In a time when the world was grappling with the uncertainties and restrictions of a global pandemic, Melbourne’s own psychedelic fuzz rockers, Jack Harlon & The Dead Crows, embarked on a creative journey that resulted in their latest release, “Hail to the Underground.” This album stands as a testament to the band’s unyielding passion for music and their unwavering commitment to keeping the spirit of underground rock alive.
Frontman Tim Coutts-Smith, driven by the desire to explore his musical roots, took to home recording during the series of flash lockdowns that plagued Australia in early 2021. What began as a personal project soon evolved into a collaborative effort with the band’s loyal fanbase. Coutts-Smith reached out to fans through social media, encouraging them to suggest their favorite underground songs for the band to “Harlon-ify.” The result is an enthralling collection of renditions that pay homage to influential tracks that have largely remained hidden from the mainstream.
“Hail to the Underground” is a sonic voyage that transcends boundaries and genres, while still retaining the distinctive touch of Jack Harlon’s spaced-out psychedelia. From the moment the album begins, the listener is engulfed in a haze of fuzz-drenched guitars and hypnotic rhythms. The band’s ability to infuse their own unique sound into each track is a testament to their artistry and musical prowess.
The album’s carefully curated selection of songs showcases the band’s reverence for the underground icons who have shaped their musical journey. From the hauntingly beautiful rendition of Bauhaus’ “Dark Entries” to the ferocious energy of God’s “My Pal,” Jack Harlon & The Dead Crows have masterfully captured the essence of these lesser-known gems. Each track is transformed into a cosmic trip, guided by Coutts-Smith’s mesmerizing vocals and the band’s tight-knit instrumentation.
One of the most remarkable aspects of “Hail to the Underground” is the seamless genre-crossing that occurs throughout the album. The band fearlessly tackles songs from diverse artists such as the Butthole Surfers, Joy Division, and The Melvins, effortlessly infusing their signature sound into each interpretation. This fearless approach not only pays homage to the original artists but also showcases the versatility and creativity of Jack Harlon & The Dead Crows.
While the original artists may not be household names, their impact on the underground music scene is undeniable. Jack Harlon & The Dead Crows have taken up the mantle of preserving and celebrating these underappreciated icons, introducing their work to a new generation of listeners. “Hail to the Underground” serves as a love letter to the music that has shaped the band’s identity, and it invites the audience to immerse themselves in the hidden treasures of the underground.
In conclusion, Jack Harlon & The Dead Crows’ “Hail to the Underground” is a mesmerizing and captivating album that captures the spirit of underground music. Through their fuzz-drenched and genre-crossing renditions, the band pays homage to under the radar icons and invites listeners on a cosmic journey through the realms of psychedelic rock. This album is a testament to the band’s passion for music and their unwavering dedication to keeping the flame of underground rock burning brightly. “Hail to the Underground” is a must-listen for fans of Jack Harlon & The Dead Crows and anyone seeking a transcendent musical experience that transcends boundaries.