MONARCHS Make yer own fun 2001 Shock records 320 kbps
2001 / Loud / '69 monaro / That reminds me ... / Yer movin on / I nite only / The stalker waltz / I'm on drugs / Amen , brother / Everyone's a superstar / Give it up for the band / Nobody's perfect / Unimaginable .
Produced by Brad Shepherd
Monarchs : Brad Shepherd : lead vocals , guitar / Greg Hichcock : guitar , backing vocals / Andy Kelly : bass , backing vocals / Murray Shepherd : drums , backing vocals , antics .
Australian band the Hoodoo Gurus had called it a day after 16 years together and selling a quarter of a million albums worldwide in 1998, and Brad Shepherd, lead guitarist for the Gurus for the majority of those 16 years - as well as having put in noteworthy time with the Hitmen, Super K, the Fun Things, and the 31st before his lengthy career with the Gurus began - found himself without a regular job for the first time in about two decades. By late 1999, the bug to play and create was nagging at him again, and Shepherd sought to do something about it. The Gurus, while rocking plenty enough, had always somewhat been the kings of Australian powerpop with a rock and roll flair, something that worked splendidly for the Gurus.
Yet Shepherd's reputation as Being Sooooooo Rock & Roll within the band was known far and wide - Shepherd covers at Gurus concerts had included rockers by AC/DC and Foghat over the years, among much other hard-rocking fare. He was always sort of the Rock & Roll Animal soul at the heart of the Gurus.
With The Monarchs, he sought out bandmates with whom to create a tremendous but tuneful musical racket, with loud guitars and walloping drums. The plan was to basically launch a musical assault on the senses of the masses for whom techno had become a neurotoxin (to borrow a Shepherd phrase).
The next step was to put together the band that would become The Monarchs. Shepherd found his fellow rock soldiers in Greg Hitchcock, guitarist and Perth native who had played in the Hitmen and with The Verys; Andy Kelly, bass player from Glide; and, once again, Murray Shepherd, former Screaming Tribesmen drummer who had also played with brother Brad in the Fun Things some twenty years before.
The balls-out-rock single 2001, featuring an equally powerful flip side, This Is All I Can Do, was released in August 2000, and hit big on Australian radio. With the single's release and a number of powerful live performances behind them all over Australia, the band went into the studio to record what would be their one and only album, Make Yer Own Fun, spawning the singles Loud and '69 Monaro. Early buzz on the album included reviews that it "sounded akin to an atomic bomb exploding in yer loungeroom" or - even more descriptive - "suspiciously like the MC5 having a fist fight with Badfinger behind the bike sheds after school". If one was searching for the heart and soul of rock and roll among some of the pablum that was passing for modern music at the time - The Monarchs, baby, were IT.
Undeniably the band's greatest strength was in some legendary live performances. The Monarchs had an excellent run for most of 2001, then things began to change. Brad had begun playing again around Sydney with two of the other Gurus in a new psychedelic-60's punk-flavored outfit called The Moops (later to rename themselves the Persian Rugs), and Andy Kelly was growing busier and busier as manager of The Vines.
The Monarchs quietly began to fade away. In late April 2002, Brad announced that The Monarchs had, indeed, ceased to exist. The next six months were relatively silent. Then, in September 2002, an enthusiastic announcement made its way out of The Monarchs' camp.
The Monarchs bounced back, regrouped and rejuvenated, to kick some major rock and roll butt in Sydney that evening in October, with a few more equally amazing gigs following. However, after this last short run and a quick jaunt thru London and Spain in 2003, The Monarchs disappeared into Australian musical history once again - going out with a big, loud bang just like when they'd come in.
The Monarchs - gone (???) but not forgotten... until NOW! The Monarchs are planning to get together for at least one big show in 2008 to make up for the date they were forced to cancel in November 2007. Stay tuned!
ROCK ON, SOLDIERS!