Australian Dream is out now!
Image: Chris Frape.
Dharawal/Wollongong-based garage-punk act Hoon have dropped their debut album, Australian Dream. To celebrate the release, the band are taking MILKY through the release track by track!
Produced, mixed and mastered by Clayton Segelov at The Brain Recording Studios (Antagonist AD, Dear Seattle, Shady Nasty), the band share: "Lyrically, the tracks make both abstract and bluntly clear references to Australian culture and politics, consumerism, love, learning, toxic masculinity, mental/physical health and growth into adulthood. We often couple the intensity of the music with sarcasm, humour and a touch of irreverence to make light of the difficult world we're all trying to navigate."
Hoon will kick off their national Australian Dream tour in Ngunnawal/Canberra this Thursday at Sideway. The run of shows will continue on to Naarm/Melbourne, Wurundjeri/Tecoma, Mulubinba/Newcastle, Yugambeh/the Gold Coast, Meanjin/Brisbane, Kabi Kabi/the Sunshine Coast, Cavanbah/Bangalow, Eora/Sydney and Miryyal/Ulladulla, before wrapping up in Dharawal/Wollongong on May 20. Tickets are on sale now!
This one’s self-explanatory and pretty straight up really but it’s definitely, a cop song lol. The verses reference being unable to escape the prying eyes and negative attention/abuse from law enforcement, yet despite doing the right thing, getting it anyway. A common occurrence for ex-offenders, minority groups and particularly, our first nations people.
Australian Dream is the title track. We picked this for the record name because we kind of thought it summarised a fair whack of the stuff on the album. It’s super-fast, real rock/riff heavy, has a drum solo, an angry poetry slam section and a wall of gang vocals by the end. It has a bit of everything that we deliver as a band, and then lyrically it unifies a bunch of the topics that are meandering through other tracks. The lyrics reflect a bunch of 'Australian Dream’ cliches and the toxic aspects of the Western culture in this country. They reference a lot of sports culture, toxic masculinity, blue collar working and drinking culture. It suggests being a fuck up in real terms and trying not to make the same mistakes as the generations before us have made in personal lives and societal impacts. That is the real kicker, not repeating scenes and actions, which is notoriously hard for anyone to do, but necessary to strive towards and absolutely more than worthy of talking about.
Fried is fast, thunderous and by the end a little bit unruly. It’s filled with solid tom beats, driving bass tones and loose/soundscape-oriented guitar coupled with palm muting, screeching riffs, a coarse/harsh melodic chorus and a shrieking breakdown to close the track out. Lyrically, it touches on experiences around mental illnesses and generally not recognising what’s good or bad for yourself. Making mistakes, not accepting help and generally being a bit of a pumpkin head. The music video is a bit of an abstract take on that idea, where the pumpkin head character tries to manically fix their broken broom. After fighting off the offered help, they eventually lose the battle and accept the help, which ends up them being stoked again that their broom is fixed.
ONE BAD APPLE
One Bad Apple is kind of complicated for me to explain, but I’ll do my best here. I feel it’s necessary to do this sequentially as the song progresses to get the idea across so here it goes. Firstly, this track is written from three points of view, inspired by the police that guarded the statue of Captain Cook in Sydney when the BLM rallies were happening and generally police ‘mishaps’ on protesters worldwide during those protests. The first POV is of the voice of the protestor(s); it proposes a desire to win and a hope of change, though acknowledges being fed-up trying to combat conscious bias and racism and being the ones continuously having to instigate social change against injustices in a seemingly forever racist world. The second POV references what one might think when they first join the Police force, it surrounds feelings of pride and dedications of one's service to the community and to unity. This soon becomes a realisation that they’re synonymous to and are contributors to a greater problem. They experience regret, depression, and suicidal tendencies along with acknowledging the clear shortcomings of their immediate peers and by association, themselves. The POV suggests the realisation that the police protagonist is fighting for a statue over lives lost and recognises the uselessness, ridiculousness, and stupidity of such behaviour and accepts defeat. By the bridge and extended outro of the track, the POV has switched back to that of the protestor(s), who’ve declared somewhat of a victory through tearing down a fort, and building a new, more significant fortress. With an ending like this, I can't help but say the track still resembles a very optimistic proposed narrative about these still extremely prevalent and constantly recurring issues worldwide.
This was Clayton’s favourite track. Lifeless is straight out of the Hoon 2.0 surf punk playbook. I’m surprised it was never written for that EP, but here we are with it on the album, and I’m stoked about it. It’s hell fast, fun to play and probably has the filthiest bass tone of the record. Lyrically, it’s quite poetic and filled with metaphor, but it’s about thinking that you’re idle because you’re a creative, have fuck all money, and the world seems to move by you as you grow older. This isn’t a newsworthy story, but the blessing of being an artist/musician, is typically that you're always chasing some creative goal, like putting out an album for example lol. As the goals get bigger, you need more cash to sustain them. So, I guess the track for me is just a big old metaphor for drowning in ambition and making sacrifices for creative pursuits. We have nothing if not progress, and I for one am in for the chase. Always poor, never bored.
All In is about gambling, particularly about poker machines and sports betting. It was originally a bit of a dig about senseless gambling; it still definitely is about that. But slowly I've admittedly developed a bit of a taste for betting on sports. I picked it up during lockdown as a boredom shaker and its stench is bloody lingering. Safe to say the song is hitting me in a different way now to the song's inception. I guess it’s good to acknowledge hypocrisy hey, but as it stands; I’ll take a punt on the league and the NBA, and knowingly be a hypocrite when we play this song live.
WHITE PICKET FENCE
White Picket Fence is another one tapping into the whole idea of the Australian Dream, but this one’s a bit of an anti-love song. Not anti, as in against - I guess it is anti in regard to going the whole 9 yards with conservative relationships. The idea of developing family life in modern times is overwhelming for more reasons than one, but to mention one thing, it is financially cooked. With huge rental crisis’, general housing affordability, and wage stagnation - I don’t how anyone has the chops to even attempt feeding a mouth beyond their own. The track delves into those ideas and insecurities around it, pondering the pointlessness of anything further than lust, learning from others and attempting to overcome said insecurities.
The track is referential directly to media during Covid lockdowns both in Australia and abroad. Not in the vein of being an anti-vaxxer, but more so in the vein of how rampant wildly differing opinions were broadcasted in the media were at that time; particularly with controversial people like Trump being so prevalent in Australian news. It really blurred, the already blurred lines between fact and fiction spilled out in Australian news. The song also references whack people in politics, specifically minutes south of Wollongong that manage to slip n slide through ‘controversies’, right back into positive news articles within moments. We have a mighty large rug in Australia, and we’re all happy to keep letting our leaders stuff their garbage beneath it.
Propane is a sarcastic stab at corruption, lies, and war in big money, politics, media - and pretty well suggests burning it all. It summarises quickly the ideas that are elaborated on a bit more in other tracks, and maybe that’s why we put it out first, I am not sure. I really like the clip we made for Propane, it was super fun to make. The clip really taps in on the whole sarcasm of the track as well. We made a bunch of scenes from the news, free to air tv and films. To set the scene, it looks like Blockblister.
SMASHED IN THE YARD
This song is a bit of a sociological commentary in general and references Australian culture as well. It’s mixing the boys will be boys’ attitude, in juxtaposition with domestic living, indulging in substances and purchasing things to try and make yourself happy or someone else happy. It's essentially that ‘keeping up with the Jones’’ kind of Australian goal that many middle-class families get swept up in and generally just wanting, or liking things, because someone else likes or has it. We all get jealous or envious about something I suppose, but it's our jobs to acknowledge that and you know, not get hung up on shit that doesn’t mean shit like having a new poo brown couch from Harvey Norman or having that new thing that's been painted white from Domaine. But hey - you want it? Buy it from us. Maybe you should buy our new record, out now.
This song is highly personal to say the least. It’s about physical pain and hospitalised pain management, where patients have to medicate with dissociates to try and treat or manage chronic pain. It's a pretty sad sight to be honest. In this specific case, it’s in relation to ketamine infusions; but you know. Ketamine’s not the greatest word to put in a song now is it so I lifted the idea of immediate alliteration from the Frenzal song ‘Methadone’. Ketamine just really ain’t got a vibe to it, unless, you know; your Raave Tapes. They can rock it.
Australian Dream is out now!