I’ve got a long history with Bad//Dreems. A long, bloody history. I started listening to them as a wee 16 year old, back when their Bandcamp page only showed “Close 2 God” and “Chills” as identifiers. But as Bad//Dreems grew, so did their extreme ability to write amazing portraits of the Australian landscape. Surely living in oft-ignored Adelaide, surviving on a steady diet of classic Australian bands like GOD, Powder Monkeys and Cold Chisel has led Bad//Dreems to the inevitable – they are one of the most promising and unique Australian bands existing in the landscape.
Bad//Dreems are a band that could only exist in Australia. No other place would breed this kind of uber-tough melodies and pub rock excellence. That track “My Only Friend” is as purely ‘Strayan as a VB indulged at 2 in the afternoon on a Tuesday, paid for by worker’s comp for that broken toe you suffered six months ago.
As that video very clearly portrays, Bad//Dreems are also one of the hardest touring bands in this country, having gone out on at least 4 national tours this year, two headline shows, and supports for The Scientists and The Preatures. Baddies are heading out on the road again, hitting Newtown Social Club in Sydney on Thursday the 18th of September, with old mates Hockey Dad and Bearhug in support (TIX HERE). In earnest excitement, I’ve asked Barts from the band to hit me up with his Top 5 Australian Records.
Top 5 Australian Records
1. Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls –Gossip/ Under the Sun
We all love the two albums Paul Kelly did with the band know as the Coloured Girls. I particularly like Steve Connolly’s guitar playing. I’ve always tried to find out more about Connolly without much success, except that he died in the nineties. Like most guitarists I like, there is an emphasis on melody and simplicity, never any overcrowding. The rest of the band bristles with energy, which is captured so well on these recordings. Anyone who has lived/left/returned to Adelaide can relate to the Gossip song of the same name. Boredom/resentment versus old connections/nostalgia.
2. Coloured Balls- Ball Power
Call it proto-punk or whatever this is the way rock music should be. Still sounds as vital today as I’m sure it would have in 1973.
3. Sea Scouts- Beacon of Hope
I saw Bird Blobs a few times when I lived in Melbourne. My friend Darren Cross then put me onto Sea Scouts. So visceral. Darren always would go on about going on tour with Sea Scouts and their homemade cardboard box amps and guitars carved from Tasmanian oak. Degreaser’s new album is bloody good too.
4. Midnight Oil- Diesel and Dust
It seems like a lot of the mainstream Australian rock from this era became tarnished by how popular it all got. But there was a whole lot of amazing songs, presented in a refreshingly unpretentious way. This is an example.
5. Rowland S Howard- Teenage Snuff Film
I could listen to that opening guitar break of “Breakdown (and then..)” all day. As close to perfect as an album gets.