,
Nick Batterham and Stevens), is the smooth, yet equally as edgy, vocals of Stevens. And no
more evident is that strength than on the likes of Second Sight and Song to Sing,
with the breathy strains extremely impressive. However Love Walked In isn't all
just cruisey brit pop tunes, with songs such as Lie Without, with it's slightly
more raw guitar melody, and the decidedly more up-tempo, First Single, giving the
record that much needed balance. And in the final track, This Much I know, The
Earthmen have experimented with guitar loops - adding that little bit more interest. Now
with a solid lineup, it should be interesting to see the directions in which The Earthmen
go from Love Walked In. But in the meantime, although it's been said many times
before (and no doubt many times more after the release of the record), with talent like
The Earthmen, who needs to head off shore for their fix of brit pop.
- Drum Media (Syd?), 22 April 1997. Peter Blythe.
- The Earthmen must have been fit to explode, knowing they
were sitting on an album this good and being forced to wait and wait for a release date.
Frequently described as 'a slice of Brit-pop in our own backyard', The Earthmen have long
hinted at greatness and with the release of Love Walked In they confirm that the
pat Brit-pop comparison are nothing more than convenient. Scott Stevens and Nick Batterham
are unafraid to be purely melodic, to write beautiful tunes and sing them sweetly.
Previous singles have displayed their up-tempo pop side, but this album reveals they're no
slouches at ballads. Love Walked In closes with two acoustic guitar and
string-based songs. Arms Reach and This Much I Know are delicate rather than
epic ballads, without a hint of bombast. Love Walked In is packed with sterling
tunes, excellently arranged, including the should-have-been-Number-One-singles Whoever's
Been Using This Bed and Hug Me Tighter. Batterham and Stevens have written one
of the best albums of the year, and The Earthmen (plus guest Matt Tow of Drop City) have
brought it to fruition in the studio. For their sake let's hope a second album is a little
- 9/10. Beat (Melb), 30 April 1996. Teresa Bolster.
- From the moment the first note of this album starts and the
strings of Whoever's Been Using This Bed creep in, you know you're in pop heaven.
But when the song drops a gear and the pop engine really powers up, you realise The
Earthmen are intent on taking you hurtling into another dimension. The Pop Dimension.
- For some years now, The Earthmen have been pumping out the
odd release here and there, and each time they've managed to display a growing
understanding of what makes pop such a glorious path to follow. Here, they continue down
the same path but pick up the pace.
- There's plenty of hits in the making on offer, all
displaying a lush, well-embellished sound - string and keyboard interludes, mesmerising
guitar lines and Steven's honey-soaked vocals all add to the mood. The songs - Coloured
In, So Far So Wrong, Love Walks In etc. - all have the essential
elements of a classic pop song.
- This album eclipses any of their previous releases and
demonstrates that the songwriting team behind The Earthmen - Scott Stevens and Nick
Batterham - have the potential to become one of this country's great songwriting teams.
England had Lennon and McCartney, America Simon and Garfunkel. Australia, introduce
yourself to Stevens and Batterham and the rest of the lads that make up a quite brilliant
band called The Earthmen.
- 4.5/5. Time Off (Bris), May 1997. Matt Connors.
- For several years now, it seems, pundits have been
predicting big things for Melbourne mob the Earthmen, yet, somehow, the band's fortunes
have never quite matched the critical acclaim. Part of the reason for this could be
because, on the thoroughly enjoyable evidence presented on Love Walked In, the quintet are
in the wrong country. Craig Mitchell, Matthew Sigley, Nick Batterham, Scott Stevens and
Nick Murray have produced an album of 11 luscious, carefully structured, melodically
strong guitar-led pop songs, suffused with close vocal harmonies and a pleasing balance
between aural light and shade. The band's sound is distinctive and solid; if one were
searching for comparisons, England's James and Scotland's Teenage Fanclub come to mind.
Love Walked In is a lovely album, albeit one markedly alien to dominant musical tastes.
- The EG (Melb), 23 May 1997. Andrew Masterson.
- With too many good songs to mention, it makes it hard to
review this LP effort from the Earthmen. The best song award is hard to split between Lie
Without and First Single. With their synthesiser Smiths inspired pop The Earthmen make
their way into your head, it may not be as instant as Manic Street Preachers but you will
be back for more. All 11 tracks make for easy listening not really rising the tempo too
high. A well crafted first album from the Melbourne popsters.
- The Buzz (Melb), June 1997. Ben Gook.
- The more blatant Britpop mannerisms The Earthmen have
affected in the past have been shelved for this debut album, thankfully. Not that the
Melbourne quintet have abandoned the sheer pleasure of a straightforward pop hook.
Whoever's Been Using This Bed, poor grammar aside (whomever, boys, whomever) is a lovely
shimmer of a song, all a-glitter and a-twitter, strings balanced with the light-as-air
guitars. It's matched by the velvet caress of Coloured In, where the vocals of Scott
Stevens - all six, seven, eight of them - whisper against guitar work which recalls
Maurice Debank's lush moments.
- Rather than try for Beat beats, The Earthmen have buried
themselves deeper into the studio possibilities, offering layers of sound to fill all
possible gaps - think of Suede, particularly Love Walks In, which musically is like the
bedsit dramas favoured by Bernard Butler. At times this approach threatens to overload,
and you start to think "affectation". But it is remarkably assured for much of
- What would have been interesting is to hear the band kicking
up a gear, cranking up the amps, if only for more than one energy-releasing song (First
Single). For example, Song To Sing begs for a switch from sweet Herman's Hermits to a
crunchier The Lonelyhearts. But, take yourself to your bedroom with this and you will be
happily pressing the repeat button before the album closer, This Much I Know.
- 3.5/5. The Metro (Sydney Morning Herald), 30 May 1997.