Dead Farmers are a band near and dear to the heart of R.I.P. Society and in some ways a catalyst for the founding of the label. When first hearing Dead Farmers as a young person recently thrust into the Sydney music underground they made me reassess the validity of rock ‘n’ roll in the nu-rock new millenium. As we’re now again in a time where there’s plenty of party rock schmucks in the spotlight Dead Farmers are a group that makes me feel ok about having an affinity for rock music. This band is not concerned with being saviour of rock or any set-the-world-on-fire type notoriety, their music comes from a personal love and desire to play music in a way that’s oblivious to trend. It is a hard task explaining why this band is more vital or deserving of your time and money over the hordes of other groups in the vaguely defined spectrum of garage rock…. but they are.

Dead Farmers were the first group released on Melbourne’s Aarght record label and although the bands agenda has not really changed over the last 8 years (their palate certainly hasn’t expanded), they’ve developed a greater feel and ability to harness their economic approach to rock with a more potent and powerful result. Their second album, Wasteland was self recorded live to ½” tape, with a rough mix then sent to Mikey Young to improved upon. The album is free of reverb or other post-recording effects in an effort to present the music strictly on the merit of the songs and performance, an approach inspired by Australian no-frills rock groups AC/DC and from a more localised D-I-Y perspective Mikey’s former group Eddy Current Suppression Ring.

The band has a deep appreciation (as opposed to shallow, retro chic appreprication) of pre-punk 70s rock such as The Stones, Faces, Neil Young, Blue Cheer, the Saints, CCR and The Stooges via a take-charge, masters-of-your-own-universe Minuteman-esque ethos and work ethic. Although a strange lineage to throw them unto I can see parallels with Cosmic Psychos. Not that three young men that grew up together in Sydney’s eastern suburbs have anything to do with being ‘down on the farm’ but in the sense that the medium of punk-informed-rock is open to all character types. Heck I’d say is at it’s healthiest when played by those outside of the routinely marketed typical rock star figure.

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