Premiere: Jo Meares’ Silver Bullets eviscerate the target with the fin de siècle gothic attack of ‘Lone Gun’.

Feature Photograph: Deb Pelser/Angie Jones/Charlie Barker

We’ve been openly stalking Jo Meares for many years now to the extent he would be justified if he took out a restraining order against Backseat Mafia. The fact remains, however, that he is a prodigious talent and whatever he turns is mind to, it will be remarkable. We are therefore catatonic with excitement to carry on the tradition and bring you an exclusive listen to his new project, in which Meares eschews the ambient and ethereal for the full blooded rock’n’roll experience. OK, it’s still ethereal, but with a vibrating combustion engine to power the prose.

Meares has put together a Melbourne-based rock quintet called  Jo Meares’ Silver Bullets (let’s ignore the possessive comma issue) – allowing him to explore an edgier and at times noisier sound on their upcoming debut self-titled vinyl album. 

After playing a number of live shows, the band decided to record some demos. They were initially intended as a document of their sound but on hearing the recordings it quickly became clear the group had recorded something quite special. Meares explains:

We soon realised that we had the makings of a pretty strong album. The songs on the album have all been recorded before and released on my earlier albums so we simply picked the songs that worked best with the band and recorded them.

The album, for me, is as much Mark McCartney’s as mine. It’s a guitar rock album and he is the guitar player. We’ve been playing together 8 years now so he knows my songs in depth. Mark Carson also brings an enormous amount of groove and charisma with his double bass and Charlie Barker brings a lot of grace and melody with her saw and backing vocals. She also softens our perhaps masculine edge!

The first single ‘Lone Gun’, which we premiere today, blasts off with its ambulant bass and Meares’s distinctive throaty vocals that breathe an air of malevolence and opulence. There is cathartic bacchanalian excess to the sound, adorned with lyrics that paint an evocative world laced with indulgence and whiskey. Layers of guitars create shards amongst the rolling percussion and bass and the effect is like a meeting between Rowland S Howard, Edgar Allen Poe and Hunter S Thompson in a dingy dirty basement filled with shattered glass and regret.

To my regret, I have never seem Meares live, but I can imagine his terrifying gothic presence like some carnival preacher exhorting to the masses, imparting his pained and eloquent vision of life: as Poe himself said: There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion and Jo Mears’ Silver Bullets deliver a healthy proportion of strange exquisite beauty:

‘Lone Gun’ is unleashed tomorrow and will be available through all the usual download and streaming sites and now through the link above.

Jo Meares’ Silver Bullets play The Union in Brunswick on Saturday April 27th, ahead of their official album launch at the Marrickville Bowling Club on May 4th, with guests Golden Fang, Sxy Xmas and Syntax Error. This is not to be missed.

Feature Photograph: Deb Pelser/Angie Jones/Charlie Barker

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Next Premiere: Geelong singer/songwriter Daisy Kilbourne exclusively unveils debut single, the haunting and ethereal 'Mother', along with a poignant documentary.

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