Friday, May 11, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 56: Hoodoo Gurus - Mars Needs Guitars!

Album - Mars Needs Guitars!
Artist - Hoodoo Gurus
Key Players - Clyde Bramley - bass and vocals, David Faulkner -guitar and lead vocals, Mark Kingsmill -drums, Brad Shepherd - guitar, vocals and mouth harp.
Produced By - Charles Fisher

Release Date May 1985

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- Just needed a pretty bare-bones rock record..and *POOF* there it was.

Overview - This is the second album from Australian rock band Hoodoo Gurus. The band would gain moderate success with tracks from each of its albums. If you were a fan of alternative music in the mid eighties there is a good chance you heard this album more than once.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) "Bittersweet" fades up with a very "chiming" guitar sound. The drums line is not overly complex but they are hit with much force. The harmonies in the chorus show that this band is more than just power chords. "Poison Pen" is the longest track on the album at just over 4 minutes, this bands knows how to get in and out of the tunes. Rolling bass and floor toms open up the track. The band gets raucous at the end with cymbals crashing and harmonica all locked in a groove. "In the Wild" follows using some of the same formula of the last two tracks. The guitar work is punchy and the lyrics are sung quickly. The guitar has a cleaner ring to it while holding some "twang" as well. "Death Defying" is a standout track. A little slower than the previous track, but no less hard hitting the bass line really gives this track the solid groove it sets along. The dual guitar parts matching on the verse are a nice touch. "Like Wow -- Wipeout!" one of the first tracks I'd play for a new fan of the band. It uses the similar drum line to the surfing track "Wipeout". The chorus is a lot of fun, what do you sing the "ahhhs" or the lead vocal track? "Hayride to Hell" has a very rock-a-billy feel. The guitar lines are plucked cleanly and quickly as the drums fall into a march tempo. "Show Some Emotion" - we are hitting some real "poppy" moments by this point. A wonderfully catchy track with crisp playing (if that is even a word) and the band is really gelling at this time. "Other Side of Paradise" is a track you'd swear you heard before even upon first listen. It uses perhaps some of the cliched moments from 80's alternative rock. Sympathetic vocal tracks, one guitar chopping, one guitar swirling above and all of it being held down with a tight rhythm section. "Mars Needs Guitars" is sung by Brad Shepherd. A few weeks ago FDF looked at the Hindu Love Gods and this very track could have landed on that record. Shepherd has a very Zevonesque sounding voice. Per the norm the track is very "bottom heavy" with hard hitting drums. "She" wraps up this very "sonic" yet "poppy" album. The drums are the highlight of the track as the tom-toms get a heavy pounding as the guitars solo around it.

Where are they now? - Bramley left the band in 1987. The band broke up in 1998 but would reform occasionally for benefit concerts. Beginning in 2004 Dave, Mark and Brad played together more often. The band just wrapped up a brief US tour and and are rumored to be working on new material slated for a 2007 release.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- Even though the band toured extensively somehow they ELUDED me in a live setting. My older brother caught them live on a few occasions and said he never saw a drummer hit as hard as Kingsmill.

FDF Overall Take - A terrific record both then and now. It took me ages to find this on cd (albeit a few years ago now) and its a record that got played a fair amount on cassette tape. Even at the time it might not have been looked at as a ground breaking record it is what it is, a very strong, hard hitting pop record.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Inside the liner notes of the cd the band wrote - If you enjoyed this album, please help the band: get your friends to buy a copy and not tape yours. A little ahead of their time eh? With that in mind I'll just give you two tracks...just as a taste.

***********MP3s have been removed July 20, 2007 2:00PM ET********************

Death Defying

You can buy it here or here

Additional Links
MySpace Page
Official Band Site

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 10:13 PM, Blogger Rinjo Njori said...

This is a great post and looking back I am really impressed with a lot of the other posts. I remember getting Stoneage Romeos after seeing the video on 120 minutes. of Course twenty years later I start to find out about their "other" songs.

At 7:08 AM, Anonymous BBS said...

Of course the there was that time I saw the Hoodoos ot the Orphium and bumped into you on the T while you were on your way back from U2 at the Boston Gahden. I believe that was a St. Patricks day show as well...

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Evil Speakers said...

This my 1st visit to FDF in about 5 months.
This album reminds me of homework. Me and my brother would toss this on the turntable and the next thing you know it was lame excuse time at school.

Mars along with,the first Alarm Ep, and U2's War was the sountrack to my dorky freshman year or was it sophmore.


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