- Chris Brink: bass
- Brendan "Bugs" Barnes: drums
- Garth Barnes: vocals, guitar
- Mike Stott: guitar
The Possum, or more correctly the Opossum, is of the family Didelphidae and is North America's only marsupial mammal. According the highly informative www.opossum.org these furry animals are 'Solitary and nocturnal: usually slow moving; when frightened and unable to flee may fall into an involuntary shock-like state' and 'Hiss or growl and show their 50 sharp teeth when frightened; but, in reality, they are gentle and placid - they prefer to avoid all confrontations and wish to be left alone.'
So with this in mind just what the hell are Tweak on about when calling their album 'The Romantic Lure of Possum Worship'? Being attracted to the worship of an animal described as 'gentle and placid' is at odds with the TNT enhanced punk thrash rock that they play. From the opening bang and crash of 'Birthday Card' through to the alternate version of 'Friends?' as a hidden track, this album is jam packed with the energies of youth. You can almost hear the hormones bouncing around the studio, and none more so than in the paean to that young starlet 'Britney Spears'.
While most of the album is the punky nu-metal, there is the decidedly Eminen sounding rapped 'Oo La La' and some ragga reggae bits and jazzy guitar riffs on 'Down by da River' to add variety. However, what struck me throughout this album is its quality. I can honestly see no reason why this album can't stand up and be counted amongst its American contemporaries. It has all the ingredients necessary to propel it up the US charts, and the sound would not be out of place being on rotation on MTV. The fact that the album received a few votes in the SA Rockdigest's Essential SA Album survey is testimony to the impact it has already had.
'Playing Possum' is defined as 'pretending to be unconscious', the phrase coming from the possum's habit of falling into an involuntary shock-like state when frightened. I personally can't see people pretending to be unconscious very easily when playing this Possum, as the infectious tunes will soon have you bobbing your head along to it, however, it may just be that on first listen some are so dumbstruck that that they go into a shock-like state.
John Samson, SA Rockdigest #173, September 2002