TIP OF THE TONGUE 23 OCTOBER 2011
The Lost Domain
Blondes Chew More Gum
Negative Guest List 1020
Staggering and timely reissue of a 1995 cassette from this legendary Australian underground free rock group (back then known as The Invisible Empire) that oughta re-write goddamn history. The Lost Domain were and are one of Australia’s best kept secrets, the centre of gravity for a whole scene, with a revolving membership that has at one time featured a buncha key underground players – Leighton Craig, Eugene Carchesio, Ian Wadley – and who re-wrote the free rock manifesto as radically as The Dead C. Indeed, The Dead C might be their nearest bed-fellows. Blondes Chew More Gum features a six-piece line-up, with the core of guitarist David MacKinnon and guitarist/vocalist/mandolin player/organist Simon Ellaby joined by Greg Hilleard on guitar/FX and vocals and the ‘drum orchestra’ of Dina Bojic, Bettina Graham and Ian Wadley. The drums dunt all over the place, now beating doomy cultic tattoos, now staggering through endless repeat guitar breakdowns like wounded soldiers, now raising the skies like the Ya Ho Wha Orchestra. The guitar playing is ferociously minimal, working weaves of frazzled steel into hypnotic registers that spill over into euphoric repeats while the vocals mix dying cross-eyed hillbillyisms with Michael Morley does “Sister Ray”. Indeed, the ghost of The Velvets flits throughout this massive double set, particularly the kinda atonal squeal of “Black Angel’s Death Song” but it’s perhaps more accurate to say that they build on the kinda furthered VU sound of units like Vibracathedral Orchestra, combining amplifier worship with DIY ritual and an approach to The Blues that emphasises its potential for musical freedom as much as Harry Pussy. But really, as Jon Dale puts it in his eloquent sleeve notes, “Blondes Chew More Gum fucking ROCKS.” This release turns alla your contemporary rock histories on its head. Singular, bloody-minded in its pursuit of the zone, massively psychedelic destructo rock of the kind only the Southern Hemisphere can deliver. Comes in a gatefold sleeve with liners, snaps and fliers. Highly recommended!