When asked who my favourite band is, I am pretty quick to answer.
Although I have dozens of ‘favourites’, when it comes down to it, there are 2 bands that have always had a massive effect on me.
Back in high school, I joined the school band. Sure, I was playing the dorky trumpet, and then tuba, but the point was that music was a constant in my life. Even way back to primary school when my mum encouraged us (me and my sister)to play piano, music has always been around me. And although those piano lessons didn’t get me much further than the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, it did teach me to read music and appreciate that music comes in many forms.
In the school band I was surrounded by young, but talented musicians. Through them I discovered music that I probably would not have otherwise. One album that fell into my lap in 1989 was from a relatively unknown band called Living Colour. The first song on that album was a little gem called ‘Cult of Personality’. What stood out for me initially was the musicianship in this song. You see, I don’t hear lyrics generally, I hear the music behind them. If someone asked me to recite the lyrics to a song I’d heard a dozen times I’d probably struggle, but get me to hum a few bars and I’d be fine.
Vernon Reid on Guitar, Will Calhoun on Drums, Muzz Skillings on Bass and the enigmatic Corey Glover on vocals. They are all massively talented, including Doug Wimbish, who replaced Skillings from the Stain album. Each album they’ve released has progressed on from what they were on the previous. I love listening to soulful songs on their first album, Vivid, and then banging the head to ‘Go Away’ on Stain. They are anything but predictable.
It’s one of their more chilled and probably most popular songs from their 2nd album, Time’s Up, that always does it for me. Love Rears Its Ugly Head ranks as one of my favourite songs, from my favourite band of all time. Now, please don’t confuse the original version of this song with the ‘Soul Power Remix’. I actually dislike the remix version. It does not do the song justice at all.
If you haven’t heard it, do yourself a favour right now.
Check out the original film clip (can’t embed) or the live version below.
The 2nd part of the answer to my favourite band, is this band. My favourite Australian band. Regurgitator.
Again, it may be an unusual choice, but bear with me. I have a lot of bands I enjoy listening to, but it’s those bands that continue to re-invent, evolve and release material that isn’t necessarily in your Top 40 that really leave their mark with me. Regurgitator have evolved from being a thrashy rock outfit from Brisbane to a newage/electro/funk/rock/pop band. How did that happen? And which category do they fit in?
The biggest thing to happen to Regurgitator was the making of their 2nd album, Unit. This album should be remembered as one of the best Aussie albums of all time. Not only did it define the direction that Regurgitator were going, it went on to show what was possible for Aussie bands in using a mixture of electronics, rock and funk. And it’s so goddamn fun.
I really don’t know how to describe my love for Regurgitator, but it grew even more after their ‘Band in a Bubble‘ concept which saw them locked inside a glass house in the middle of Melbourne for 3 weeks. I addictively watched that shit on Channel 802 of Fox as much as I could. Quan, Ben and Pete are just so damn real. Not rock star, not ego-maniacs and not fussed at their own fame, or lack of. They just do what they do and they love it.
So, which song of theirs did I pick? It was not an easy job. I was going to go for the first big hit, Blubber Boy, I was thinking about Everyday Formula. Even their thrasy Track 1 was a contender for pure bouncing rocky goodness.
But, no I went with a song that really has no name other than ! or The Song Formally Known As. It’s the song that epitomises Regurgitator. Quan’s quirky lyrics. Modded Bass Lines from Ben. Synthesised Poppy Rocky Perfection.
So, that’s 7 down. Only 3 to go, and only a few days to vote.
I think I’m gonna make it!