THE VIOLETS – Smoke, Mirrors & Other Half Truths

Long before Matt Cahill became vocalist/guitarist with Evoletah, he was a member of Aussie rock band The Violets. The Violets received critical acclaim in Australia, but like so many other bands from the southern hemisphere, they didn’t really achieve any commercial success overseas. They were always a band Matt looked upon favourably, but the more the years passed and the more Evoletah covered new musical ground – since 2012, they’ve evolved from being an alternative rock band, into an almost proggy affair, taking in elements of pop, jazz and electronica along the way – the more it seemed as if The Violets would be forever associated with the past.

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ILIUM – Quantum Evolution Event

Since their formation in the late 90s, Australian power metal band Ilium have worked hard at building a fan base, but a sporadic approach to recording and a fairly fluid line up have contributed to making their output seem a little inconsistent. The arrival of Masterplan’s Mike DiMeo on vocals in 2009 and a distribution deal with the Escape Music label helped bring the band to a wider audience, but these associations were fairly short-lived. After a short time away, they re-emerged with the ‘My Misanthropia’ album, recorded with vocalist Lance King – the fourth man to hold that position – and although further albums released between 2017 and 2020 brought former members Mark Sneddon and “Lord” Tim Grose back to the fold, by this time, Ilium only seemed to be reaching out to their more committed fans.

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DR CHRIS & THE REDEEMERS – Stone Cold Redemption

When a band places a bottle of Makers Mark rather prominently in one of their earliest promotional photos and advertises themselves as a blues band, chances are, you’ll get no big surprises when it comes to the kind of sounds they make. For Dr Chris & The Redeemers, the big twist comes from their location. This band comes well versed in the Texas blues, but deliver their rootsy grooves and Stevie Ray Vaughan inflected riffs straight from the heart of Adelaide. In terms of all round authenticity, though, they hit everything absolutely square on. Their debut album is a great release which doesn’t so much present itself like the sound of 2021, but a brilliant throwback to 1990.

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DR CHRIS & THE REDEEMERS – Devil In The Backseat / Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

When a band places a bottle of Makers Mark rather prominently in one of their promotional photos and advertises themselves as a blues band, chances are, you’ll get no big surprises when it comes to the kind of sounds they make. For Dr Chris & The Redeemers, the big twist comes from their location. This band comes well versed in the Texas blues, but deliver their rootsy grooves and Stevie Ray Vaughan inflected riffs from the heart of Adelaide. In terms of all round authenticity, though, they hit everything absolutely square on. Their debut release ‘Devil In The Back Seat’ is a superb piece of blues, which doesn’t so much present itself like the sound of 2021, but a brilliant throwback to 1990.

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MOJO DINGO – Mojo Dingo

As has been said many times, there’s a whole universe of Australian rock and pop bands that have never really made a great impact outside of their home country. Obviously, sites like Bandcamp and streaming services – love ’em or hate ’em – have really helped in getting some of the more underground talents into people’s ears, but all too often, so many Aussie bands have had to rely on a domestic fanbase. As it is with rock, there’s an Australian blues scene that’s barely made a blip on the UK and US record buyers’ radar, with performers like Ray Beadle, The Chris Mawer Band and Kara Grainger helping to fly the flag for the most timeless of genre sounds.

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