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New Christs - We Got This

  by Denzil Watson

published: 11 / 10 / 2002

New Christs - We Got This
Label: Laughing Outlaw
Format: CD


Eclectic, and unfortunately probable final offering from Australian "Stooges-influenced neo-psychedelic garage rock" group, the New Christs

How ironic can you get? Just as a new wave of Antipodean garage rock breaks on these shores in the shape of the Vines, the Datsuns, and the D4 the boat appears to have finally gone out for the last time for one of the founders of the scene, the New Christs. The band formed back in the early 80's out of the ashes of Radio Birdman, arguably one of Oz's most influential bands, led by Australia's answer to Iggy Pop, one Rob Younger. The Christ's spiky Stooges-influenced neo-psychedelic garage rock soon made it's mark via an impressive volley of seven inch singles for the Citadel label, later collected together on the highly recommended 'Divine Rites' compilation LP. Even since the band's inception there seems to have been a revolving door policy with personnel of the Lime Spiders, the Celibate Rifles, the Hoodoo Gurus and the Saints passing through. Despite the numerous line-up changes the band finally managed to release their first long player 'Distemper' in 1989. While the 90's typically saw the band taking one step forwards and two steps backwards they did manage to squeeze out the criminally underrated mini-LP 'Woe Betide'in 1995, and the excellently raw edged 'Lower Yourself' in 1997. 'We Got This' will probably turn out to be the band's curtain call, and in true New Christs' fashion was fraught with the problems that seem to have followed the band around (cue more line-up changes, label bankruptcies and unpaid studio bills). Just as well Laughing Outlaw managed to sort through the wreckage to bring us this fitting epitaph for the band. While 'We Got This' is unlikely to win them the level of recognition they perhaps deserve, it adequately demonstrates just why so many of the current crop of Aussie garage bands give more than a sidewise nod to the Godfathers of the scene. The power-driven fuzz of the title track gets things off to a pretty rapid start as the rasping drawl of Younger's visceral vocals hit you for the very first time. The spinning guitar riff of 'First Plane Home' intertwines with a striking Eastern style guitar coda sending the track up as one of the album's true high points. The melancholic strum of 'Shivnarine' ebbs and flows and finally subsides into hissing maelstrom of 'Groovy Times', a song which surfaced earlier in the year as a Spanish only single release. The rapid-fire speed of 'He's Too Slow' centres around one of Younger's now trademark "ooooohhhhhh, whooooooowowowo" vocal lines and is a blindingly simplistic adrenaline rush of good old straightforward rock'n'roll. The crashing waves of the Eastern-influenced guitar of 'Impeachment' with its swirling fairground synths and offbeat drumming make it one of the more sinister and unnerving songs on the album. Despite getting bogged down mid-way through, things very quickly get back on track with the hauntingly majestic 'Sombrero'. And which other band apart from The New Christs would write a slide-guitar driven spaghetti-western style ode to 'Khartoum'? 'On Top of Me' momentarily pokes it's nose out of the intense guitar meshings to provide one of the albums true commercial moments and arguably it's strongest song, while final cut 'The Party Died' could prove to be the band's self penned swan song. If it does then Rob Younger will be a sad loss to Australia's alternative music scene. But can a man who has lived and breathed music with such intensity and vitality over the last really three decades really kick the habit? I don't think so.

Track Listing:-
1 We Got This!
2 First Plane Home
3 Shivnarine
4 Groovy Times
5 He's Too Slow
6 Impeachment
7 Spit It Out
8 Nadir (Is It You?)
9 Sombrero
10 Sunny Day
11 Khartoum
12 On Top Of Me
13 I Deny Everything
14 Intercourse
15 The Party Died

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