This week I’ve been tasked with writing about a band ostensibly named after an old-school English actress and an overproduced crud-pop Australian singer*. The Delta Riggs seemingly are on the way up: their new album, Dipz Zebazios, was the featured album this week/last week/whatever on triple J; they just came back from a tour of the US where Jimmy Page rocked up to one of their gigs and hung out with the band backstage; and in the late summer, they’re going to be supporting the Foo Fighters on their tour round ‘Straya.
Like your guitar hooks? Then Dipz Zebazios from your mates The Delta Riggs will be right up your alley.
That’s pretty bonza. They also have the added bonus of a Nick Seal of Approval, because they’re sick at covers. Not only was their cover of Glass Animals’ Gooey (on Like A Version) a thorough re-working of a song into their own image, but it also included an element from another song from a completely different genre. It was like a morning pizza, twice the goodness, as good as whenever Faith No More covers a song.
Anyway, I gotta talk about their new album. The lads have conjured an 11-track album, with tracks 2 and 4 (Supersonic Casualties and The Record’s Flawed) being the singles or big songs, I dunno, from the album. The album, on finishing, sounds fulfilling, with conclusion to an orientation and complication. This album takes you on a journey, which is a good thing because it means this band has a vision.
The Delta Riggs have taken their combined musical finger and put it down on a sound that’s a modern revision of classic rock n’ roll, considerably tinged with psychedelica. Well, when I say vision, it’s not lofty like Isis’ (the band, idiots) is, but they know what they’re doing, as shown in this album and their Like A Version appearance.
The album displays a lot of strong rocking songs focused on a hook, like a good rock n’ roll album from back in the day would be – or one of the first three Kings Of Leon albums from a decade ago were. Hook, hook, hook, goes this album, the back of the band focussing on the rocking while the singer obfuscates the crowd with his Bran Stark haircut, skinny jeans, and gyrating hips.
The album features a strong presence of two musical memes going around at the moment (what Jimmy Page calls ‘Hawaiian chords’ and an overzealous amount of psychedelia) but the strength of the hooks and album is such that it’s only human to warm to this band. As we wade past the groove-laden first-half of the album, we begin to reach the experimental back-end. It’s actually a shame many albums conservatively put their ‘normal’ songs at the front to convince the dimwitted peers of ours to continue listening, but as a great man’s stomach once said, ‘Such is Life’.
I quite like the experimental parts of a band’s repertoire. First of all, I like experiments, and secondly it shows how much a band knows and the size of their collective cojones. Ornate Delicate Creatures is the standard contrarian slow song, but it stands out because it’s the first time the band confidently steps out from aping the 1960s.
The following track, No Friends is quite quite experimental, a slow, groovy beat hosting a golden-era hip-hop vocal delivery, halfway to rapping. It was also rather humourous too. I wasn’t sure if the song was meant to be an homage to Flight of the Conchords, because that’s what it certainly sounded like, the chorus “My friends left this house party/Now I have no friends in the party house” sounding rather comedically melancholic. It’s also catchy as shit too, which shows that despite a convergence of psychedically-faded hip-hop vocals over a rock beat, No Friends still comes the better.
So that’s about it, really. These things are only meant to be 300 words, so I should probably stop talking. This album’s quite good and has a lot of potential. One can definitely see these guys getting a bit of a buzz following them, which I guess isn’t that much of a surprise when I see my notes and I’ve written “Could be the soundtrack to summer mobile phone TV ad campaign”. That’s the sort of widely-accessible, memetic music these ‘space rockers’ make. But it’s very enjoyable. Tour dates are below.
Thursday 20 November
Newtown Social Club, Newtown, NSW
(SOLD OUT! Although they probably won’t mind if you stand outside with your ear pressed against
Friday 21 November
Prince Of Wales Hotel, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 22 November
The Odd Fellow (formerly the Norfolk Hotel), Fremantle
Thursday 27 November
Uni Bar, Adelaide University, Adelaide
Saturday 29 November
Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne
Friday 5 December
The Factory, Maroochydore
Saturday 6 December
The Triffid, Newstead, QLD
Tuesday 30 December
Lost Paradise, Glenworth Valley, NSW
*I’m not sure they’d agree with that but lets roll with it.
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