Coup De Grâce is the new album from Perth indie-rock veterans Red Jezebel – the band’s first in eight years. It contains the previously released singles “Closer To You”, “Bodyline” and the recent offering “Your Days Are Numbered” along with eight new tracks.
The album is the result of much sweat from the five men involved (the four members drafted in an extra drummer to cover one of the many relocations that occurred during this period) with over 40 songs eventually tracked, most discarded along the way and others re-recorded many times.
With live shows few and far between, Red Jezebel hasn’t really been a typical band experience. The individuals couldn’t have followed more different – albeit all very successful - paths in their ‘other’ lives since the release of the last album. Paul Wood’s involvement in The Old Crow restaurant has made it one of Perth’s favourite eateries, Dr Mark Cruickshank B.Sc. (hons.) Ph.D. is working day and night to cure cancer, Alex Hyman is currently running ABC Radio in Karratha and Dave Parkin is one of Australia’s finest record producers. Then there’s new recruit Fraser Cringle who’s fitted incredibly well into Alex’s shoes for the latter parts of the album process and recent shows.
Flashback to 1997: Planet Nightclub (now a strip club) in North Perth, it’s the Campus Band Competition WA final. Eskimo Joe win first place, Red Jezebel a lazy fourth. Xpress Magazine’s Bob Gordon refers to the ‘joyful possibilities’ (which became the title of their first release) of the future for the band. Great times followed: national tours with Jebediah, Bodyjar, Little Birdy and even their aforementioned Campus Band Comp oppressors, shows supporting Garbage, Elbow and Powderfinger, and even a slot on ABC’s Recovery program.
Four EPs (as was the style at the time) proceeded the debut album Revelations (in 2004) which surprised the hell out of most people, many of whom had already written the band off as past their prime. Tracks such as “Devil’s Advocate”, “You’re Making Me Nervous” and “See Through Dress” resonate with fans, radio and critics (the latter song even making #31 The Sunday Times’ 2013 list of the greatest songs out of WA).
The band then signed to Festival Mushroom Records, which was in turn sold to Warner Music. The recording of the band’s second album began, the demos were churned out and the scheduling started to happen – would the underdogs hit the big time? Nah. At their own request, Red Jezebel parted ways the company with the recordings and their songs still their own and they returned to their indie roots, resulting in the release of the acclaimed second album How I Learnt To Stop Worrying. The record was a remarkable achievement from a band that had been through its fair share of up and downs.
The enthusiasm for the next era resulted in a flurry of plans for a new album that would be delivered much quicker than the last, the band now freed from the shackles of major label red tape. But, as they say, life gets in the way…weddings occurred, PhDs were gained, babies were born, relocations occurred, restaurants were opened. It was like the montage sequence in the middle of “Scarface”, and the members of Red Jezebel did indeed “take it to limit” for the next eight years, just not in the public eye.
Time has passed, but what Coup De Grâce shows is Red Jezebel’s undeniable songwriting talent, not bounded by any thoughts of genre-fitting or adherence to current musical trends. Yes, the joyful possibilities are still well and truly alive!
" This is melodic rock at its best, with atmospheric swelling sounds, foot-tapping guitar rhythms and carefully layered effects." - The Sydney Morning Herald
“To these ears, this is musical innovation than comes once in every 1,000 bands, that cannot be described without actually playing it… music so good it makes wading through the other 999 bands worthwhile." - Xpress Magazine
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