Adelaide’s Bad//Dreems release their brilliant new album, HOO HA! today courtesy of Farmer & The Owl / BMG Records.
In celebration of this new birth, Bad//Dreems have released a new video today for Mallee. The song depicting Australia’s true history begins in a sordid fashion – a festering penal colony, poorly thought out and executed, that nearly failed numerous times.
Watch the new video for Mallee here, and stream/download HOO HA! on all platforms here.
“I was reading Robert Hughes’ ‘The Fatal Shore’ at the time of writing Mallee,” explains guitarist/songwriter, Alex Cameron. “The Mallee is the often drought-stricken farming area that you pass from Adelaide to Melbourne. Driving through such places I can’t help but feel the desolation of the endless plains, and the ugliness of the dusty paddocks and wind farms where there once had been another world. I think it is important that the difficult and unsavoury parts of our history and culture are not hidden.”
Produced to create a sound that sits near Midnight Oil meeting AC/DC, Mallee explores the first 50 years of Australia as a chaotic and often sordid mess. “Mallee deals with this,” adds Cameron. “In part, it takes its name from Ern Malley, the fictional poet constructed by James McAuley and Harold Stewart in order the Angry Penguins journal, run by Max Harris and John Reed in 1943.” Following a similar theme intheir acerbic anthem ‘Jack,’ where Cameron and singer, Ben Marwe take aim at their forebears for the sanitisation of Australian history, Mallee is a tale of “ignorance, historical lies, and deception.”
Bad//Dreems’ songwriting is the result of the collaboration of Ben Marwe (vocals) 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 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”.
Their songs capture the confusion and anger of their protagonist eking out an existence in today’s world (Cuffed and Collared, Low Life, Northern), the suburban ennui (Desert Television, Hoping For), and the terror of the angry (often male) mob (Mob rule, Bogan Pride).
Whereas many of their contemporaries project their righteous anger outwards at the subject of their malcontent, Marwe steps into the shoes of the protagonists imbuing the songs on HOO HA! with a particular cathartic quality – a particular quality of their live show. They have also voiced their support for truth-telling and recognition of the ongoing mistreatment of Aboriginal people.
Post-pandemic, the band convened 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. They had been separated and spread across different states for over a year. Half of the band had been subjected to the 2nd longest lockdown in the world (268 days).
“We had a newfound appreciation and zest for being able to play together that created the energy of the album,“ explainsMarwe.
Songs were compiled in the incinerator, taken to Melbourne, and recorded with Dan Luscombe (Amyl and the Sniffers, Courtney Barnett, the Drones) at Soundpark Studio. The result epitomises the power of Bad//Dreems literate pub rock, and where high and low culture collides to paint a vivid picture of our current times.
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 a live juggernaut so look out for UK tour news coming soon.
Download it today from https://bad-dreems.lnk.to/hoohaalbumPR