After 35 years, the uber cool The Wreckery are back and sounding as suave and brooding as ever in their brilliant new album ‘Fake is Forever’ released through Golden Robot Records. The legendary Australian rock outfit has made an astounding return: it has been a long-awaited release, and the band does not disappoint. This record is a masterclass in capturing the essence of rock and roll’s soul, delivering a gripping, visceral experience that’s bound to resonate with both seasoned fans and newcomers alike.
The Wreckery have always been associated by me with that clustre of slightly terrifying but incredibly gifted musicians coming out of Melbourne in the late seventies early eighties – The Boys Next Door, The Birthday Party and all the various offshoots and varietals, the cell mates of Nick Cave and Rowland S Howard. Dark, brooding, menacing and touched with a gothic edge. A tasty touch of bacchanalia and excess, haunting and atmospheric, deliciously cathartic and brutal.
‘Fake is Forever’ feels like a revelation, a raw and unapologetic exploration of the human condition through the eyes of a band that’s seen it all.
Front man Hugo Race says of the album:
The Wreckery were only together for about four years before we blew ourselves up. Coming back together after 35 years, This new album was a real joy to make, it was great to see everyone again and feel some of that old magic in the room, in fact a lot of it really made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. The songs we brought to this record were very much intended for the Wreckery, or at least for a 21st-century version of the Wreckery staying close to its rock roots and keeping that dark sense of humor. Sometimes it seems that Ironically, Everything that is plastic and fake will last for all techno eternity. Yet, What is real and valuable is transient and short-lived like happiness, like us, human beings. So fake is forever is if you will a protest title swimming against the tide, just like the Wreckery always did…
The DNA is still there – the signature sound of Charles Todd’s baritone sax; the scathing lyrics and vocals of Hugo Race; the distorted angular guitars of Ed Clayton-Jones; the eclecticism of multi-instrumentalist Robin Casinader; Nick Barker and former Plays With Marionettes drummer Frank Trobbiani fuse as the solid engine room of this iconic group. All the original edge with a new maturity and control.
Opening track ‘Smack Me Down’, written by Hugo Race and Australian fashion icon Alannah Hill, explores the ironic consequences of youthful indiscretions, delivered with an explosive energy that is emblematic of The Wreckery’s signature style. With a baritone saxophone edging, the track rumbles with a cool insouciance and an arched eyebrow, full of panache and laced with a sneering attitude. Swampy, gringy and dark, it is a cathartic blast. The track that sets the tone for the entire record. Right from the start, listeners are enveloped in a gloomy, bluesy atmosphere that instantly draws them into The Wreckery’s world.
What makes this album truly exceptional is the band’s ability to blend genres seamlessly. The Wreckery have always had a knack for incorporating elements of blues, rock, punk, and folk into their music, and ‘Fake is Forever’ is no exception. Tracks like ‘The Devil In You’ and ‘Get A Name’ showcase the band’s diversity and instrumental prowess. The guitar work is evocative of the best of American blues, and the rhythm section lays down a foundation that’s as solid as it is soulful.
Vocalist Hugo Race remains a mesmerizing presence on this record, his voice filled with gravelly emotion and genuine storytelling. His lyrical themes often touch on the darker aspects of life and love, making every word feel genuine. Tracks like ‘Garbage Juice’ and ‘Whistle Clean’ are haunting and intense, with Race’s vocals carrying a deep sense of longing and despair.
‘Fake is Forever’ is an album that exudes a timeless quality. It’s an exploration of the human experience, capturing the raw essence of rock and roll’s emotional core. The album does an excellent job of creating a sense of atmosphere, with tracks like ‘Dragonfly’ immersing the listener in a smoky, dimly lit bar where you can almost taste the sweat and smell the whiskey while imerssing us ina shamelyssy pop sensibility with its soaring chorus.
The production on this album is impeccable, ensuring that every instrument, from the guitars to the drums, is given room to breathe. The album’s sound is gritty, earthy, and undeniably real, perfectly complementing the emotional depth of the songs.
As the album progresses, it becomes evident that The Wreckery has not lost an ounce of their edge. The closing track, ‘Young People’ is a masterpiece of slow-burning intensity, showcasing the band’s ability to build tension and release it in a crescendo of raw power. There is a bluesy feel, something created late at night with a sensuous flow, the lyrics excoriating as they tear apart a self-obsessed generation.
In ‘Fake is Forever’, The Wreckery has managed to capture the essence of rock’s emotional depth and the authenticity that has made them a legendary name in Australian indie music. The baritone sax add a thrilling lustre throughout. This album is a testament to their enduring legacy, proving that the spirit of rock and roll is indeed alive and well. With its blend of blues, rock, and punk, and the haunting vocals of Hugo Race, ‘Fake is Forever’ is a must-listen for anyone seeking a genuine, unfiltered musical experience. It’s a record that feels as real as it gets, and it’s bound to leave a lasting impression on all who venture into its dark and beautifully chaotic world.
‘Fake Is Forever’ is out now and available to stream and download here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: creativity has no use-by date. This is incontrovertible proof.
The Wreckery will be launching the album in Melbourne in November – details below.