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Purity of Essence (Deluxe Edition)

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Editors’ Notes

Australia’s Hoodoo Gurus have been one of the most powerful guitar-pop bands of the past few decades. In the ‘80s, their energetic, unpretentious pop music predated the alt-country music scene and shadowed the R.E.M. slide towards enigmatic folk-rock. Albums such as Stoneage Romeos,Mars Needs Guitars! and Magnum C*m Louder were essential college-radio listening that helped keep strong the alternative rock scene before Nirvana came along and blew the doors wide open. Purity of Essence is the sound of the band grown older and wiser but no less serious about keeping the rock and the roll in their attack. “Ashamed of Me,” “Over Nothing” and “The Stars Look Down” may exhibit a more serious philosophical intent, and “Evening Shade” slows things to a mature mid-tempo, but the quick-slashing guitar chords of “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” and “Crackin’ Up” and the boogie riff of “Only In America” and the buckling rhythm of “Somebody Take Me Home” prove the band haven’t lost their youthful fight.

Customer Reviews

Hooks! Hooks! Hooks! The Gurus are back!

This new release is as good as the stuff the band put out in its heydey, lots of catchy rocking, summer-ready tunes. (Amazing comeback by singer-songwriter Faulkner, as I think this blows away the last release from 6-7 years ago.) If you're buying one song: "I Hope You're Happy" which deserves to be the song of the summer! Other stand-outs: Crackin' Up, Burnt Orange, What's in it for Me, Only in America, Let me In, 1968. Hell, buy the whole thing. I'm hoping these guys come back to tour the US--saw 'em in Philly a couple of years ago, they're great live.

Twenty-seven years on the Hoodoo Gurus still rock

Nearly three decades after this Australian band debuted on college radio with Stoneage Romeos and Mars Needs Guitars, changes in the line-up, break-ups and reformations, hiatuses, and one member’s recovery from cancer haven’t dimmed the group’s energy. Fronted by singer-songwriter Dave Faulkner, the band’s more soulful than in their earlier years, and though they’re not as playful in doling out rapid-fire pop-culture references, they’re still plenty of fun and, best of all, they rock. The band packs many styles into this hour-long, sixteen song album. There are Stones-y rockers (“What’s in it for Me?”), Clash-styled martial beats (“A Few Home Truths”), lumbering twang that suggests a meeting of Lee Hazlewood and Neil Diamond (“Over Nothing?”), retro soul (“Only in America”) and country-rock (“Somebody, Take Me Home”). Faulkner’s early songs keyed on the immediate fascinations of a twenty-something, but in his fifties he writes more from a life lived. The first single, “Crackin’ Up,” considers the pressure of stardom and the feeling of being handled as a commodity. Faulkner wanders without nostalgia through his back pages on the burning Oingo Boingo-styled rocker, “Burnt Orange,” and sees his adult friends’ fascinations (religion, plastic surgery, meditation) as hang-ups on “I Hope You’re Happy.” The penultimate “1968” rocks with a terrific garage-psych sound, and “The Stars Look Down” closes the album with startled thoughts of mortality. It’s a fitting finish to an album that finds the Hoodoo Gurus’ navigating the realizations of middle-age without letting them break their rock ‘n’ roll spirit. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]


Formed: 1981 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australi

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Like most bands, Australia's Hoodoo Gurus were largely the product of their influences; unlike most bands, however, the Hoodoos channeled their inspiration from the vast entirety of the American pop cultural landscape, drawing on such disparate sources as B-movies, bad sitcoms, and junk food -- in tandem with the usual suspects like garage rock, power pop, and surf -- to create a distinctly kitschy and catchy sound. Formed in Sydney in 1981, Le Hoodoo Gurus (as they were originally dubbed) were led...
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Purity of Essence (Deluxe Edition), Hoodoo Gurus
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