Rock’n’roll is a never-ending celebration: of life, of good times, of the healing power of overdriven guitars. But while everyone is invited to the party, only a select few are able to tap into rock’n’roll’s spirit and essence.
Formed just over a decade ago in Adelaide, South Australia, the mighty Tracer plainly have access to that hotline to rock’s heart and soul.
With a sound that takes the bluesy core of the finest hard rock and welds it to a gleaming but endearingly rusted chassis of stoner rock and powerhouse grunge, Tracer grabbed the attention of the fuzzed-up cognoscenti.
Tracer have now released their third studio album, the fan-funded and wholly self-determined Water For Thirsty Dogs. It is the culmination of a decade of hard work, determination and intuitive rock’n’roll evangelism that must surely propel the band to greater heights than ever before. A tour-de-force of colossal riffs, incisive melodies and brooding bravado, it builds on the jarring impact of those first two albums via an ensemble performance that verges on magical. The first Tracer album to feature new bassist Jett Heysen-Hicks, alongside Michael Brown and his drumming friend Dre Wise, Water For Thirsty Dogs crackles and thrums with excitement and a rejuvenated sense of purpose; the sound of a great band becoming greater… rewired and reborn.
From the spine-tingling dynamics and rumbling grooves of its opening title track – think Nirvana reimagined by Kyuss at the eye of a psychedelic sandstorm – and the driving garage rock oomph of We’re Only Animals through to the downbeat drawl and Seattle-tinged menace of Lazy, the turbocharged, bowel-rattling stoner surge of Astronaut/Juggernaut (“We were really trying to blow up speakers with bottom end with this one!” notes Michael) and the devastating emotional suckerpunch of Tremors, the album’s stunning climax, Water For Thirsty Dogs is a thrilling amalgam of rock music’s past, present and future, as fresh electricity is wrung from an inspired combination of immortal and unprecedented ingredients. Recorded at Echo Bar Studios in North Hollywood, Los Angeles and produced by the band themselves, in collaboration with master engineer and mixing maestro Erik Reichers, this is not just the finest record Tracer have ever made: it’s a bar-raising monument to the passion and belief that continues to drive this band forward.
Tracer will be teaming up with The Casanovas and Suiciety for a last stand before they head off on a European Tour in September. Don’t miss your chance to see them at The Grand Hotel Mornington, 124 Main Street, on Friday 14 August.
Buy tickets at ticketebo.com.au/grandhotel