Saturday, January 30, 2010

Died Pretty : Trace 1993

At a time when Australian rock meant pub rock and every other band sounded like Cold Chisel, Died Pretty were something of an anomaly. Influenced more by the Velvet Underground, the Stooges, and the Doors .

While playing around Sydney venues like the Trade Union Club they were spotted by John Needham, founder of the indie label Citadel Records, who offered to manage them and release some of their songs. After several singles and the EP Next to Nothing, all of which made the local alternative charts, the rhythm section changed once again. Mark Lock (formerly of the Phantom Agents) and Chris Welsh (who had played drums with Peno in his old band the 31st) joined them for the recording of their first album, Free Dirt, which was released in 1986. A European tour followed, and they signed to British label Beggars Banquet for their overseas distribution. As a result, their second album, 1988's Lost, made it into the Italian charts. In Australia, the album was released on Blue Mosque, a collaboration between Citadel Records and major label Festival.

Frank Brunetti and then Mark Lock left the band during the period of intense overseas touring that followed Lost's release and were replaced by John Hoey and Steve Clark on keyboard and drums respectively. While in Los Angeles, they recorded 1990s Every Brilliant Day. It was their fourth album, Doughboy Hollow, recorded back in Sydney, that finally gave them the popularity in Australia that they had enjoyed in Europe. After years of only making the alternative charts they entered the Top 20 of the mainstream album sales charts and were nominated for an ARIA award for best independent album (as well as best independent album cover ). Unfortunately, their label had failed to press enough copies of the album and there were also problems with overseas distribution, preventing it from being the runaway success for them it could have been. Died Pretty signed to Sony soon after the Doughboy Hollow fiasco.

Robert Warren became the band's new bass player for their two albums with Sony, 1993's Trace and 1995's Sold. Both albums did well by their standards but not by Sony's. A senior figure at Sony had also been disappointed by the band during a live showcase, and they were dropped from the label's roster in 1996 and returned to Citadel Records. The two albums from this period would be the last of their career. These albums, Using My Gills as a Road Map and Everyday Dream, marked a move away from rocky post-punk and towards Kraftwerk-style electronica. After a best-of collection released in 1999, Out of the Unknown, the band broke up.

In 2008 Died Pretty reunited to perform their most popular album, Doughboy Hollow, in its entirety as part of All Tomorrow's Parties' Don't Look Back series of concerts to coincide with its re-release.

(all music .com)


Side ONE

1. Harness up (Soul's on Fire) Myers, Peno 4:07
2. Caressing Swine Myers, Peno 4:07
3. Headaround Myers, Peno 3:16
4. Til We Get It Right Myers 4:06
5. The Rivers Myers, Peno 7:15

Side Two

1. A State of Graceful Mourning Myers, Peno 5:53
2. Just Forever Myers, Peno 5:28
3. Through My Heart Myers 3:47
4. 110 BPM Hoey, Peno 5:07
5. Dream Away Hoey, Peno 5:35
6. Seize Your Ways Myers, Peno

There's plenty to love about Trace, but it is in parts a brighter, slightly lighter album -- but who's to knock the band for that particular approach? "Harness Up (Soul's on Fire)," which an earlier version of the group might have really torn through, gets an easy pace and swing here, sounding just right as it goes, Peno and Myers once again at the core of it all. The most radical track is "110 B.P.M." -- as the title indicates, it's actually a stab at dance groove, if not necessarily moving at said speed. Successful? More than might be thought -- while it's clearly a dipping of toes into a genre the band had never otherwise been associated with, it's a dark, smoky track with snarling work from Myers and aggro vocals (and lyrics!) from Peno. All this said, there are some things that are forever Died Pretty, and the lead single from the album, "Caressing Swine," is a great example, with a low, rumbling rhythm, some quick, slashing guitar from Myers, and an air of general intensity building up to a fine chorus. The strong rave-ups of the past aren't as prominent here, continuing the pattern of Doughboy Hollow, but the overall sense of passion hasn't changed a bit. Myers takes a fine vocal bow on "Til We Get It Right," while the frazzled drama of "The Rivers" is a deserved standout, and the beautiful "Seize Your Ways" concludes the album. On balance, a fine way to end. ~ Ned Raggett, All Music Guide


You rant and scream, 'Hey! something's wrong!'
Your flavour's gone from your favourite song
You've got to cease for this sound
You've got to turn my headaround

Here comes the scene-stealin' moon
The life and times of a 'none-too-soon'
For something lost, yeah something's found
You've got to turn my headaround

Spin , Linda , spin !

Turn my head around
Turn my head around

Just say goodbye to your flares
Those purple pants and that lime-green hair
You've got to dance on new ground
You've got to turn my headaround

Turn my headaround
Turn my headaround and around and around and around
Turn my headaround and around , yeah !

Size : 123 MB
Format : Vinyl Lp
Label : Sony Music
Made : London UK
Bitrate : 320


  1. Thank you! I'm curious about this band.

  2. it's hard to find... thanks!!!