‘Active Galactic’: A cosmic cluster of astronomical anthems

It’s been just over two months since we caught up with The Delta Riggs ahead of their ‘Back To Earth’ party at Fat Controller.

At that point, they’d just released ‘Surgery of Love’, the first single from their third studio album, which they hinted would be out sometime in September.

Well, aren’t we fond of receiving gifts early? As of last Friday 26th August, ‘Active Galactic’ is OUT and we’re about to give you a quick glimpse into the feel of this raunchy record.

Most of us know the first track on the album by now, and if we don’t, we certainly should. ‘Surgery of Love’ sets the scene for ‘Active Galactic’ in a way only a bouncing bassline can.

The scene I’m talking about is that of a smoky, underground dive bar, transcending time and space to take us back to the late 70s, early 80s era of funk and Bee Gees-esque disco.

The gritty Melbourne ensemble released the second single from ‘Active Galactic’ on 11th August as a further taster for the coming record. Its name is ‘Never Seen This Before’ and it is a perfectly formed musical creation – the sort of thing you can imagine playing over John Travolta setting a discotheque dancefloor alight.

The following two tracks, ‘Slingin On A Saturday Night’ and ‘Get Right’ continue in the same vein as the first couple, but get slightly grimier with shades of everything from ‘AM’ epoch Arctic Monkeys to even a little Earth, Wind & Fire. Sticky Fingers fans will delight in hearing the harmonies of front-man Dylan Frost and bassist Paddy Cornwall on ‘Get Right’, a call-to-arms against the controversial Sydney lockout laws.

‘June Gloom’ is just that – a melancholy, anthemic narrative of lovesickness and heartbreak. Still, though, it doesn’t feel harrowing or anaemic in any way; it’s a catchy enough number to get away with being a little soppy.

Jolting us back out of our commiserations, ‘Stay While You Run Away’ and ‘Kids Are Alright’ stray slightly away from the disco theme of the record, without sounding out of place. They’re upbeat and jaunty, simple and seemingly content to sit in the setting of the 70s milk bar or diner.

‘Sunny’ is, for me, the most intriguing track on the album. It’s a six-minute, slow-building ballad that is in parts reminiscent of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’ in terms of the vocals provided by front-man Elliot Hammond – though Hammond’s voice is far more polished than ol’ mate Jagger’s.

‘Baddest Motherfucker In The Beehive’… need I say more? It just has The Delta Riggs written all over it – stating the obvious, I know, but seriously. In some ways, it’s a microcosm of ‘Active Galactic’ as a whole. This track punches you on one cheek and kisses you on the other; it’s sticky and it’s sultry and it doesn’t care what you think.

‘Don’t Be Lonely’ once again brings us up to a foot-tapping, head-banging tempo, only to have ‘Take You For A Ride’ slap us in the face with its funky, hip-hop influenced fusion of synths and punchy bass riffs.

The final two tracks gradually bring us back to the here and now, with ‘Waiting For The Rain’ taking us through our descent and ‘Losing All Our Love’ only serving to compound our post-landing blues.

It seems rare these days to see a band release a 13-track record, but what’s even rarer is a 13-track record without a forgettable song. ‘Active Galactic’ somehow takes you both back through time and up into space, and back. For all you geeks out there, it’s like Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’ for the ears. Please broaden your cosmic horizons and listen to this album on repeat; trust me, you’ll not regret it.

The Delta Riggs are back in town on Friday 30th September, this time packing out The Gov. Tix available here: http://tickets.oztix.com.au/?Event=64759&utm_source=songkick


Image and video: The Delta Riggs FB, The Delta Riggs YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *