Hoodoo Gurus release details of new album, 40th anniversary tour

gurus christopher fergusonChristopher Ferguson photo

Hoodoo Gurus are poised to release their long-awaited new studio album, “Chariot of the Gods” on February 11. “Chariot of the Gods” is the band’s first album in more than a decade (the longest interval between Hoodoo Gurus’ albums in their history) and is available to pre-order today here.

“The last twelve months have been frustrating and nerve-racking for everyone but, for the Hoodoo Gurus, this dark cloud has had a silver lining,” says frontman   
Dave Faulkner. “Forced to rely on ourselves instead of the outside world for validation, there has been a creative rebirth within the band that has resulted in a string of singles and a new album.

“Most important of all, the musical bonds between the four of us have never been stronger. When the discussions are all about which songs we're sad about having to leave off the record, that's a damn good sign. I'm tellin' ya, folks, we've got a real spring in our step right now”. 

“Chariot of the Gods” is 14 tracks (17 on the deluxe double-vinyl edition) and the first full-length recording with relative new recruit to the Hoodoo Gurus’ line-up, on drums, Nik Reith. The tracklists for CD/digital and vinyl versions are below.

Fans across the globe can hear “Chariot of the Gods” played in its entirety for the very first time when eMusic Live streams a special event recorded at Damien Gerard Studios on the NSW Central Coast.

Tour marks 30 years of the need for the Weed

tumbleweed 2022Jye Talbot Area photo

Following the release of their sold out 7" singles boxset and run of five nights of hometown celebrations at La La La's in Wollongong just before Xmas, Tumbleweed steps into the new year with an announcement that was meant to come last year.

Hard to pass up

hard fast carsHard – Fast Cars (Method Records and Music)

In a digital world where old rules are made to be re-written or not read, Fast Cars have resolutely done things their own way.

The one-time Sydney mod band reformed virtually in 2015, assembling music from composite parts written and recorded by principal members, vocalist-guitarist Di Levi and guitarist Fabian Byrne, on opposite sides of the world. It was polished pop with hints of its Sussex Hotel beginnings, lush in lots of places and moiving into the realm of dream pop. 

Virtual band, huh? Live shows were where Australian bands traditionally honed their act and of course people interacting in a studio adds an energy that can’t easily be replicated. With Levy visiting Australia from the UK, Fast Cars did a handful of pre-pandemic shows, and part recorded “Hard” with Peter Bennett (The Welcome Mat, Fiction Romance) on drums and David Pye on bass.  

Wham, bam, thank you Dang!!!

sociopathfinder cvrSociopathfinder - Dang!!! (Apollon Records)

What the difference between a “supergroup” and a “super group”? 

The answer and five bucks will get you a cappuccino, but only if the pandemic-induced labour shortage that’s hit coffee shops in these parts mean there’s someone on deck to make it for you.

While you’re pondering the problem you might go cold turkey with your Wordle obsession and cock an ear to what’s in these grooves.

Dang!!! is a Norwegian studio collaboration that started with Arne Thelin (ex-Lust-O-Rama, Kwyett Kings) and Stu Manx (ex-Gluecifier) swapping guitar riffs over the Internet during lockdown. One thing led to another and by the time they convened in a real studio with drummer Havard Takle Ohr and keyboardist Geir Nilsen, emailed music parts were flying in from all over the globe like members of the International Olympic Committee on their way to a fine dining festival.

Split LP showcases top-shelf French garage rock

split lgfGames, Sex and Life – Little Green Fairy/Go To The Station – The Sonic Preachers (Zombies on Mars Records)

This split vinyl album pairing of French veterans Little Green Fairy and evangelistic garage rock countrymen Sonic Preachers is très cool

The concept of a split single or EP is common, but two bands sharing a side of an LP less so. Maybe it’s some canny French move to save money in the pandemic, or a reflection of both bands coming from the picturesque port city of Sète,  (“the Venice of the Languedoc”) and sharing a guitarist? Who knows? Slap it on the turntable and stop worrying. The sound of both bands complements each other.

Little Green Fairy (it's an absinthe) has come a long way in their 20-plus years. Originally taking a derivative leaf from the rough and ready psych garage rock of The Vietnam Veterans, they’ve broadened their sound and it’s not easily pigeon-holed. They remain the go-to band for support spots on the French Mediterannean coast, and have an impressive back five-album catalogue. 

Seminal sounds

protons single cvrTombstone b/w Revolution – Proton Energy Pills (Outtaspace)

You can’t replicate the past but you sure can borrow from it. Two founding members of ‘80s Wollongong upstarts Proton Energy Pills have teamed with three younger players to lay down some of their old band’s unrecorded songs and the results are satisfying.

As predecessors to Tumbleweed and the vastly underrated Brother Brick, the Protons lit a fuse under their hometown and made righteous noise on the national touring circuit before falling apart. Three decades on, there was never an intention to release these recordings and their progress to completion was stymied by various health issues.  After hearing the fruits of their labour however, original members Dave Curley and Stew Cunningham (he of Leadfinger) thought: Why not?

Live tribute to Damo makes it to vinyl

damo the musical cvrDamo The Musical – The Celibate Rifles (self released)

Sunday, September 22, in the year 2019 P.P. (Pre Plague) was the date when The Celibate Rifles took to The Enmore Theatre stage in Sydney to pay tribute to their late frontman Damien Lovelock. The show was originally scheduled for The Factory Theatre, but demand for tickets outgrew the room. And it sounded something like this…

This LP is a dozen songs from the night and a fitting tribute to the man widely known as Damo. With his place at the centre stage mic vacant, some friends had to fill it. More on them later, but first some observations.

The instrumental mix is as punchy as fuck; with an big bottom-end. The vocals are up and down - but put that down to the vagaries of varying mic technique. It was a round robin of singers without the luxury of extended rehearsals. The Rifles excelled in accommodating the rotating cast which gave its best in return.

Debut for Robodebt is no debt and deficit disaster

robodebt single cvrFlat Till Death – Robodebt (Swashbuckling Hobo)

So a band you’ve probably never heard of, let alone heard, releases its debut 45 and The Barman says it shakes more shit that a dunny carter’s truck on a cobblestone street and therefore you should own it? Best believe it. Four punk rock songs on this baby outta Brisbane, and they’re uniformly raw and energetic.

“Uber To The Penthouse” is perhaps the least developed in that it’s a handful of lyrics wrapped around a riff and the briefest of lead breaks, but it kicks like a motherfucker. Nicko (guitar) is a paint-peeler vocalist and the engine room of Dr Rock (bass) and Tom keep it simple, stupid, and economy is the watchword.   

Voice of the exiles

stranded updated coverStranded. Australian Independent Music, 1976-1992. Revised and Expanded Edition
By Clinton Walker (The Visible Spectrum)

First issued in 1996, the brilliant “Stranded” was Clinton Walker's second "overground" success (his first being his biography of Bon Scott two years earlier), and was a more readily-available primer on how Australian music - as a whole - abruptly changed into something both credible and world-class. 

Yeah, and you disagree? Look, prior to 1978 (say) there were only a handful of bands determined, lucky, and good enough to get above the parapet and charge stark-naked and take on the world.

Around 1978, everything changed - though I'll emphasise that the world-wide impending undercurrent of change started way back. Hip young kids taking the present culture and either embracing it or pouring gasoline on it (or both), and investigating the past cultures and appropriating what they identified with. 

In his preface to this edition (with "invisibly" revised original text and very visible expansions), Walker makes several statements I vehemently disagree with. This is unremarkable, as the nature of The Life is that it is mercurial, shape-shifting. For example, where Walker is amused by Sonic Youth's title “1991: The Year Punk Broke”, I thought it insanely naff, wrong and downright stupid.

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