Australian pop/rock outfit Tarmac Adam originally formed in 2001 and featured a pair of Crowded House members — Nick Seymour (bass) and Paul Hester (drums) — on their 2003 debut album “Handheld Torch.” Sadly, Hester died two years later and Seymour returned to Crowded House, leaving songwriters Matt O’Donnell and Steve Paix in a state of limbo.
O’Donnell and Paix kept at it and continued to write songs for an eventual follow-up album. Seymour returned to Tarmac Adam and the band released “The History Effect” in 2013. It was a melancholic, inward-looking collection of tunes that earned solid reviews and the lads put together a successful small-venue tour of the United States.
Tarmac Adam — now comprised of O’Donnell, Paix, Seymour and drummer Josh Barber — have expanded their sound on newest full-length “In Place.” There’s a sense of optimism in the 10-track, 39-minute platter that wasn’t evident last time around.
Songs like terrific opener “A Town Called Mercy,” “Begin to Mend” and “Today’s the Day” convey that positive message clearly. Additional highlights include “Walk Tall,” “Afterthought” and “The Loneliest Journey.” This is an album worth exploring. (Jeffrey Sisk)