Hoodoo Gurus – Chariot of the Gods
Celebrating a 40th anniversary (since 1981) this unrepentant garage band that made their way to the top of U.S. College & Alternative charts returns after a 10-year hiatus. On their 10th studio LP that includes 13 distinctive Australian rockers — the Hoodoo Gurus remain a definitive slick aggressive unit.
I worked for an Australian film releasing firm in NYC (the early 80s). I was exposed to many exceptional Aussie artists. It was hard to believe they had such well-developed artistry in the American genre Down Under. Lesser-known but famous bands such as Jimmy Barnes & Cold Chisel (“Wild Colonial Boy”) were superb. Dragon with the late Marc Hunter (“April Sun In Cuba” “New Direction”), kept their pop-rock aggression in check. Hunters & Collectors (“Back On The Breadline”) were closest in tradition to the Hoodoo Gurus. I played their songs interchangeably — they were so good together. There was also the eccentric MEO245 (“Screen Memory” LP — quite different from anything in the US & England).
But at first, my premonition was of older men making another try to recapture their rebellious musical balls. But I was wrong — that thought was doused with this expressive delightfully recorded set. They ignited tight, explosive, memorable, snarling unadulterated rock & roll with little effort. Were there missteps? Sure. But hardly anything that anyone would notice.
Chariot of the Gods (Drops March 11–Big Time Photographic Recordings/EMI) is filled with tasty morsels & music that swells like a balloon being blown up. “World of Pain,” has a Reg Presley (The Troggs) vocal style that’s impressive. That early punk vocal is captured. But I could hardly get through the rest without listening closely to my big Klipsch speakers.
Cuts 3 through 7 are luxuriant. Some songs between were a little too 60s for my likes in 2022. But then cuts 9-11 were non-stop exciting slices of imaginative rock. I thought it was over until the last 2 songs 13 & 14 turned up the pilot flame gas.
This was a 50-minute CD by veteran musicians who know what they’re doing. A fair appraisal is that I find it hard for someone who grew up on The Who, The Stones, The Troggs, The Kinks not to lay back & still feel that prevailing wind.
Some stunners were “Get Out of Dodge,” “Answered Prayers,” Was I Supposed To Care?” “Hang With the Girls,” (excellent), “My Imaginary Friend,” the title track (dynamic), “Carry On,” (the first single), “I Come From Your Future,” “Settle Down,” & the finale “Got To Get You Out of My Life,” (another well-charged tune with guest vocals: Marcia Hines & Nik on Sleishman Drums).
Produced by Hoodoo Guru Dave Faulkner (vocals/guitar/keyboardist) with Wayne Connelly. Rick Grossman (bass/bv), Nik Rieth (drums), Brad Shepherd (vocals/guitar/harmonica), with guests: Andy Vickers (sax), Charlie McMahon (didgeribone), Vicki Peterson, John Cowsill, Mahalia Barnes & Juanita Tippins (backing vocals).
Photo Credit: Christopher Ferguson. The CD is available @ https://www.hoodoogurus.net/