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BRITISH INDIA'S EXPLOSIVE HITS
Is there a better rock band in this town than British India?
One listen to their third album, Avalanche (out next week
through Shock), confirms they are one of the great bands
of the modern era. It's the perfect title for a record that
sees singer Declan Melia declare: "I could tear up your
whole world and then not even care."
A line in Nowhere Boys reminds of Midnight Cowboy's classic
Everybody's Talkin': "Everybody's talking at me, I don't
hear a word they're saying.""Everybody's talkin'," Declan
sings, "everyone has nothing to say." Avalanche is the wonderful
sound of teen angst. And this is a band that can make young
people care about rock again. A sample in 90 Ways To Leave
Your Lover states: "Our senses and our minds will no longer
respond to moderate stimulation." British India are aiming
for greatness, and that's a beautiful thing. "Let's do something
amazing while we still can," Declan declares in the bruising
Amid the angst, Avalanche is ultimately celebratory. "I'll
just remember this album as the fun album," Declan tells
Howzat! "There was a certain confidence that you're never
going to have on your second effort, and also we just dug
the songs. I know that even if we never made another British
India record, we could listen to this one and be truly proud
… great times, man, truly."
The album's first official single, Beneath The Satellites,
features the line, "If everything is so fantastic, if this
is our time, then why do I feel like I'm missing out?"
"I like being in a band," Declan points out. "I'm only really
starting to enjoy it to its full potential now. It's a cliché
but it's easy for the touring side of things to just degenerate
into a boys club. Sometimes you feel like you're on a never-ending
boys' weekend away, where nothing matters and you never
have to be sober for work in the morning. Though we all
know it's an unrealistic way of living, it can be so great.
Great moments also spring from writing. When a song springs
to life, it's quite splendid, and it's a far more lasting
exhilaration than getting drunk or crashing a car."
The single also includes the line, "Take me somewhere I've
not been before." Does that summarise the band's approach
to making this album? "It more accurately summarises our
approach to writing in general," Declan explains. "The best
songs we write always drag us in a direction of their own
choosing, and when you're writing, the only way to keep
turning yourself on is to not repeat yourself. And we were
certainly a bit bolder this time with some songs." The approach
is, Don't think, Do! "That should be the rule with songwriting
- don't let yourself think too much, because once you try,
After making two albums in Sydney with legendary producer
Harry Vanda, British India made Avalanche in Melbourne with
manager Glenn Goldsmith. But Vanda remains an inspiration.
"The debt we owe to Harry in terms of songwriting know-how
and even our approach to songwriting is vast," Declan says.
"And we still used a few of the tricks he taught us from
Thieves and Guillotine. We all adore Harry, he helped us
a lot." The result is Avalanche. Rock album of the year?
Without a doubt.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER ROCK TOGETHER
It sounds like a disease: Rumourtism. It's actually the
name of a Melbourne band, who have just released their debut
album, Birds Of A Feather. And they deliver an infectious
brand of rock, swinging from rootsy pop to heavy riffing.
Call it "hippie metal", if you want. "I've always been a
fan of random word play," says singer Bradlee Jay, explaining
the band name. "We could have been called Halal Cool J,
Leo Slayer or RDO Speedwagon, but we're not a hardcore or
punk band, so I guess I subconsciously chose one of the
tamer names." The album features some great guests, including
Steve Hesketh, Ian Collard and Jess McAvoy. The launch is
Sunday at the Northcote Social Club. Head to www.rumourtism.com
for more info.
TWO TICKETS TO PARADISE
Two former Mushroom recording acts are playing live this
week. After time in the UK, The Paradise Motel are back
home, playing one final show in their Northcote Social Club
residency next Tuesday. They're previewing their new album,
Australian Ghost Story, a concept record examining the disappearance
of Azaria Chamberlain. Meanwhile, rock goddess Fiona Lee
Maynard - who fronted Have A Nice Day at the start of the
'90s - is playing on Saturday with her new band, Tijuana
Souvenirs, at the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood.
No homegrown hits in the national Top 20. But The Temper
Trap land at 32.
On A Mission GABRIELLA CILMI (number 25)
Love Lost THE TEMPER TRAP (32, debut)
Sweet Disposition THE TEMPER TRAP (35)
Close To You THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO (40)
The John Butler Trio spend just one week on top. And the
new Hoodoo Gurus album exits the Top 40 after three weeks.
April Uprising THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO (number two)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (four)
On Broadway DAVID CAMPBELL (17, debut)
Conditions THE TEMPER TRAP (18)
Ten GABRIELLA CILMI (29)
Wonder LISA MITCHELL (30)
40 Years True Blue JOHN WILLIAMSON (37)
Evermore EVERMORE (40)
Nowhere Boys BRITISH INDIA
Til Sunrise THE TIGER AND ME
Camp Out AN HORSE
Will You Shine? PERRY KEYES
No Hello RUMOURTISM
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