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Wednesday, 1 October 2014 |
The last and final offering from Bluejuice gives us a fat slab of what has made them part of the furniture in the Aussie music scene for almost a decade. Retrospective is a fun stroll down memory lane, or more accurately, through the listening habits of millions of festival goers and Triple J listeners. Sadly, the band announced it would be calling it quits for good in August of 2014. It's not all bad news, as the band left their infectious new single "I'll Go Crazy" as a parting gift.
If you are a fan of Bluejuice’s work, then Retrospective dishes up familiar helpings of all their hits including ‘Vitriol’, ‘Broken Leg’ and ‘Act Your Age’. These are packaged with tracks that have received less air play over the years, but are equally laced with their trademark vibe. Their sound resembles the bastard lovechild of an orgy whose participants would have almost certainly included Wolfmother, Architecture in Helsinki, Beastie Boys and The Cat Empire. Put simply, if you can’t dance to this shit without drugs or drink, well then you ain’t no fun at all.
The bands ever present and always oh-so-sunny nature made waves in the local music scene, with chart success that surprised everyone and Retrospective is a sweet kiss good night in the doorway before they walk back to their car like a gentleman and promise to call. Bluejuice was well represented in Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdowns over the years and the decision to team up with legendary producer Chris Shaw (see also: Weezer, Public Enemy, Bob Dylan etc) in 2009 for the release of their second studio album under new Aussie label Dew Process, led to national air time on commercial radio, ARIA nominations and collaborations with The Presets and Sparkadia.
I first saw Bluejuice at Playground Weekender in 2008. Jake Stone hit the stage hard, whipped the crowd into a frenzy despite their relatively early slot and proceeded to pretty much tear that big marquee several new arseholes. He did all of this with a cast housing his newly broken leg and proceeded to climb the scaffolding while telling festival security to politely go fuck themselves and then drop the 15 or so feet back on stage all without missing a line or a beat. Rock and fucking roll. If you wondered where the inspiration for Broken Leg came from, don’t. Jake was and is an unstoppable force on stage. This wasn’t however always captured in the studio and Retrospective does a solid job at pulling together a complete, warts-and-all look back at all that made them great.
In a time where well big, well known festivals are disappearing due to an ageing fan base whose tastes have changed, I cant help but draw similarities to Bluejuice’s career and this, their final at bat. Ask your average shirtless, muscle stacked, coy-sleeve-tatted 18 year old at a festival these days about Bluejuice and I can imagine a worrying scan of the memory bank followed by a “nah bro that shits for oldies.’ As the scene changes, so to do the needs and wants of music lovers, music listeners and festival goers. Maybe there was no more room left at the table for their particular brand of good honest rock.
I’m going to miss Bluejuice. You should too. Retrospective made me nostalgic as all hell and I can’t think of another band who can step in an fill their shoes. And neither will the 18 year old festival head.
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