No band has been more blatant about their wish to be mistaken as an indie rock band as Brooklyn Beard, a Melbourne chicken-in-a-basket supper club duo who had neither facial hair nor a Park Slope P.O. Box number. Thusly Horbitt and Shanelle Bogan migrated stateside for some much needed indie cred, going as far inserting the “I-word” into this 2005 song title to secure some college radio airplay. Stacking the deck, they heaped on copious helpings of distortion every three bars of what was essentially a bossa nova number. The ruse worked but none of the subsequent soundalike follow-ups, “Independent Survey,” “Independent Means” and the desperate “Up to My Neck In Dependents” failed to sustain their charade any longer, not when actual bearded groups from Ohio, Philadelphia, Illinois and Nevada began invading Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Beard’s BONUS B-SIDE of DUBIOUS DISTINCTION is a song called “You’ll Never Let Me Go” that’s equal portions love and acrophobia. You wouldn’t think someone downunder would have a fear of heights but Horbitt, who also suffers from ifestíophobia, a deep seated fear of molten lava and falling ash, recalls taking Shanelle on a honeymoon that reached its low point on Mount Vesuvius. “I tried being macho about visiting Pompeii, all the while just trembling at every lava coated child. Then Shanelle got very insistent about wanting to see the top of Vesuvius so I capitulated. When we got there, all that was separating us from the caldera and an eight kilometer drop was a flimsy two foot-rope fence.” It took a team of paramedics an hour to remove Horbitt’s white knuckles from Shanelle’s handbag. “You’ll Never Let Me Go” indeed.