From the depths of profound madness comes a profoundly sane music.
Melbourne recluse Tim Crossey has mined the maze of his lurid mind to come up with a startling collection of deftly written songs – and pulled them together into an album of eerily tuneful country music. Returning to his derelict roots in the Hunter Valley he’s pulled in favours, conned, cajoled and bribed a coterie of musicians to record a record-and-a-bit full of songs at RTN studios, Newcastle.
Insouciantly dubbing the band his Adult Contemporaries is superb irony – these career bums personify the adage that musicians are the Peter Pans of this Nihilistic Age.
Playing guitar is Hank Green, the son of Australian blues lynchpin Johnny Green. The savage young darling of Melbourne blues plays in the notorious Goatpiss Gasoline. He came of age on stage and on the road with Johnny’s own crew of reprobates in two decades of formative dissolution. Hank used to play guitar behind his head as a chubby adolescent and now, ten foot tall and bursting with every blues lick ever known, a chameleon gangster hybrid of Lightning Hopkins and Hound Dog Taylor, he’s become a monster in his own right.
Dale Townsend is Newcastle’s best known punk bass agenda, a stalwart of such nationally derided outfits as Conation and Like… Alaska. Having previously dabbled in country music (although he claims that at the time he never inhaled) in Like... Alaska, Jen Buxton and the Overcast, under the deranged mentorship of Crossey he’s coaxed forth a not entirely orthodox yet somehow winningly winsome parody of the style that made the Johnnies great, and killed off the alt-country virus altogether.
Lachlan Dengate has become a byword for depravity and precision drumming. Perhaps best known for his long association with Sydney’s rockabilly blues titans The Whiteliners, his driving, muscular style is only matched by his prodigious ability to devour beers whilst at the helm. Also a mainstay of such ferocious consumers as The Shout Brothers, he’s not only one of the nicest guys in rock until he’s had twenty schooners, but he does his best not to fall off his stool until the last set. A profound interpreter of Bon Scott moves, he has the tattoos to match.
Himself a fairly able hand at wizard country guitar licks, Crossey plies acoustic guitars and a well heeled Telecaster for that authentic Merle Haggard twang. While the insidious atmospherics of Steely Dan are liable to creep into his patently lo fi leanings, such maunderings on their debut album Super Agonistes are well countered by the low rent attack of his Adult Contemporaries, and the matchless technique of guest pedal steel maestro Roy Payne.