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There is a perception that ‘rock’ is a bunch of misfit, angry teenage boys thrashing their instruments in their garage making nothing but noise. This stereotypical image, although being a definite factor of what makes rock great, does not define the genre in its entirety. The music scene is constantly changing, making room for new variations to surface.
With bands that defined rock n’ roll making their way back to town, the time is ripe to celebrate all that is fun about the genre with Cigars of the Pharaoh.
A new wave of classic rock music is sweeping through NSW. The band Cigars of the Pharaoh is a fast emerging lot who recently released their debut EP Mystery Highway. The band comprises of four members, Craig ‘Cas’ Cassar (lead vocals), Kurt De (guitars), Simon Figliuzzi (bass) and Toby Forage (drums). Forming in 2015, they already have a Facebook following of 891 fans and an Instagram following of 4,159. Playing their first show at The Lewisham Hotel in Sydney, Cigars of the Pharaoh have already played in various other places including Melbourne.
Like every band in the beginning, they had to make a name for themselves. Drummer Toby Forage said that he found the Melbourne music scene “Healthy for all genres. It was Sydney that proved to be most challenging. Many venues have closed, and most other places are more interested in how many people you’re going to bring to buy booze and make them money rather than supporting the local live music scene.” However, the boys have found that for the venues they have played, they have been well received.
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Forage said the member’s shared a common connection over bluesy rock from the beginning. He said, “We all wanted to play something that was fun for not only us, but also for those listening to it. We never really discussed the genre per se it all just came organically. We were playing what we wanted to, without compromising out styles for the sake of one unifying sound.”
This is obvious when listening to Mystery Highway. The title song starts heavy, a fast paced instrumental where you expect the lead singer to start belting out almost incomprehensible words, but when Cassar starts to sing, it’s almost contrary to what metal is. It’s got more of that slower bluesy pace. Each word is perfectly articulated which makes the hard rock background less intimidating. Sometimes heavy music can be in your face and hard to handle, so having mellow vocals after an intense intro is what has given the music an edge.
This is the same through their following songs Never Leave You, I Am the Wizard and Life of Sin. Each song different in their own way, but all showing hints of the different music styles the guys love.
So where is Cigars of the Pharaoh going next? After eight months, the band has already received airplay in Australia and the US, as well as having recorded four songs and an official EP. They are now “Focusing on building on their fan base and creating momentum around the music and their live performances, with a few more songs coming our way in the next few months (we hope)”, says Forage.
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