Oh yeah, groovy baby! Australia seems to be at the centre of a lot of whats happening in rock and roll from punk and new wave to rock and further afield so when I got the new Datura4 album to review I kinda put it off for a while what with the psychedelic quotes and a few bits and pieces I’d heard but Alive has always put out quality music and I love some of the rock and roll records they’ve been behind so after reading up on these cats I decided to clear my schedule and dive in.
Starting off with the title track its less Psycadelic than I was expecting and whilst there are swirling keyboards and sound effects once they get their groove on it’s obvious that Datura4 know how to rock and roll. After the intro they step back into the ’70s for a punchy groove that they keep up towards the catchy chorus. Impressive stuff to be fair and power pop with the melodies and roots that belong in the garage without it tucking up the MC5 or Birdman. I think the titles might be a bit misleading and playful but the harmonica howling on ‘Wolfman Woogie’ is a great sound. I think these cats like to Rock out rather than wig out and keep it laid back when they need to and cut loose when they want as well.
‘Mother Medusa’ sounds like the riff Lenny Kravitz had when he wanted people to go his way but it’s a great groove. They come over all Gillan on the spacey ‘You’re The Only One’. They sound like a Cream inspired barroom blues combo on the retro bustin’ ‘Rule My World’ now turn up those fuzz pedals and honk on that gob iron!
‘Give’ sounds like their take on Neil Young with added swirling organ which I’m sure Young would approve of. It’s classic retro Rock and Roll for sure but the acoustic guitar take it somewhere else other than down a simple rock route.
Before they check out ‘You Be The Fool’ is Bolan boogie and my pick of the pops on offer on this retro ride if it weren’t for the excellent barroom rocker ‘Get Out’ that follows. Simple – melodic and a great bit of boogie woogie on that joanna. I’ve enjoyed this trip and as a result, I’m digging into their extensive catalogue to see what else they have to offer.
Ten songs of variety and played by consummate professionals who’ve been doing this Rock and Roll thang for long enough they clearly love the sounds they create and live it to the max they give it that warm retro feel and are proud to don the aviator shades, bellbottoms and big furry handlebars If I’m wrong I’ll eat my Boss fuzz pedal and a whole Wurlitzer organ.
Buy ‘ West Coast Highway Cosmic’ Here
Author: Dom Daley