fans of: Greta Van Fleet, The Darkness, early Motörhead
the perfect middle ground. You could say that Australian quartet Datura4play
highway rock, stoner metal, chill doom or downer chug, and you’d be right on
all fronts, the band striking that perfect spot between overdriven and stripped
down. Mother Medusa brings all sand-scattered windows-down attitude you could
ask for, featuring an awesome central riff, some cardboard-ish opening toms,
and a writhing harmonized solo in the middle that sounds like the hair of the
song’s namesake. Will make you feel like you’re in the sweet, sweet outdoors.
Datura4’s West Coast Highway Cosmic comes out April 17.
Video Premiere: “Move” by The Bobby Lees
by Big Takeover Exclusives
The Bobby Lees are a young bone-shaking garage rock band out of Woodstock, NY. In the past year they’ve played with The Chats, Future Islands, Boss Hog, Daddy Long Legs, Shannon & The Clams, and Murphy’s Law.
The band’s sound mixes classic garage rock ‘n’ roll with raw punk attitude with tuneful anthems and emotive storytelling. A planned spring tour unfortunately had to be cancelled for obvious reasons, but they’re hoping that things get better so they can get back out on the road this summer.
The Bobby Lees will unleash their new album Skin Suit on May 8th via Alive Naturalsound Records. The LP was produced by underground punk legend Jon Spencer of the Blues Explosion.
Sam Quartin (vocals, guitar), Kendall Wind (bass), Macky Bowman (drums), and Nick Casa (guitar) kick up quite a rollicking ruckus on Skin Suit which is filled with energetic, gritty, passionate, and rhythmically antic tracks. One such number is the jaggedly lurching and way-too-brief “Move.”
Big Takeover is pleased to host the premiere of the accompanying video for “Move,” which matches the intensity of the song with a montage of footage from the band on tour. It’s now become a bittersweet look back at the band in action since the pandemic has put so many things on pause, including shows/touring.
The band members are in their element live on the stage, but the viewer also gets quick glimpses of life on the road, including changing a flat tire (yikes!), having fun in the hotel room, and eating out (yum!, and sadly missed now).
Quartin gives some details about the shooting of the roving video, explaining, “We shot this video on tour last month in February. We were really lucky to have a bunch of new people come out to the shows and completely lose their shit.That’s what makes a live show fun, if people can get out of themselves and not be scared to move around. That’s what this song “Move” is kind of about… among other things like being possessed.”
Exclusive AUK Mini-Gig: Jerry Leger
By Andrew Frolish
What a fantastic way to close out a week of exclusive AUK mini-gigs! Every day this week, we have brought you a different artist, showcasing their talent and performing just for you. It’s a small gesture to make up for all those cancelled gigs and it’s a little light in the darkness. Today, that shining light is Jerry Leger.
One of 2019’s stand-out albums was ‘Time Out For Tomorrow’ by the great Canadian singer-songwriter. Here at AUK, we said the album was, “A masterful example of Americana songcraft and accomplished musical performance.” Over the last fifteen years, Leger’s output has been remarkably consistent. The prolific singer’s recent albums have been produced by Michael Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies, who has helped refine Leger’s authentic Americana sound. We’re delighted to share two songs recorded by Leger at home, ‘Canvas of Gold’ and ‘Ticket Bought’. Enjoy and stay safe!
Song of the Day: Monophonics “Run for Your Life”
San Francisco’s historically been a hub for exciting musical innovation, a that legacy lives on with Monophonics.
Going back to the beginning of the last decade, this quartet has put some serious weight on the classic soul style while taking the best heady elements of psychedelia to even out. They’ve captured both the Cold War uncertainty and Civil Rights Movement optimism of the ’60s into their psych-soul style, and with the release of the third full-length, It’s Only Us, last week Monophonics has once again ingrained a sense of unity and perseverance in reflection of the modern era. It’s Only Us is officially available for everyone, and although this track has an almost alarmist title, we guarantee it’ll take your mind off the news: “Run For Your Life”!
The ‘King of Shock Rock’ Alice Cooper recently included Datura4’s new track “Rule My World” on his worldwide syndicated radio show ‘Nights With Alice Cooper’! “Rule My World” is from the Aussie rock band’s forthcoming Alive Naturalsound Records LP “West Coast Highway Cosmic” https://nightswithalicecooper.com
COSMIC, MAN: Dom Mariani & Datura4
We settle in for a fresh convo with Australia’s Dom Mariani on his band’s upcoming April release, West Coast Highway Cosmic. “I’m a classic rock tragic at heart,” confesses Mariani. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. (Above photo: Ben Taylor-Vivian)
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
When it comes to music, it’s such a cliché to say about any locale, but we’re gonna say it anyway: there’s just something about Australia. Possibly because of its isolation – remote from everything, getting cultural influences second- and third-hand, having the artifacts but little of the attendant hype to deal with. Possibly it’s simply the independent spirit of the average Australian – the combination of isolation and (though it’s admittedly overstated) a history of penal colonialism contributing to a certain filter, a way of looking at the art of other cultures (particularly American and British) and transforming it into a distinctly Australian vision. Regardless, the rock & roll that’s come out of the island nation has its own special flair, a certain je ne sais quoi that other countries don’t have.
All that speculation serves as a lead-in to the introduction of one Domenic Mariani, a singular figure in Australia’s rock scene for forty years. Lover of melody, shit-hot guitarist and absolutely winsome singer, Mariani has made his mark on the fields of garage rock (the Stems, the Stoneage Hearts, the DomNicks), surf rock (the Majestic Kelp) and, especially, power pop (the DM3, the Someloves, the Summer Suns), gaining diehard fans around the world. His current project, a singular spin on bluesy power rock dubbed Datura4, pays homage to his youthful love of early seventies blues rock and hard rock, emphasizing his expert six-string pyrotechnics without eschewing his traditional, song-based melodic instincts. Joined by guitarist Greg Hitchcock (Kryptonics, You Am I), bassist Stu Loasby (the Majestic Kelp, Jack & the Beanstalk), and drummer Warren Hall (the Drones, Gutterville Splendor Six), Mariani made three richly produced, riff-soaked albums that sound distinguished from his other work, while still being of a piece with it.
Hitchcock has since left and been replaced by keyboardist Bob Patient; the reconstituted quartet returns to the record racks this spring, on April 17, with West Coast Highway Cosmic (Alive Naturalsound), its most varied and accomplished LP thus far. We caught up with Mariani via e-mail to talk about the new Datura4 album and how it fits in with the rest of his career.
BLURT: Congratulations on West Coast Highway Cosmic. The songs are catchier, the riffs are sharper, the vocals as strong as ever. You’ve mentioned not wanting to repeat yourself from album to album. What inspired you to push D4 further than it had gone before?
DOM MARIANI: A couple significant things happened during the sessions for previous album Blessed is the Boogie . The first was the departure of Greg Hitchcock, which reduced the band to a three-piece for the recording process. The second, and most timely, was hooking up with our keyboard player Bob Patient. We had Bob come in for a session. There was a connection and it really opened up a world of possibilities for us. Greg had been against the idea of keyboards on previous records, and his leaving really freed things up for us to go beyond the two guitars-bass-and-drums thing.
We were chuffed when Bob agreed to join the band. This led to two new songs (“Cat on a Roof” and “Evil People Pt. 2”) being added to the album. Both from a band and a personal songwriting perspective, it’s the best thing that could have happened. West Coast Highway Cosmic is the first full album with Bob, and is just the tip of the iceberg. There was more spontaneity, paired with a “let’s see what happens” kind of approach to the recording. Some of the tunes came from basic grooves that Warren and myself had worked up in the studio. The results are a little more eclectic than on our previous albums.
In these strange times when people around the world are literally living in isolation, we are trying to spread a little joy by asking some of our favourite acts to perform exclusive mini-gigs for the AUK community. This is a real treat: two songs from the great Ags Connolly. Beautiful songwriting, perfect guitar playing and characterful vocals – it’s all here to help get you through! The first song, ‘Say it Out Loud’ is from one of last year’s stand-out albums, ‘Wrong Again’, described by Bob Harris as, “Modern day traditionalism of the very, very best kind.” Here at AUK, we said that the album is “…for anyone longing to reach country music on real terms.”
Track Premiere: The Bobby Lees “I’m A Man”
BY JOHN B. MOORE
It takes a lot of balls to try and pull off a Bo Diddley cover. So it seems pretty apt that the female-fronted garage punk band The Bobby Lees not only attempt it, but do so with amazing results.
The Woodstock, NY, based foursome cover “I’m A Man,” on their new LP, Skin Suit, out May 8th via Alive Naturalsound Records. Blurt is stoked to be able to offer you the song premiere. Check it out:
“I’ve heard people say ‘you can’t cover Bo Diddley, you just can’t’ so I thought fuck it, let’s try,” said frontwoman Sam Quartin. “We had a lot of fun recording ‘I’m a Man.’ As far as the gender thing, when doing PR for this record, I’ve been asked what I want to be called.
“When I look at anyone else or myself, all I see is energy trapped inside a bag of flesh, so you can call me whatever you’d like! And sorry Bo Diddley, we failed but we love you.”
Skin Suit was produced by punk great Jon Spencer, of the Blues Explosion, Boss Hog and Pussy Galore. The Bobby Lees will take the album out on the road starting in mid-March.