A great return from one of the greats of Australian rock

It’s been over a decade since Australia’s fuzz-rock legends Tumbleweed last issued an album.

In that time, a lot of things have changed. Tumbleweed has not, and that’s the best news in the world for their small legion of followers. The pioneers of psychedelic retro stoner rock have returned as if the 1990s ended just yesterday. ‘Mandlebrot’ gets the party started with a fuzz-drenched rocking vibe and it’s straight back to a time when this band was cranking out at parties and pubs wherever one went.

Sounds From the Other Side isn’t the Weed trying to reinvent themselves for a new generation. There’s absolutely nothing about their sound, style or delivery that they haven’t done before, but that’s exactly how it should be. The beats are simple, the guitars fuzzed out to the max, Richie Lewis’ vocals an almost lazy, melodic monotone and the hooks are huge and everywhere. “Like a Night Owl” is a swaggering garage punk outing, “Drop in the Ocean” has a 70s glam rock feel and “Mountain” is a huge seven-minute freak-out that extends the band’s references to latter-day rock beasts like Queens of the Stone Age. It’s just pure rock n’ roll from beginning to end, although no honest assessment should overlook that a lot of the tracks start to bleed into one another the further along the album goes. As enjoyable as it is, Sounds From the Other Side is probably three or four tracks too long, especially when the band gets their psychedelic flash-back hats on and stretch tunes out for six minutes or more here and there as they do with “ESP” where they experiment with aspects of drone and echoey, distant vocals. Still, it’s a great return from one of the greats of Australian rock, a band that never fails to deliver the goods.

1. Mandlebrot
2. Sweet Little Runaway
3. Mountain
4. Like a Night Owl
5. Dirty Little Secret
6. Drop in the Ocean
7. Wildfire
8. Hillbilly Headbanger
9. Queen of Voodoo
10. Good and Evil
11. Down and Dirty
12. Bird of Prey
13. ESP