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ALWAYS COMING DOWN, CORDRAZINE COME
It's often called "The Difficult Second Album". Cordrazine's
second album, Always Coming Down (out this week on Rubber
Records), comes 12 years after their debut. Rewind to 1997,
and Cordrazine hit the Top 40 with the stunning single,
Crazy. Their debut album hits the Top 10 the following year.
But singer Hamish Cowan had a major problem: "How do you
tell the people around you how unhappy you are when all
they can see is you living a dream you sought your whole
"At that time, Cordrazine was the loneliest place on earth
for me," Hamish tells Howzat! "I isolated myself so much
as a way to protect myself from all the things I was unable
to deal with, and I was unable to articulate what it was
I couldn't deal with, as even I didn't understand. It's
no secret, I've never been particularly comfortable with
sharing any part of myself with the world, apart from music."
Hamish laughs. "I suspect I am the only narcissist alive
who doesn't like attention! Expressing myself in public
using anything other than music causes me a great deal of
anxiety and this has troubled me in the past to the point
I had to quit the band and run away from the music world."
In a year packed with comebacks, Cordrazine could be 2010's
most welcome return. The Daily Telegraph's Kathy McCabe
told Hamish the band had created "the greatest Smiths album
the Smiths never made". A line in the title-track leaps
out: "It's never over." Is that how Hamish feels about bands?
"No, it's just life. I don't believe in absolutes, I have
never been one of those people who says, 'I'm never doing
that again.' That type of thinking creates prisons in our
minds and closes the door to the amazing opportunities life
can offer. People never stay static, we always grow and
evolve, so nothing ever ends. It just changes."
Back in the late-90s, Cordrazine's dramatic pop was compared
to Jeff Buckley. But Always Coming Down is a much simpler
record. With Nick Batterham's exquisite production, the
focus is on Hamish's stunning voice. "I wanted this record
to be about good songs and nothing was to distract from
that," Hamish explains. Is it a winter album? With songs
called Sunshine and Keeping Warm, is weather a big influence
on Hamish's mood? "I think so. I certainly feel flat in
winter and notice a lowering in my mood … however, I feel
the cold and isolation produces in me the best music. It
allows time for introspection."
The album doesn't feature any duets, though Hamish's wife,
Natalie Gauci (2007's Australian Idol winner), provides
backing vocals on Some Day We'll All Come Together. "I would
love to do a duet with her, she inspires me and is my muse,"
Hamish states. "Nat's passion and unwillingness to compromise
her art and vision keeps me focused and betters me in every
The first Cordrazine album was called From Here to Wherever.
Where did Hamish end up? "Here. Everything leads us to now.
Everything leads to this moment, for better or worse. The
thing is to make the most of every moment along the way
to your 'Wherever'." So will we have to wait another dozen
years for the next Cordrazine record? "I have absolutely
no idea. I don't write songs if I have nothing to say, and
I'm not going to make a record to satisfy record companies.
If there are enough songs I believe in to make another record
then, yes, there will be, and if not, there won't be. So
we'll all have to wait and see, even me." Cordrazine are
launching Always Coming Down at the East Brunswick Club
on 28 August.
Very sad to hear that the Shock warehouse crew will be casualties
of the company merging with CD and DVD manufacturers and
distributors Regency Media. Under the guidance of warehouse
manager Andrew Viney (a 17-year Shock veteran and former
Fish John West Reject bass player), the warehouse has provided
much-needed employment for band members and radio legends
(including Max Crawdaddy). It's yet another thing we've
lost to Sydney.
Mardi Lumsden & The Rising Seas have delivered one of our
favourite titles of the year: Wherever You Go, There You
Are. The EP is mighty fine, too, reminding Howzat! of Aimee
Mann, which is a beautiful thing. The Brisbane band hit
town this weekend, to launch the EP at the Edinburgh Castle
on Saturday. Surrogate Turnip and D. Rogers & The Early
Adopters are also on the bill.
No homegrown hits in the national Top 10.
We No Speak Americano YOLANDA BE COOL (number 18)
iYiYi CODY SIMPSON (19)
Plans BIRDS OF TOKYO (20)
Love The Fall MICHAEL PAYNTER (22)
All The Lovers KYLIE MINOGUE (23)
Lying AMY MEREDITH (28)
Big Jet Plane ANGUS & JULIA STONE (33)
Baby, I'm Getting' Better GYROSCOPE (38)
Kylie and Birds Of Tokyo couldn't do it, but Bliss N Eso
knock off Eminem, to take top spot.
Running On Air BLISS N ESO (number one, debut)
I Believe You Liar WASHINGTON (three, debut)
Birds Of Tokyo BIRDS OF TOKYO (four)
Aphrodite KYLIE MINOGUE (seven)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (10)
Conditions THE TEMPER TRAP (15)
Immersion PENDULUM (21)
April Uprising THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO (27)
Cinema THE CAT EMPIRE (28)
Melinda Does Doris MELINDA SCHNEIDER (30, debut)
We Are Born SIA (31)
Golden Rule POWDERFINGER (38)
Deep Blue PARKWAY DRIVE (39)
Restless AMY MEREDITH (40)
Keeping Warm CORDRAZINE
Pieces Of The Story MARDI LUMSDEN
Love Me Like You Used To Do SKYBOMBERS
Alien Welcome Home PETE SOUNDS
I Come In Peace ROSS WILSON
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