Hook-ridden hard rocking joy

Warnambool’s Cockfight Shootout have been a band to watch for several years now with appearances at Livid and shows with bands like Monster Magnet, MC5 and the Hellacopters and yet they still remain heavily under-appreciated.

It says a lot about the music scene in this country when Foo Fighters can be all over the radio all day long and a group like Cockfight Shootout can’t even find a label to release their album for five years. Not that I have anything against the Fooeys, mind you, but if you’ve never been able to bring yourself to like them because you think Dave Grohl’s simply too big a wanker, then Asleep in Exile is the album for you.

Recorded about four years ago but in limbo until a month or so ago, Asleep in Exile gets the rock pumping from the opening moments as “Grey” kicks in with a fantastic head-banging, foot-stomping riff. The similarities to Foo Fighters are quickly apparent, particularly the insidous melodies and the way singer/guitarist Keelan Gallogly sounds rather like Grohl perhaps would if he came from south-west Victorian and wasn’t so much of a dick. But these guys are rawer and heavier with a combination of classic grunge, stoner rock and occasional Lizzy-esque twin guitar harmonies. The songs are just gloriously hook-ridden hard rocking joy, as if they’ve taken all the best parts of all the bands I’ve already mentioned here, mixed in some Nirvana and Everclear and distilled them into musical awesome. Skip to any track on the album and the reaction is the same each time: righteously air-guitar inducing rock n roll.

This stuff should be blasting out of cars, pubs and parties all over the country instead of that cookie-cutter corporate crap that passes for rock these days, so if you’re looking for a tonic for all that poison, Asleep in Exile is it.

1. Grey
2. Don’t Stray
3. Not Your Enemy
4. Named and Shamed
5. Alright Parasite
6. Keep You Waiting
7. You’re Dead Let’s Disco
8. Asleep in Exile
9. Broken Down Ride
10. Paper Tiger
11. Milk and Vinegar