This Lucksmiths album finds the Australian alternative-pop group offering up another set of catchy tunes, including "Downside to the Upstairs," "I Prefer the Twentieth Century," and "Even Stevens."
Australia's Lucksmiths released their second rarities disc, Where Were We?, in early 2002. The disc was released on Matinee Recordings in the United States. Having released a collection of their early singles in 1999 on Happy Secret, the band compiled another batch of demos, compilation tracks, and outtakes three years later. The trio's acclaimed style of simple and broken-down indie pop continued to make waves around the globe. The disc begins with "The Cassingle Revival," an earnest, Casio-based track with Tali White's clean vocals sailing over the shimmering instrumentation. "A Downside to the Upstairs" is simpler and more subdued than most of the band's songs. The alternate version of "Southernmost" from Happy Secret includes a new jazzy organ line. The next song, "Even Stevens," is classic Lucksmiths, incorporating amiable tones and quick turns of phrase. The demo of "The Great Dividing Range" has an undeniable campy feel, while the gentle harmonies on "Friendless Summer" hide the song's melancholia. The sped-up bossa nova sounds on "Welcome Home" include White's graceful vocals and Marty Donald's colorful guitar work. The album-closer, "Mars," is easily the most startling and breathtaking track on the disc. The gentle guitar line, blended with White's distorted vocals, creates a relaxed yet intense mood throughout. The song is certainly more adventurous and blissful than the average Lucksmiths song. Darren Hanlon guests on organ and piano on various tracks. The songs on Where Were We? were recorded in Australia, England, and America from 1999 through 2001. ~ Stephen Cramer