Datura 4 el bendito Boogie Rock de las antípodas en Sala X por Pack Serran Con motivo de la presentación de su tercer álbum Blessed is the Boogie – 2019, Dom Mariani y los suyos recalaron en Sevilla ofreciendo una de las noches musicales más gloriosas, y han sido muchas, que se han vivido en este maravilloso paraíso musical llamado Sala X Sólo dos temas le fueron suficientes a Dom Mariani (The Stems, DM3, The Someloves) para romper las cuerdas de su SG y sustituirla rápidamente por una Melody Maker. Esta fue la carta de presentación con la que la banda dio el pistoletazo de salida a un concierto repleto de rock del de toda la vida, blues electrificado y trazas psicodélicas de un teclado recién sacado de la costa oeste de finales de los 60´s. Si agitásemos una cocktelera con Groundhogs, Led Zeppelin y ZZ Top, el producto resultante sería parecido a lo que hacen estos chicos. Del repertorio, lo que era esperable: su último trabajo tocado del primer al último segundo, salpicado por himnos de sus dos álbumes anteriores y alguna agradabilísima sorpresa en forma de cover. La versatilidad de Blessed is the Boogie nos permite disfrutar desde el rock más clásicos sostenido en pesados riffs (Black Dog Keep Running, Looper o Run with Lucy), el divertido boogie de Ooh Poo Pah Dooh (versión agitada del clásico de Jessie Hill), el coqueteo con la balada glam ochentera de Not for Me (inevitable la referencia al More Than a Feeling de Boston en su inicio) o la experimentación con psicotrópicos de Evil People, pt.2. En todas ellas, el mismo sello: melodías tan trabajadas y precisas que provocan esa extraña sensación de tenerlas interiorizadas, de haberlas escuchado antes. Para completar un setlist equilibrado y entretenido eligieron himnos clásicos de sus dos trabajos anteriores, Hairy Mountain (2016) y Demon Blues (2015): sonaron alto y fuerte Trolls, Demon Blues, Uphill Climb o Confide in Me. Y, de propina, dos versiones que hicieron las delicias de un público, ya de por si entregado al disfrute: Oh Well de Fleetwood Mac y I´m a Man de Steve Winwood. Los grandes culpables del sonido tan milimétrico que pudimos disfrutar fueron los excelentemente seleccionados miembros de la banda con los que el viejo zorro de Mariani se ha rodeado en esta gira: el bajista Stu Loasby (The Majestic Kelp), el baterista Warren Hall (The Drones), el teclista Bob Patient (Fatty Lumpkin) y el guitarrista/corista Joe Grech. Definitivamente, de los mejores directos, y ya llevamos unos cuantos, que han podido verse durante los cinco años de vida de nuestra idolatrada Sala X. Certero, directo y divertido. Imposible ponerle un pero a una velada redonda, en la que acabó triunfando lo que ya lleva muchos años haciéndolo: el rock DE VERDAD.
This is the third offering from Antipodean Boogie Rock purveyors Datura4, a group led by Dom Mariani (vocals/guitars/bass) who is supported by Warren Hall (drums/percussion), Stu Loasby (bass) and also featuring integral contributions from Howie Smallman (harmonica/backing vocals). In 2015, they began their journey by spreading their ‘Demon Blues’ throughout both northern and southern hemispheres. Twelve months later they scaled the dizzy heights of ‘Hairy Mountain’, a wonderful opus that I was honoured to review in issue #77. ‘Blessed is the Boogie’ sees the band
back down to earth and delivering yet more organic, slightly Psychedelic, Blues- infused music that is flamboyant, fun, occassionally frantic and which integrates a fuzziness that simply adds warmth and wonderment. Mariani told me that the group’s influences include seventies Australian outfits like Coloured Balls, Carson and Taman Shud, Savoy Brown, The Yardbirds, Jimi Hendrix, Canned Heat and unsurprisingly the “Holy Trinity” of British Classis Rock (Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple). His personal influences include The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Rolling Stones, but to be honest there are innumerable and varying musical references swirling around each composition; Datura4 integrate each one into their own unique sound. If you’re a lover of well- executed Rock, you’d be crazy to ignore this release or their previous two albums. Opening this release are ‘Black Dog Keep Running’ and the title-track; unsurprisingly, the former deals with the serious subject of mental illness, whilst the latter is a full-on boogie-fest that had me thinking of early Status Quo and Norman Greenbaum’s seventies classis ‘Spirit in the Sky’. Lyrically, the pair are polar opposites, but both incorporate great riffing, a pounding rhythm section and outstanding guitar breaks. The same can be said for the Glam Rock sounding ‘Run With Lucy’, ‘Ooh Poo Pah Doo’ (with its Doors-esque organ driving the song forward) and ‘Sounds of Gold’ which has a T. Rex riff going on as well as a Honky-Tonk vibe reminiscent of The Stones. ‘Not for Me’, ‘Cat On A Roof’ and album closer ‘The City of Lights’ have a lighter sixties feel, and they all emit vibes that Paul McCartney and John Lennon would be proud of. That just leaves the instrumental ‘Evil People Part 2’ (featuring a ‘We Will Rock You’ back-beat) and a slow-burning stomper ‘Looper’ with the wonderful lyric, “I’m a looper, a party pooper in a stupor.” Once again, Datura4 have produced a gem and I urge you all to investigate. Dave Crompton
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: DATURA4 – BLESSED IS THE BOOGIE DATURA4 BLESSED IS THE BOOGIE ALIVE NATURALSOUND RECORDS The Australian based band Datura4 has recently kicked open the door to their third blues-based rock album entitled Blessed is the Boogie. This latest incarnation, a 10-song offering, displays the band’s style with progressive continuity from their previous work. The album is rife with quality musicianship and creativity, and the production is top notch. Dom Mariani, the prolific and award-winning guitarist of the band, continues to carry listeners through impeccably timed, note embowed leads and rhythms. Influences from legendary classic rock music can be drawn from this album yet Mariani stands with confidence in executing his signature guitar style. The opening track “Black Dog Keep Running” draws slightly reminiscent of another nostalgic “Back Dog” song before transitioning into its own solid standalone rock tune. The title track “Blessed is the Boogie” will sway you in your seat with its harp-infused rock steady beat. Enjoy the true blue’s keyboard work in “Ooh Poo Pah Doo”. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear “Evil People Pt. 2” in a sinister video sound track in the upcoming future. It just seethes bad intentions in the most primal way. More use of that brilliant harp and keyboard work would certainly be welcomed. Datura4 continue to become less dependent on their influences while developing their own signature style. Their sturdy rock sound is fun and current yet reminisces nostalgia. DAVID SOBANSKI | EDITORS PICK, SPILL MAGAZINE, TORONTO CANADA, APRIL 2019
Blessed Is The Boogie by Marc Michael May 15, 2019 Hard rock laced with vintage blues
"BLESSED IS THE BOOGIE" Garagey but not grungey, power-poppy but not cheesy, muddy but not sludgy, blues-respecting but not formulaic, trippy but not spacey, Datura4 is carving out their own niche and clearly incorporate their many influences but, refreshingly, keep them as just that – influences which contribute to the greater Datura4 sound. – GET READY TO ROCK ( 4 stars review) Full Review HERE
Note: In Spanish - use Google translator
© 2020 DATURA4 | Fremantle and Perth, Western Australia
FROM OUR MERCH DISTRIBUTORS, WITH THANKS TO BOMP PRAISE FOR DATURA4 Datura4 certainly wears their debt to John Lee Hooker and other boogie masters proudly on its sleeve. But tracks such as 'Not For Me' and 'Cat on a Roof' are more expansive and compositionally ambitious, while the acoustic-flavored 'City of Lights' hews toward some of Mariani's power-pop background.BILLBOARD A solid set of bluesy, ‘70s-steeped hard-rock with wailing psych guitars, muscular rhythms and head-banging song hooks. – Don Yates, KEXP [4/5 stars!] Datura4's latest goes right for the jugular, putting Mariani’s formidable six-string chops up front of a set of songs that could have come from 1974. Yet Mariani is no macho c*ck-rock shouter – no matter what backdrop he stands in front of, he’ll always have that slightful soulful, melodic power pop voice, backed here, as everywhere, with creamy vocal harmonies. – BLURT A seamless blend of sounds. Datura4 effortlessly blends elements of fuzzy rock, psychedelia, and blues into a sound that is a dream for fans who grew up with the guitar-heavy rock of the '70s. Wherever you play this,be sure to turn up the volume as loud as you can stand it. GLIDE MAGAZINE [4/5 stars!] Garagey but not grungey, power-poppy but not cheesy, muddy but not sludgy, blues-respecting but not formulaic, trippy but not spacey, Datura4 is carving out their own niche. – GET READY TO ROCK If you pine for a plate of Humble Pie seasoned with a little early Bad Company, this will leave you wholly satisfied. – THE VINYL DISTRICT [10/10] This band reignites the rock-blues vibe that summons long-haired rock- rolling Lazarus back from the grave. – SOUNDBLAB Builds in true '70s psych-rock form, swirling from guitar-led turmoil to shoegaze clearings of reflection. – ROLLING STONE AU Rather than taking the easy route and diving heads down into barre chord oblivion, Mariani, along with drummer Warren Hall, bassist Stu Loasby and keyboardist Bob Patient, deliver a variety of tones and timbres. – The WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Blessed is the Boogie is ten tracks of pure vintage goodness, a hard-driving rock and roll album with its blues roots proudly on display. – CHATTANOOGA PULSE
West Coast Highway Cosmic, Datura4’s upcoming fourth album, sounds like it was made by a band that found a sheet of acid, the good stuff, tucked away in the back of the recording studio fridge, and rode it until the very last drop.
Psych-rock band Datura4 deliver diverse record on West Coast Highway Cosmic Hailing all the way from Fremantle, Australia, is the psychedelic rock band, Datura4. Today the psych-rock band release their newest album, West Coast Highway Cosmic. Datura4 is made up of frontman Dom Mariani, bassist Stu Loasby, key player Bob Patient, and drummer Warren Hall. Datura4 also implements styles of boogie and progressive blues throughout the tracks of the new release. These trips back and forth have been a huge part of the creative process and have been described by the band as the “constant spirit over all of our studio recordings.” “I see every album as an extension from the previous one,” Mariani says. “I’m conscious about not rehashing the same things over. The collection of tunes on WCHC is slightly more eclectic than on the previous albums, which makes it really interesting and exciting for albums in the future. There was a more spontaneous and looser approach for the majority of the recording, where we would take the basic song idea and let things go until we had the take that we liked. We got into the grooves you might say.” Opening up the album is “West Coast Highway Cosmic,” which immediately showcases those influences of progressive blues with a huge dive into the psychedelic realm. The buildup of instrumentation adds more depth to the album and keeps things exciting through the longer songs. “Wolfman Woggie” is another song with a lot to uncover because of the different layers, but it makes for a more interesting listen. “Mother Medusa” pulled some more rock influences into the mix. I loved the catchy guitar riff in the song, and I love the direction that the album started to take. The next handful of songs became a huge turning point for the album. The experience that comes with these next couple of songs is completely different than the first few on the record. “A Darker Shade Of Brown” really led the way in terms of the change in feeling. I loved the groove they were able to capture in the recording. Their next song “You’re The Only One” has more of a mysterious feeling to it. There’s an eerie and almost haunting notion to the song, but it really pulls you into their world. The tension between their rock sound and this haunting psychedelic sound is really neat and not something that I’ve really heard before. Another favorite off the record is “Rule My World” with its strong and fuller sound. The attention to the dynamic buildup is highly appreciated! They are able to keep the sound soft and intimate in the verses, so the chorus can be that much more impactful. The intense rhythmic drive and the sick guitar solo are also added bonuses. The last turning point for the album creates a more intimate and relatable atmosphere. Their songs “Give” and “Get Out” both have themes and situations that a lot of everyday people can relate to. There are themes that we struggle with on a daily basis, and I think they really took the time to make their song as genuine as possible. “You Be The Fool” is probably the most laid back song of the album. But the intensity is just as present. Closing out the album is “Evil People Pt 1.” This song is best described as a solid culmination of all of the previous songs wrapped up in the best present possible. It highlighted all of their strengths, and really showcased the influences they have in so many different genres. MARIA ARROYO | THAT MAG, PHILADELPHIA USA, APRIL 2020
A nice mix of boogie, blues and rock can be found on the new album of the Australian band Datura4. Datura4 is a contemporary band with a great appreciation for music from the past. The band debuted in 2015 with the album Demon Blues on which seventies hard rock with blues rock and boogie from the same time were mixed together. In 2019, the line up was changed and the band continued with one guitarist instead of two. A keyboard player was added as a replacement. The band consists of musical veterans who have already meant a lot to Australian rock. Dom Mariani is the founder of the band, he is a guitarist and singer. The other band members are keyboardist Bob Patient, drummer Warren Hall and bassist Stu Loasby. Fun fact: the band is named after a poisonous flower. The album opens with the psychedelic-looking song West Coast Highway Cosmic. Keyboardist Patient knows how to get great tones out of his instrument while the song builds up slowly and gets faster. Wolfman Woogie is more of a blues oriented song including harmonica. The third track is Mother Medusa, which is more rock. So in three songs the band has already played three different styles. Yet it is not a mess, on the contrary, the songs are varied so that the album remains more than interesting to listen to. A Darker Shade Of Brown again shows a recognizable organ sound. The tempo is slow and the chorus lingers in your head. In You Be The Fool the band goes back to the blues, while in Get Out a genuine boogie song is put down with an exciting piano part. This album is highly recommended for the enthusiast, but also for those who want to be surprised. EDWIN KNIP | ROCKPORTAAL.NL, NETHERLANDS, APRIL 2020
BUY DATURA MERCH Datura4 is part of the stable of Alive Natural Sounds USA You can purchase CDS and Vinyl Records from BOMPSTORE
The eponymous opening track starts with church organ and sirens, harbingers of the fuzzy apocalypse the guitars deliver when they kick in. Then, once the intro is done, Whoosh! We’re off! riding a non-stop riff that skitters around the fretboard with a peaking urgency that’s a portent of the trip to come. Dom Mariani, he of The Stems and The Someloves, has always been known for the flex in his song writing muscle, but it seems a little unfair that he gets to range so eloquently over so many genres and do it so well. For the uninitiated, Datura4 tap into a vein of bluesy boogie, — scuzzy guitars, driving beats, Hammond organ and blues harp — that lives in the heart of the US, via the British invasion, with accents of east coast Australian punk. West Coast Highway Cosmic sees Mariani and his Datura4 bandmates stretching out a little after last year’s album of the year, Blessed Is The Boogie, which was a classic lesson in taut, on-point song writing and delivery that saw the band in their best form so far. Until now.
This time around, they’ve unhinged themselves completely, loosened their bubbles. Maybe it was through group meditation sessions in their Fremantle recording bunker, pots and pots of herbal tea, vegan lunches and yoga in the evenings? Who knows? How ever it was they unleashed their collective mojo, West Coast Highway Cosmic is the sound of a band saying, screw it, let’s do it and having a mega tonne of fun along the way. From the opening track to the Sabbath-like heavy riffs of ‘Mother Medusa’, the folky acoustics of ‘You’re The Only One’, the drawling blues of ‘You Be The Fool’ and the omnidirectional trip of closer, ‘Evil People, Pt 1’, West Coast Highway Cosmic is about travel, whether that’s on highways, via astral teleportation or anything in between. It’s a ride from start to finish and worth taking multiple times. And, while it might take you in a different direction each time you listen, West Coast Highway Cosmic will never give you a bad trip. It’s pure goodness. ANDREW THOMPSON | AROUND THE SOUND, MARCH 2020
Dom Mariani. The Western Australian Music Awards Hall of Famer has a career that would merit an entire book (or two). The Stems, The Go-Starts, The Someloves, and DM3 are just some of the credits to his name. Fortunately, or unfortunately, this article isn’t about the career of one of Australia’s most important musicians, but about his latest band and album, Datura4 and Blessed is the Boogie. Released just over a month ago, Blessed is the Boogie is ten tracks of pure vintage goodness, a hard-driving rock and roll album with its blues roots proudly on display. “Black Dog Keep Running” is a riff-heavy guitar god’s offering, resplendent with multiple, tasteful solos and a dash of funky wah wah pedal. This one track alone establishes the band as on par with any so-called supergroup of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Solid but not ostentatious, it’s the kind of hard rocking tune you can listen to over and over without ever getting bored. The title track, “Blessed is the Boogie”, is the pedigreed offspring of Chicago blues and rock music, right down to the refrain of “boom boom boom boom” and the wailing blues harp. The choral sounding vocals lend it an unmistakable cool that’s hard to put into words except to say that if you can picture the most badass scene of the most badass character in an all-around badass movie, this is what’s playing in the background. “Looper” opens with a positively Zeppelin-esque riff, quickly giving way to a wall of heavy guitar rhythm and plaintive lead. Once again, blues is in the DNA of this song, but you’d have to know it to hear it. To the naked ear, is a nasty, slinky precursor to the heavy metal music that came later in the decade. “Run with Lucy” picks up the tempo from there, pulling off the Alice Cooper trick of simultaneously sounding upbeat and mean. It seems like as good a time as any to point out that while every track so far has featured some gorgeous guitar solo work, at no point does it sound redundant or superfluous.
Every lead line is perfectly tailored and timed to the song it appears in, not as common a condition in a world where lead guitarists are given license to “do some stuff there for a few bars”. It is a testament to the maturity of Mariani and company’s playing that they have all this horsepower at their command without ever overusing it. “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” is pure anthem; a bit Gary Glitter, a bit Slade, it features Ray Manzarek style organ work that is untouchable. The band demonstrates its versatility on the next several tracks, including “Evil People Pt. 2”, “Not for Me”, and “Cat on a Roof”. A hard rocking band they are, but there’s more to Datura4 than guitar hero glory days. They are capable and competent in multiple genres and prove it with a broad range of sound and style. Rounding out the album is “The City of Lights”, a tune that, while staying true to the vintage stylings of the album, would not sound out of place in the least on any college radio station today. Mariani is a man with an impressive reputation and an impressive talent and he has gathered together a group of his peers, Warren Hall and Stu Loasby, along with special guests Howie Smallman and Howie Shawcross, to create an album that earns its place in the Valhalla of legendary supergroups. It is pure listening pleasure and it is available now through Alive Naturalsound Record.