A year after The Whitlams’ Stevie Plunder died suddenly in 1996, singer/pianist Tim Freedman pulled together a crack team of musos to help him make what would turn out to be the indie-rock band’s breakthrough record—and the best-selling independent album in Australian history at the time. That collaborative approach is why lyrics from Machine Gun Fellatio’s “Horny Blonde 40” appear on piano-driven megahit “No Aphrodisiac”, and why Plunder’s brother Bernie Hayes contributes guitar alongside original member Andy Lewis, who returned on bass and double bass after having left the band in late 1995. The lyrical content here remains as playful and painful as it was on the first two albums, showcasing Freedman’s knack for capturing a mood. That’s true whether he’s summing up a relationship breakdown through an old T-shirt on “Life’s a Beach” or painting inner-western Sydney sharehouse scenes on the frenetic “You Sound Like Louis Burdett”. But nowhere is Eternal Nightcap more effective than in the three-part tribute to Plunder that is “Charlie”. The Whitlams won three ARIA Awards off the back of this album, including Best Group—which was presented to the band by their namesake, former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam.