The Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre has delicately awoken, gingerly stirring to the early afternoon, after the night before. The sweet, fresh scent of freshly cut grass wafts gently through the air as a tribe of creatively shaven gentlemen in horn-rim specs order turmeric lattes before taking a yoga class.
Oh, but life is… EXPLODING!
A squall of molten feedback is rent through the air as 9000 hangovers are brutally resurrected, and the hairs of several packs of dogs suddenly look very attractive. The hipsters keel over and swiftly die of shame, their exploded brain matter quickly trampled against the green amphitheatre floor and forgotten, as Cosmic Psychos finish their 12-second soundcheck and begin to play The Most Australian Song Ever Written, Nice Day to the Go the Pub. Which, at Golden Plains 2014, it most certainly is. “Who had a beer for breakfast?” asks singer/ bassist Ross Knight, raising a can to the crowd. “Don’t we live in a great country?”
Cosmic Psychos are part of the fabric of this nation. They are proudly loud, do not stand on ceremony, send themselves up as readily as anyone else, and will out-drink you, your friends, and any given small town at a weekend. They are not sex symbols, they sing about dead kangaroos, schnitzel, beer, and stuff that pisses them off. And sure, they’re funny – but they’re no joke; after making Nirvana’s Nevermind, producer Butch Vig then turned around and produced the Psychos’ Blokes You Can Trust. They count The Melvins, Mudhoney and L7 as their close friends and fans. Truly, there is no one quite like Cosmic Psychos.
MEET THE PSYCHOS
Lyricist, bassist, longest-lasting (near- original) frontman Ross Knight owns and operates a farm in his native Victoria – the site of several Psychos recordings. “Here we are, three ugly-lookin’ blokes, touring the world, playing all these wonderful cities, meeting all these famous people, and I’m thinkin’ to myself : I’m a f-rkin’ farmer,” he famously said in Psychos doco Blokes You Can Trust. Ross drives a tractor, is handy on the footy field, and is a funny bugger.
Macka, also a member of Melbourne band The Onyas, is a fully qualified swimming instructor and lawyer – or so the story goes. He now gives online guitar lessons, and you should take one: Macka looks like he really needs the money. He replaced longtime guitarist Robbie “Rocket” Watts who died suddenly in 2006, and has since made a massive contribution to the group’s sound.
…is a drummer. For quite a long time, the drummer was Bill Walsh – but he left, and then Ross wrote a song called Kill Bill which is probably not about a Tarantino movie. Dean also played in Hoss – probably the only band anywhere that prepares you for playing in Cosmic Psychos.
Down on the Farm/Cosmic Psychos (1985-87)
If you only ever own one Psychos release, it’s got to be this – their first EP, the legendary Down On The Farm, snugly and down-and-dirtily packaged with their self-titled debut. Remastered by Eddie Current/Green Child maestro Mikey Young, this is a sound which Buzz from The Melvins described as “late ‘70s punk rock, played through a stereo, inside the muffler of a car driving down the freeway.” Yep.
Go the Hack (1989)
Three men stand atop a tractor – to us, semi-normal. To the late-’80s American hardcore scene, somewhat unusual; Mudhoney, The Melvins, Nirvana and others quickly became converts. Contains the classic Lost Cause, later covered by friends L7, which lead to all kinds of carry-on (see PSYCHO FACTS).
Cum the Raw Prawn (2015)
Released in the wake of the Blokes documentary, this is pure, unadulterated Psychos: loud and loutish, never boring, always short if never sweet. Contains Better, Not Bitter, and Pint Girl.
Cosmic Psychos tour nationally March 29 – June 9. Head to their tour page for details.
The new Cosmic Psychos album Loudmouth Soup is out April 6 via Go The Hack.