Arguably one of Australia’s biggest buzz bands going round at the moment, The Rubens recently announced a massive national tour with maverick songwriter Bertie Blackman as support, but the news of another act that will be sharing the stage with the Merangle-via-NSW lads and Ms Blackman is just as exciting.
Having kept a low profile since their recent inception, New Gods are basically an indie supergroup, featuring Dominic Byrne and Adrian Beltrame of the recently disbanded Little Red (R.I.P.); after ending months of speculation concerning their survival, Byrne and Beltrame were the last of the group to forge ahead with new musical ventures.
While keyboard player Tom Hartney left to form Major Tom & The Atoms, he was quickly followed by the departure of bassist Quang Dinh and drummer Taka Honda (who formed Naked Bodies and The Hondas respectively), leaving Byrne and Beltrame as the last piece of the puzzle, with the former taking frontman/songwriting duties and the latter, guitar.
Christening their new outfit after a Meat Puppets track, the Little Red refugees are joined by a killer line-up of musicians, featuring Eagle and the Worm bassist Richard Bradbeer, Dale Packard of Ground Components on keys and drummer Sam Raines.
A press release from the band reads that the group have been writing and recording “with ease but also with urgency,” working on an EP that is due for release later this year (November some time). Sonically, we can expect “a collection of celestial, ethereal pop songs, naturally inspired by their favourite music of the past and present, including Neil Young, Brian Wilson, Television and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti.”
Sounds ambitious, and aside from their support slot with The Rubens – which kicks off in a week or so – we’ll get to hear our first taste of the New Gods EP in the form of lead single, ‘On Your Side’, due for release September 10th. Which the band describe as a “track about friendship”, that is “rich with rolling drum beats, classic harmonies and anthemic, slow-building orchestration.”
With that kind of pedigree, collective experience and – let’s face it – exposure to many with The Rubens, New Gods are going to quickly make their claim as the latest Australian band to watch.