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Aussie artists
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Howzat! Archive - August 24th 2011

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You gotta love a good internet rumour. Calling All Cars' Wikipedia page suggests that singer Haydn Ing lost more than 9kg while recording the band's new album, Dancing With A Dead Man. "This was allegedly due to the unique process of recording 80 per cent of the vocal takes in a room heated between 38 and 46 degrees," the page states. It refers to an interview Haydn supposedly did with an internationally renowned recording magazine called Vocal Soundzzz: "Sure, I was feeling faint and vomiting between takes, but can you put a physical price on a glorious vocal take? I would have happily died in the vocal booth if it meant it was going to make the record better."

"It's a good story, isn't it?" Haydn laughs when Howzat! brings it up. He refuses to confirm or deny the band was responsible for the rumour, but it shows that Calling All Cars have both a sense of humour and a strong work ethic. Worried about the dreaded "Second Album Syndrome", they demoed 40 songs. They also relied on the advice of producer and manager, Shihad's drummer Tom Larkin. "His main advice is 'harden up'," Haydn smiles. "When we're doing it tough on the road, sleeping on floors, he just tells us that he's been doing the same thing for more than 20 years."

From the outside, it looks like a dream come true: Country boys (from Tilba in NSW) move to the big city, release their debut album (Hold, Hold, Fire), get stacks of radio play on Triple J, and go on the road with their rock heroes, AC/DC, Grinspoon and Queens Of The Stone Age. But is there a difference between the dream and the reality? "The only thing, really, is the amount of hard work," Haydn says. "When you're a kid, you think you just have to write a bunch of good songs and then go on tour. But there's a lot more hard work to it."

The hard work is set to pay off with Dancing With A Dead Man, which has already had a Top 20 debut on the ARIA charts. No sophomore jinx here, it's a rock solid collection of tunes that lives up to the band's own description: "If our sound was a woman, she would look a bit like a dude." After just two overseas shows following their debut (supporting Green Day in Auckland), this is the album that should take Calling All Cars to the world. The first single, Reptile, comes with a video (shot near Bendigo) that matches the song's aggression and anxiety, while Worlds Collide is a hit waiting to happen. "People think that's a love song," Haydn says, "but it's not. I was out one night and I was just over it. You know, when you get to that point where you just want to go home?" It looks like Calling All Cars won't be going home for a while. Their 17-show album tour hits the Corner on Friday (with Boy In A Box and Redcoats).

The tip-off came from Howzat!'s good buddy Neil Rogers, host of RRR's The Australian Mood: Kings of the Sun had released a new album. We love the Kings. In case you're not familiar with the Hoad Brothers' work, the Kings made other cock rock bands look like pussies. A mix of AC/DC and Georgia Satellites, with David Lee Roth out front, they should have conquered the world. The "new" Kings album, Daddy Was A Hobo Man, is a "lost" album from 1997, with Jeff and Cliff Hoad joined by bass player Dean Turner (not to be confused with the late-great Magic Dirt member). That lineup is also responsible for the third Rich and Famous album, Stand Back Prepare To Be Amazed!!!, featuring the killer cut Power Of This. When you hear it, you realise this is a band that still believes. Both albums are available at

Gotye spends a second week on top. Howzat!'s records show he is the only Aussie male artist with just one name to have a number one single. He is also the only Belgian-born artist to top the Australian charts. And the Herald Sun's Cameron Adams points out that Gotye is the only local male without a reality show or comedy connection (think Chris Franklin and The 12th Man) to top the charts since Daryl Braithwaite's The Horses in 1991.

Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (number one)
Inescapable JESSICA MAUBOY (four)
We Run The Night HAVANA BROWN (37)
Love Is A Drug ESKIMO JOE (38, debut)
Endless Summer THE JEZABELS (39, debut)
Always A Winner PETE MURRAY (40)

Eskimo Joe land at three.

Ghosts Of The Past ESKIMO JOE (number three, debut)
Moonfire BOY & BEAR (four)
Get 'Em Girls JESSICA MAUBOY (nine)
Like Drawing Blood GOTYE (13)
Seeker Lover Keeper SEEKER LOVER KEEPER (17)
Double Platinum THE TEN TENORS (22)
The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating THE LIVING END (24)
Rrakala GURRUMUL (28)
Babylon PHRASE (29, debut)
Rain On The Humming Wire THE PANICS (32)
Dancing With A Dead Man CALLING ALL CARS (34)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (38)
The Life Of Riley DRAPHT (39)

New Blood RON S. PENO

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