Every band needs a way to get around. There comes a point in a young musician’s life when slugging it in your mum’s Tarago doesn’t cut it anymore. Your act needs its own set of wheels, an automotive beast that not only gets you from A to B, but shows off what you’re all about. While you may still be scratching your head as to what that is, we’ve decided to give a few examples of 5 Aussie bands and the wheels they should be getting around in.
Whether you’re a motor head or not, your automobile says a lot about you, especially if you’re a muso. So here are 5 sets of wheels that these Aussie bands should drive.
The Stiffys - Motorbike with Sidecar
All of these amazing illustrations were done by Max Prentis.
There’s been some great partnerships over the centuries: Paul McCartney and John Lennon; Simon & Garfunkel; Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. While The Stiffys’ aren’t quite near that level of prominence yet, it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day they’re a twosome and we love them! They’re a complementary swirling binary that amplifies power from every orifice in much the same way that Cyclops from the X-Men shoots lasers from his eyes.
Unlike Cyclops, they don’t long for the cold shoulder of Famke Janssen. They, like me, know it’s fool’s play to eat where you shit. The Stiffys who, by the way, sound like a loose Death from Above 1979, don’t have the lady problems that Cyclops has, because they stick together, and sticking together is what good waffles do. A roadster won’t do for this sort of partnership. It’s too big and ungainly, you need something with a heaven sent design for partnerships like this: a motorbike with sidecar.
The Babe Rainbow – Amphibious Car
Okay, this is really confusing. It’s like in that Simpsons episode when Homer starts taking cannonballs to the gut, and one teen in the Lollapalooza crowd says to the other “Man, are you being sarcastic?”, and the reply comes back “I don’t even know anymore”. Those feels are strong in The Babe Rainbow. Are they really trying to absolutely ape the whole psychedelica thing for reals or for funs? They have songs called Strawberry Cult Reincarnation and Secret Enchanted Broccoli Forest.
Their videos are all grainy and miscoloured, and feature plenty of sitars, flowery print apparel and ridiculous glasses only Elton John would find fashionable. Ugh. I really really don’t know. They just don’t make sense. Sort of like amphibious cars; they’re an immediate post-war invention. I mean, who the fuck ever went “I’m just going to pop down to Woolies, and on the way back, I’ll go via the creek to beat the traffic”. No one ever did, that’s who. It’s a pretty bloody apt connection in confusion that this band and vehicle have in common.
Tkay Maidza – Dirtbike
“She’s actually saying stuff when she raps!” That is a legit, out of context and mostly inconsequential quote from Killer Mike, one half of Run the Jewels. You know what though, he’s actually right. If you listen to any of Tkay Maidza’s songs, you’ll indeed find that to be true. There’s even more things she does that are pretty out there too, namely her street magicianesque deftness in changing between pop and rap and being from Adelaide and contributing to human society.
This edge-of-the-skull approach to life is what also found Hilltop Hoods, another South Australian export, success in the big bad world, as it did also for that bloke who makes rape jokes and swears a lot over soccer footage. Tkay’s burning, nay inflamed, sense of hard-headed individuality is blazing a trail all the way to wherever Killer Mike lives, and back. She is quite figuratively spraying mud into the faces of her opponents. In the same way as the tri-force comes together, so does Tkay and the rugged toughness, individuality and mud-spraying abilities of a dirtbike. And no no, Tkay don’t need no helmet for this beast.
Oscar Key Sung - Scooter
I think Winston Churchill called it right when he said, “We shall fight on the beaches”, because to to be honest, Melbourne doesn’t have beaches like Sydney or Perth does. That’s why, left to their own devices, Melburnians have had to make something from nothing and gather themselves into a swirling snowstorm of “cultureyness”. If there was to be a pure, white snowball to be spat out from that figurative description of Melbourne’s civil character, it’d probably look something quite like Oscar Key Sung. The fashionista/indie synth-pop mashup is probably the most compartmentalised representation of all things Yarra-side that is yet to exist.
Possibly the only features he’s missing out is that a) he’s not a former player for Essendon and b) he isn’t proclaimed as an Australian capital of something. Although he could be both or either of those things; information on the bloke is hard to come by at the moment. So let’s say Oscar’s to get to an AFL grand final: he’s in Eltham, and he’s got to get to the MCG in Richmond. As much as he’d wish to, he can’t take his bike; Melbourne’s world famous weather, where sometimes it’s sunny, windy and rainy in the same day (fancy that, hey!) would mean it’s too dangerous to ride all that way. He might get pushed over by the wind, for one. That means he needs something sturdier, but also something that doesn’t affect the environment that much. That rules out 4WDs and trucks. It also has to be cheap it ain’t easy being a hipster so that means cars are gone, too. It dawns on Oscar: like Highlander, there can only be one. It’s relatively environmentally friendly, it’s cheap, it’s super European, and most importantly, it’s in: the scooter.
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders – 50s Cadillac Hearse
The word ‘brooding’ was probably invented for Jack Ladder and his Dreamlanders. Someone was watching them play one day, in Marrickville or something, and went “They sound brooding”. “Brooding?” their friend asked. “Yeah, brooding. Like brew, but with a ding”. “Brewedding?” “Yeah”. “Nah, don’t get it”. “It’s as if they’re breweding a beer”. “What sort of beer?” “Uhhh…Tooheys Old?” “I totally understand now”.
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders, are deep, dark, really bitter and drunk pretty exclusively by old men just like Tooheys. Rightio, that last example doesn’t quite work, but it’s pretty easy to follow that Jack Ladder is a big marn with a miserable baritone, with music to match. There’s metal and other bands out there that feel like they truly own the gothic and bleak aspects of the music spectrum, but many of those bands are a joke. Death metal in particular is well ridiculous. Jack Ladder, etc, own this mood. Being the modern day Charon that he is, the only way he and his band can get about is via a hearse; a 50s Cadillac hearse, if that indeed was ever a thing.