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Album Review

The apparent breakup (again) of Radio Birdman after their fine reunion album Zeno Beach and some simply amazing live shows in support came as a real disappointment to fans, but if there's any good news in this, Birdman's return certainly gave lead singer Rob Younger a strong dose of confidence and enthusiasm, and Gloria, the first album from Younger's the New Christs since Radio Birdman's return to the recording studio, ranks with the man's finest work. Younger croons a bit more than he bellows on Gloria, but he still brings gale-force passion and impact to these 11 songs (all of which he either wrote or co-wrote), and his balance between full-bodied melodicism and a punk's declamatory intensity is as impressive as ever; more than 30 years into his career he remains one of the greatest voices of Australian rock & roll. And if his band isn't as powerful and visionary as Radio Birdman...well, who is? Judged on their own merits, the New Christs throw up a mighty wall of guitar-based rock & roll here, with Dave Kettley's leads sounding as muscular as Charles Atlas, Jim Dickson and Stuart Wilson holding down the backbeat with plenty of power and just the right touch of swing, and Brent Williams adding some nice textures on keys and guitar. Gloria manages to sound rich and atmospheric while rocking powerfully hard, and while Birdman fans might wish for something faster/louder/leaner, this is still unabashed grand-scale rock from a guy who can sing it right and a band that can keep up with him all the way.


Formed: 1981

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Founded by ex-Radio Birdman vocalist Rob Younger, Australia's New Christs have managed to persevere through many personnel changes, as well as Younger's many commitments producing other bands. Initially started as a one-off to record a single ("Face a New God," 1981, now worth big money down under), the band did not perform until 1983 when Younger assembled an all-star lineup featuring members of the Celibate Rifles, Birdman, and a future Hoodoo Guru to tour with Iggy Pop, then making his first venture...
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Gloria, The New Christs
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