As their name suggests, Regurgitator's stock in trade is reinventing music, drawing on a vast range of influences and wittily putting the pieces back together in an avalanche of sounds and songs, more pop than the Beastie Boys, less obscure than Primus. The music combines industrial sounds, funk, hip-hop, synth pop, and disco and makes the most of effects and samples. Nothing is sacred. Supporting their roller coaster records with a strong live reputation, Regurgitator has become one of Australia's most popular bands.
The band was formed in Brisbane in late 1993 when Ben Ely and Quan Yeomans met by chance on a bus. Previously, the two had only known each other from other bands they were involved in. With drummer Martin Lee on board, Regurgitator contributed the B-side of a demo Ely's more conventional group, Pangaea, and submitted to Warner Bros. for distribution. Warner showed much more interest in Regurgitator and offered the group a six album deal.
The band subsequently traveled to Bangkok to record their debut album, naming it Tu-Plang, the Thai word for jukebox. A couple of the album's tracks contained samples of the street sounds of Bangkok. Released in May, 1996, the album made the Top Ten in Australia and achieved platinum status. The second album, Unit, was recorded quickly in just six weeks in an old house in Brisbane, because the band didn't want to be away from home. It also reached the Top Ten, and spent most of 1998 in the sales charts. In October, the band breathed new life into the songs with a remixed version called Unit Rebooted, which also made the Top Ten. They spent more time in the studio to put together the third album, ...Art, released in August 1999. In between Regurgitator commitments, Ely continued to work with Pangaea, while Yeomans formed Happyland with his girlfriend Janet English of Spiderbait. After months of denials, drummer Martin Lee left Regurgitator at the end of 1999. ~ Ed Nimmervoll