Album review: DATURA4 – Blessed Is The Boogie

[Release date 05.04.19]

And on the Seventh Day, the Lord rested and as he hitched up his robes and popped the top off a long-neck, he was heard to utter “Blessed Is The Boogie”…and thereafter, the boogie was indeed blessed and the people came and found it was good….2,000 years later, the boogie was re-born in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Hot on the heels of the excellent Demon Blues and Hairy Mountain albums, our favorite strain of Aussie stoner-blues rock purveyors, Datura4, are back with another sacred offering – third album “Blessed Is The Boogie”. Having been baptized as bona-fide with the first two albums, the Boogie album is an unholy collection of ripping new tunes throughout which “the 4” demonstrate their ability to straddle the genres and deliver big time.

Garagey but not grungey, power-poppy but not cheesy, muddy but not sludgy, blues-respecting but not formulaic, trippy but not spacey, Datura4 is carving out their own niche and clearly incorporate their many influences but, refreshingly, keep them as just that – influences which contribute to the greater Datura4 sound.

The album is evenly strong throughout and kicks off with what could arguably now be called Datura4’s signature sound. Opener “Black Dog Keep Running” is moody as a teenager with a straightforward rumbling riff before the title track’s infectious toe-tapper, roadhouse/barrelhouse boogie romp. “Blessed Is The Boogie” is a stonker of a track – beseeching everyone from “cell phone geeks to desert sheiks” to get ready and rock steady…..Lord Rick of Parfitt would have been pleased to see this one on Piledriver.

I’m guessing a “Looper” is Aussie for a reckless nutcase – whatever, the third track of the album has plenty of “reck” and is a testament to the band’s ability to KISS the riff – Keep It Simple Stupid – and they do on this gritty cut. “Run With Lucy”….yeah, I’m thinking that’s short for Lucifer and subtly damns certain male and female US politicians of recent re-known while chugging along nicely, big chorus, bigger heavy slide guitar feature and twin axe attack – the album is really off and running now.

Fun-track “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” is an unashamedly Purple-esque rolling, keys-heavy, four-to-the floor stomp and “Sounds of Gold” has a fabulously fat guitar riff and a chorus you’ll still be singing ten showers from now. That’s the last “get in, get it all over you and get out” track before the band slows the pace with the pleasingly plodding and grubby groove of “Evil People Pt 2”, equal parts trippy guitars and keys on this semi-instrumental stoner jam.

“Not For Me” sees the band in more contemplative mood – starting with an acoustic intro very reminiscent of that Boston song before morphing into a bit of an epic, Traffic-era late ‘60s anthem….would have sat nicely in the setlist of the Beatles last public appearance atop the Apple building in 1969. Follow-on track “Cat On A Roof” maintains that vibe and shows some very mature song-structuring and arrangement. These guys really do alternately kick your ass then give you cream to lessen the pain. Sounds a bit like three or four songs they didn’t know what to do with, then figured out they go together like a virgin’s thighs.

“City of Lights” closes the album with a distinctly West Coast ‘60s/’70s sounding splurge – rounding off a very cool set of new tunes. Bless their Antipodean socks! ****

Review by Mark “Mad Dog” Shaw

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