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Howzat! Archive - March 17th 2010

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British India could be Howzat!'s favourite local rock band. Their songs have wonderful energy and momentum. And they've got something to say. "If everything is so fantastic, if this is our time, then why do I feel like I'm missing out?" singer Declan Melia declares in the band's brilliant new single, Beneath The Satellites (out now through Shock). Asked to explain the line, Declan says: "Almost unintentionally, the band has been quite all-consuming. It's true to say that we've all disregarded other options and opportunities to be in British India. Everything has fallen by the wayside - school, careers, girlfriends, everything. Certainly we're out there doing what we dig and creating great memories for ourselves, but you do get the feeling that the real world is moving on outside, all around you."

British India's third album, Avalanche, will be out on April 23. It follows Thieves and Guillotine, so the guys obviously like strong one-word titles. "Well, they do look good on iTunes," Declan smiles. "We were actually thinking about getting away from the one-word titles. We had 'Building Golden Tombs', 'Deadbeats' and a few others, but we were using Avalanche as a working title during the recording and we must have mentioned it to a few interviewers because, before too long, Triple J had announced it as the title on their music news, so we just ran with it. Avalanche is the name of the terrorist organization in Final Fantasy VII, which we all dug, and also it was a sort of mission statement when we were recording - to make each song sound like a snowball in an avalanche."

Avalanche is the first album the guys have made at home, after making their first two long-players in Sydney with Harry Vanda. The guys originally planned to buy a house, paint it pink and create an Exile On Main St. vibe. But they ended up at Sing Sing instead - recording opposite Rob Thomas. "I tried to avoid him," Declan says, "I was afraid his mediocrity might rub off on me. [Drummer] Matt [O'Gorman] met him though. The beauty of meeting famous Americans is they're so oblivious to people not kissing their ass, they can never tell when you're making fun of them."

Declan loved making the record. "There was lots of drinking and drug taking, lots of friends stopping by and hanging out. We insisted on only doing wet takes, which just means drunk takes. But it's a tightrope, you know, because it's possible for a take to be too wet. It just means you have to do it again in the morning." More on British India in Howzat! in the lead-up to the Avalanche release. They launch Beneath The Satellites at the Hi-Fi on Saturday.

Sydney's finest pop band, Lazy Susan, have finally finished their fourth album. Places That Made Us will be out on June 25. Look out for the stomping Motown-inspired first single, Find Me A Way Back Into Your Heart.

Skipping Girl Vinegar made a major statement with their debut album, Sift The Noise. It was a folk pop gem, highlighted by the joyous title-track. It won't be an easy album to follow, but if One Long Week, the first single from the band's upcoming second album, is any indication, they're on the right track - without repeating themselves. Sure, it's still got a marvellous melody - complete with some "la la las" - but there's also a dark undercurrent. Producers Nick Huggins and Greg Arnold have helped Mark Lang deliver a stunning, hypnotic vocal. Call it alt folk, if you want. Can't wait for the album! Skipping Girl Vinegar launch One Long Week at the East Brunswick Club this Thursday.

Essendon premiership player Dean Solomon has retired after 209 games with the Bombers and Dockers. Enter The Solomons, who show plenty of youthful exuberance on their self-titled debut EP (on Popboomerang Records). The influences are '60s and British, but they've got enough of their own thing going on. And the ace in their pack is the voice of bass player Cass Allan, who rips it up on the frantic Evening's Empire. The Solomons launch the EP at Ding Dong on Saturday.

Almost 26 years to the day since their classic debut, Stoneage Romeos, the Hoodoo Gurus are back with their first album in six years, Purity Of Essence (on Sony). Howzat! caught up with Dave Faulkner and reminisced about one of the band's early tours - with the now infamous Gary Glitter. "It was the original Glitter Band," Dave recalls, "so we were pretty chuffed. But Gary was displaying some weirdness even then, though certainly not what he was later convicted of." Gary insisted that his son pretend it was his 21st, so the promoters would throw him a big party. Dave later found out Gary's son was older than 21 and it was not his birthday. "It was a good scam," Dave laughs.

Still no homegrown hits in the national Top 20.

On A Mission GABRIELLA CILMI (number 23)
Sweet Disposition THE TEMPER TRAP (27)
Black Box STAN WALKER (29)
Art Of Love GUY SEBASTIAN (37)

Melbourne hip hop act M-Phazes has the week's highest new entry.

Black Ice AC/DC (number 16)
Conditions THE TEMPER TRAP (17)
Before Too Long: Triple J's Tribute To Paul Kelly VARIOUS (18)
Good Gracious M-PHAZES (20, debut)
Wrapped Up Good THE McCLYMONTS (31)
A Book Like This ANGUS & JULIA STONE (34)

Beneath The Satellites BRITISH INDIA
Queen Of Everyone's Heart PERRY KEYES
Evening's Empire THE SOLOMONS
Find Me A Way Back Into Your Heart LAZY SUSAN

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