Commotion. On the screen. On the street. In your head, in your heart and in your genome.
In the club. In the parliament. On the airwaves.
Rising from humble origins in an Adelaide whitegoods warehouse in 2012, Bad//Dreems today release album #4. ‘HOO HA!’ sees a triumphant Bad//Dreems at the top of their game. One feels that this is the album that finally does justice to their reputation as live juggernaut. It’s their most immediate, vital, and confident record to date and sees them firmly embedded in the canon of independent, literate Australian music that has sought to define the true character of this great Southern land.
‘HOO HA!’ began its life post pandemic in a small studio in Adelaide, located in a disused neo-gothic incinerator designed by Walter Burley Griffin and containing Billy Thorpe’s old Neve recording desk. “We had a new found appreciation and zest for being able to play together that created the energy of the album,” Ben Marwe (vocals) said of the experience.
The songs were taken to Melbourne and recorded with Dan Luscombe (Amyl and the Sniffers, Courtney Barnett, The Drones) at Soundpark Studio in early 2022. The result epitomises the power of Bad//Dreems, Marwe, Alex Cameron (guitar), Ali Wells (rhythm guitar) and Miles Wilson (drums) and finds that point where pub rock meets art-rock and where high a low culture collide to paint a vivid picture of our times.
The songs on ‘HOO HA!’ are the result of the collaboration of Ben and Alex Cameron (guitar), with an aim….. “to strip away the veneer of comfortable Australian suburban banality to reveal the bizarre, the dark, the twisted and the beauty that lies beneath.”
“We try to capture the experience of the everyday person but find within it with the romance of the lost highways the Never-Never, the terrifying vastness of the outback, the sordid colonial origins of Australia and the dystopian future that awaits,” Cameron said.
The first side of ‘HOO HA!’ contains some of the most strident cultural critique the band has laid to record, as they tackle the whitewashing of Australia’s history. Nowhere is this more evident than the acerbic anthem Jack where Cameron and Marwe take aim at their forebears for the sanitisation of Australian history.
No Bennelong, Namatjira, no William Barak
Beds are burning always will be gotta give it back
What you think about that Jack?
Mallee continues this lyrical theme, laying bare the less palatable truth of the early days of the colony. “Australia did not begin as a well-planned utopia; rather it was a poorly thought out and poorly executed prison colony, that nearly failed on a number of occasions. The first 50 years of the country was a chaotic and often sordid mess. Mallee deals with this,” explains Cameron.
Album opener Waterfalls and singles Mansfield 6.0 and See You Tomorrow continue Cameron and Marwe’s exploration of the Australian male psyche. “Alex and I spent a lot of time discussing the characters that inhabit these songs,” said Marwe. “There is a lot of the Rasputin type figure – where the lines between madness and visionary are always unclear. De Niro in Taxi Driver… a lot of Rolf de Heer’s Bad Boy Bubby or the Preacher in the Night of the Hunter,” he continued. “The characters are often critiques of the modern (white) Australian male, in all his confusion, angst, fear and (latent) violence,” added Cameron.
To celebrate ‘HOO HA!’ during its release week, Ben Marwe and Alex Cameron will go into duo mode for a run of very special acoustic performances at indie music stores around Australia with events in Melbourne, Adelaide, Wollongong, Sydney (at Young Henrys in Newtown featuring a live ‘HOO HA!’ podcast recording with special guest Fitzy from Nova, Newcastle, Byron Bay and Brisbane. Full dates and times are here.
This whets the appetite for the Bad//Dreems ‘HOO HA!’ Tour which kicks off with a hometown show at Hindley Street Music Hall in Adelaide on Friday 23rd June (now with Cable Ties added to the bill), Melbourne at the Corner Hotel on Saturday 24th June, Brisbane’s Triffid on Friday 30th June and Sydney’s Factory Theatre on Saturday 1st July. Children Collide and Dr.Sure’s Unusual Practice* will be along for the ride. Tickets are now on sale for all shows here.
The songs on ‘HOO HA!’ mark a newfound sense of confidence for Bad//Dreems; the confidence to express what they want, to sound how they want, and to speak up about what matters to them.
“There was a significant possibility that we may never have been able to record or play together again. If we were to do so I made a pledge to say exactly what I wanted to and make music true to only ourselves. Bugger the consequences,” Cameron declared.
THE ‘HOO HA!’ RECORD STORE EVENTS
Friday May 19th – Oh Jean Records, Melbourne (4PM)
Saturday May 20th – Clarity Records, Adelaide (5PM)
Sunday May 21st – Music Farmers, Wollongong (6PM)
Monday May 22nd – Young Henrys, Sydney (5PM)
Tuesday May 23rd – Hiss & Crackle, Newcastle (5PM)
Wednesday May 24th – Thrills, Byron Bay (4PM)
Thursday May 25th – Sonic Sherpa, Brisbane (5PM)
Presented by Double J + Love Police
BAD//DREEMS – THE ‘HOO HA! TOUR
w/ Children Collide + Dr. Sure’s Unusual Practice TICKETS HERE
Friday 23rd June | Hindley Street Music Hall, Adelaide SA*
Saturday 24th June | Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC
Friday 30th June | The Triffid, Brisbane QLD
Saturday 1st July | Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW
*Dr. Sure’s Unusual Practice not appearing
‘HOO HA!’ IS OUT 19TH MAY 2023 VIA FARMER & THE OWL / BMG
BUY / STREAM HERE
With thanks to Six Boroughs Media