The Exploders – Orche. Stratos. Pheric. Review

Melbourne blues rockers The Exploders are back with their third full-length album, ‘Orche. Stratos. Pheric,’ and this time around the Lake Colac boys have produced an LP full of foot-stomping goodness. A concept album centring on a child prodigy, The Exploders are at their eclectic best here, running the full gamut of rock and roll styles. From the noodling, acoustic blues opener ‘Have A Smile’ to the violin-laden closer ‘The Funeral March,’ the Melbournians ensure the listener stays engaged throughout the duration of the album. Variety really is a strong point on this album, avoiding the pitfall of monotony that blues bands can often fall into, and the band mostly manages to keep things tight throughout the 45 minute duration despite the lofty concept; even if the narrative can be hard to follow (as is the case with many concept albums). The first half of the album puts ‘Orche. Stratos. Pheric.’ right up there with the best Australian albums of the year, however the album does drag a bit in the second half before a strong finish as it slows in pace. Despite a slow second half, highlights such as the country-tinged Soul Kid, the highly aggressive and appropriately named ‘Hey Fucker!’ and the rollicking ‘Here Come Loverboy,’ mean that The Exploders have released a quality slice of Aussie rock that will keep your toes tapping the whole time.

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