My Own Pet Radio – Unidentified Flying Collection of Songs [Album Review]

Review by: Lauren Sherritt

Unidentified Flying Collection of Songs is the first album released by My Own Pet Radio, the name under which Brisbane artist Sam Cromack works solo. The bedroom recorded, experimental album is a solid example of decent, hard worked music created by a passionate and hard working musician.

Cromack, also known as the front man for indie rock/pop band Ball Park Music, really goes to town on the album cutting samples, employing effects and layering instruments, all played by himself, with intricate and distinct lyrics. The songs collectively move through various styles, bluesy influences sitting alongside poppy rock and folksy, lilting acoustic pieces. Carefully crafted to fit together as a whole album, the spectrum of styles in the songs speaks of the years of work gone into developing Cromack’s skill, and the album transcends the hyped world of sale figures and radio play stats to sit as a thought provoking piece of artwork.

Overall, the album is an uplifting listen. The more rock pop sounding tracks “I Am Having Such a Good Time” and “Altamont Speedway”, incidentally the two receiving the majority of radio play and attention, are catchy, upbeat and lyrically sing-along-able. “Fourteen Pianos” and a “Horse Jawbone” gives something completely different as a soft, poetic offering with haunting lyrics. The lyrics found within the chorus, “I love the place/it’s truly great/it really is/But there’s nothing where my eyes should be,” are demonstration of Cromack’s talent for crafting words as well as sound. On a completely different note again is “Tooth Hurty”, the second track found on the album, which consists mainly of layered television and radio broadcast samples, and brings to mind what it might be like to be the possessor of a radio tuning tooth filling. The track is short, sharp and disorienting and a testament to Cromack’s will to experiment with sound.

Unidentified Flying Collection of Songs gives witness to Sam Cromack’s musical abilities and talent, his work as My Own Pet Radio is brilliantly crafted and well thought out. It is apparent from his musical track record that Cromack is a career artist, not a playful youth with a rock star dream, good news for the Australian music scene which needs more musicians like Cromack who are striving to keep things fresh and exciting and push the line between making sellable music and making art. Already a recognised talent on the Brisbane music scene, Cromack deserves the national acclaim he is beginning to receive for this album. Unidentified Flying Collection of Songs is a fine recording; unique, enjoyable and definitely one which deserves listening time and again.

Review by: Lauren Sherritt