David Graney has released an abundance of records in his time on planet Earth, and with the release of Supermodified, it's time to add another feather to his bound-to-be flamboyant hat. Supermodified is Graney pimped out, re-worked and custom-build, its sort of like that Bonnie “Prince” Billy Sings Palace Music record. Old songs newly recorded and freshly worked. Some people tell me, “hey, some of the Graney records have strange production values, but when I see and hear him live the songs are a billion times better”. Well, if that’s the case for you, then this album will be right up your alley.
It’s an accurate portrait of the live sound, and its shit hot funky. Taking ten tracks from the 2004 album The Brother Who Lived , four from Heroic Blues , and four unreleased ones means this record isn’t just for Graney enthusiasts or diehard fans, but its also a good starting place for beginners. Everything is sounding crisp and top-notch, which is something you’d hope to expect for a band that plays nearly everyday of the week. “The Brother Who Lived” and “All Our Friends Were Stars” should be hit singles, “The Royal Troll” has thick distorted riffing and pounding drums with the typically laid-back Graney croon. “Midnight to Dawn” is another rocking number with wife Claire Moore crashing about in the rhythm section. The whole album sounds like glam rock from a boom box at a gay parade in Melbourne. But sung by the straightest man on earth who is for some reason leading the rally. Think Roxy Music but with the Australian equivalent of Jonathan Richman on vocals. “Clinging To The Coast”, has some interesting compression on the drums, but it works. “Anchors aweigh” are the sounds you’d be hearing if you walked past a sleazy neon-lit cocktail night bar, in fact the lounge-esque themes are pretty common throughout the whole record. I never heard the original to begin with, but this one is well recommended.
Review Score: 7.5/10
nathan roche- au review

DAVE GRANEY & THE LURID YELLOW MIST Supermodified
( C o c k a i g n e / F u s e )


Another abs o l u t e p e a r l e r f r o m A u s t r a l i a s w i t t i e s t r o c k e r

His shtick might weigh a ton , yet Dave Graneys productivity and quality rate are hardly matched by anyone . Last year s praised Knock Yourself Out (memorably described by one critic as great music to fuck to) was a creative statement that sat on par with 1993s classic Night Of The Wolverine , the ever-dapper songwriter and his current band The Lurid Yellow Mist aka longtime partner/drummer Clare Moore and bassist Stu Thomas hitting a whole assortment of lyrical and musical highs. Of course , the man dubbed brother from another scene by Tracks magaz ine didnt opt for a break there and promptly delivered a follow-up album . Essentially a compilation of re-recordings from the ironic gents previous works four tracks from 2001s Heroic Blues and a hefty ten from 2003s The Brother Who Lived (including the eponymous title track) Supermodified swings , grooves and sashays like . . . well , a killer Dave Graney album. The wistful, jazzy All Our Friends Were Stars resurfaces here as a world - class cinematic tune , with the brooding Are w e Goin Too Fast For Love? and a gorgeous - yet -sinister treble of Anchor s Aweigh , Midnight To Dawn and Twilight Of A Villain not far behind . And just like KYOs hipster indictment Dylan The Indie Fake (from which The Bedroom Philosopher could have very well taken a few comedic tips ) , A Boy Named Epic is a superb exercise in sarcasm . Which leads to the only possible conclusion : Dave G rules .
* * * *
RAVE - BRISBANE - D E N I S S E M C H E N K O

 

Even his staunchest fans would admit that Dave Graney is something of a queer bird. With his penchant for archaic fashions and mannerisms, he seems quixotically at odds with the modern world. Despite this, his artistic persona also neatly encapsulates some of the key strategies of postmodernism, such as a playful artifice and ironic distance from his own creativity. Graney holds the real world at arm’s length, yet he is fascinated with current and historical pop culture.
His recorded work reflects this magpie approach in a way that can render it confusing to casual listeners, who find it hard to distinguish between the actor and the real person beneath the dandyish swagger. The way Graney has positioned himself as an anachronistic enigma has come at the expense of commercial success – even within the sphere of so-called “alternative” music. This is a shame, as Graney has produced a formidable body of work over the last three decades, his career punctuated by many highpoints from all his different incarnations.
From the thundering onslaught of The Moodists’ album Thirsty’s Calling (1984), to the widescreen epic of Night Of The Wolverine (1993), to last year’s critically feted Knock Yourself Out, it’s clear that Graney’s power as a writer has remained consistent over the years. This is by no means an easy feat. One only needs to look at Graney’s celebrated peer Nick Cave, whose increasingly hapless and desperate fumblings for relevance have sent his credibility plummeting in recent years. In contrast, the last decade has seen Graney’s muse in overdrive, releasing a steady stream of strong material. The formation of his own record label, Cockaigne, surely precipitated this artistic renaissance, allowing Graney the freedom to do as he pleases, regardless of commercial considerations.
Holed up in his suburban recording studio with his longtime partner and musical foil Clare Moore and a host of regular musical collaborators, Graney created the dark and moody masterpieces Heroic Blues (2001) and The Brother Who Lived (2003) in the early years of this decade. Both albums were perfectly crafted collections, so it comes as a bit of a surprise at first that he’d want to revisit them on Supermodified. The album contains four songs from Heroic Blues and a whopping 10 from Brother. In addition there are four previously unreleased tracks from the same era.
It’s a risk for any artist to re-interpret their own back catalogue, since most fans are inclined to view the original versions as definitive. On the other hand, by shifting the focus away from the content of the songs, Graney and Moore have been able to explore the subtleties of their arrangements more effectively. For years, the pair have been fascinated with creating something they dubbed the “smooth and sexy” sound – basically a mélange of different easy listing styles, such as smooth cocktail lounge funk, ’70s West Coast rock and adult contemporary pop sheen. What previously seemed like a playful subversion of degraded musical styles – those generally shunned by rock purists – has been warped into a muscular and super-charged 18 tracks that work seamlessly as a whole.
Remixing and re-recording vocals and instrumental backings means that songs like ‘All Our Friends Were Stars’ and ‘Midnight To Dawn’ bear very little resemblance to their original restrained settings. Structurally, many numbers are extended with instrumental passages or repeated refrains. In each case, it’s not merely the kind of remix a clever engineer might do, but a complete re-arrangement of a song’s constituent parts to imbue it with a whole new mood.
Ultimately, it is unlikely that Supermodified will be regarded as more than a footnote to the albums it draws upon, but as a stop-gap before Graney’s next batch of musical missives it’s more satisfying by far than that old stand-by: the live album.
Mess and Noise - René Schaefer

 


Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist
SUPERMODIFIED (COCKAIGNE/FUSE)
Reviewed by Robert Dunstan

Mt Gambier-born musician Dave Graney is a regular visitor to Adelaide and never disappoints. On the back of this new release, he’ll be appearing with his band, The Lurid Yellow Mist, at the October long weekend’s Semaphore Music Festival. Graney is a fascinating artist who never sits still. His whole career has been characterised by constant re-invention across a very broad range of musical genres.
 
In recent time his live shows have comprised new songs yet to be recorded along with more recent tunes and a revisiting of much older songs presented in a new way. This latest studio offering, the 18-song Supermodified, follows a similar path as it features songs from recent albums that have now been ‘supermodified’ – songs such as Are We Goin’ Too Fast For Love?, I Am Your Humble Servant, The Royal Troll and She Looked At Me From Out Of Her Eyes. The titles alone are enough to spark interest from any curious listener.
Graney says that Supermodified is “a rock album for the first three quarters and then it sort of weirds out”, which essentially tells you a lot about how Graney operates. But it’s not heritage rock for the mainstream. Supermodified is an album that generally defies description and you really have to hear it to believe it. In that way it could almost be seen as an experimental jazz album as it follows no known rules.
 
The results however, especially when played with the volume up, will reward the adventurous and completely confuse those who still consider that artists stopped making decent rock’n’roll when punk began.
 
The Adelaide Review October 2010

DG Melbourne 2010

 

Stuart Perera - Melbourne 2010

Pic Carbie

 

Clare Moore - Melbourne 2010

 

Talking of Dave, and being cool, then it’s great to report that Mr Graney is back – along with Clare Moore of course – and the Lurid Yellow Mist band, with his latest album “Supermodified” – and the clue is in the title as this is a re-working of a whole load of songs from the “Brother Who Lived” album and a smaller selection from “Heroic Blues” release. This is altogether a more relaxed, and relaxing effort, than its predecessor the excellent “Knock Yourself Out” album, with the volume turned down and the atmosphere turned up a notch or two. Graney is the ultimate 21st century crooner – reflecting back to the sultry funk of the Coral Snakes at their very best – but also using a selection of “modern” recording techniques and band styles that make it all very relevant today. And the trick, I think, is that Mr Graney can lure the listener in with his laid back style and then drop either a beautiful melody, or a stunning arrangement to create a sensuous listening experience. “Like a Millionaire” is a case in point with its extended coda which builds up the tension but retains a relaxed an open feel. That’s not to say its all “cocktail bar latino cool funk”. “The Royal Troll” for example has a definite driven feel, and the re-working of “Clinging to the Coast” is superb more or less completely revisiting the song from its original stripped down version on “Heroic Blues” – it turns out in hindsight that Dave had a pretty bad lung infection at the time of that album which would explain the contrasting styles and delivery. ”Midnight to Dawn” has a great rock feel with Clare channeling John Bonham under riffing guitars. If I was going to pick out a memorable track then “Are we going to fast for love” is just simply beautiful, however it would be remiss of me to single out one song on what is, simply put, a wonderful album.
rob salford - aural delights blog -salford city radio

 

Press for Knock Yourself Out

 

 

 

Stu Thomas - Melbourne 2010

Dave Graney is an icon- a self-proclaimed King of Pop, better known for his couture than his croon. People who’ve never heard him proclaim that he’s cool, the way they used to with Leonard Cohen and still do with Captain Beefheart. Shunning zeitgeists and unaffected by fad and fashion, he is a true musical original. He flirted with Triple J success in the ‘nineties with ditties like “Rock’n’Roll is Where I Hide” and the magnificent glam-rock pout of “Feeling Kinda Sporty”, but that seemed to happen by accident.
Earlier this Millennium he was hospitalised for a lung infection. During his sickness and slow recovery he recorded two albums, “Heroic Blues” and “The Brother Who Lived”. Infirm and contemplating mortality, the songs were darker, dour. Recently he returned to “The Brother Who Lived” to spruce it up for a digital release. He found himself experimenting with the mixes, then adding instruments. Dissatisfied with his infection-fried vocals, he rerecorded. The result is “Supermodified” – songs from the two previous albums rejigged, revamped, recharged. Four unreleased tunes recorded during the same period are also included.
The album sprawls with eighteen tracks running to 73 minutes. The songs sprawl, taking their time to settle in. Lyrics sprawl. Graney loves words and his voice is constant – crooning, jabbering, growling – as he spins stories and sketches characters, a warbling Baron Munchhausen. Sometimes the sprawl seduces, but I feel the album would have been stronger with some tunes excised. The cocktail sashay of “All Our Friends Were Stars” outstays its welcome – and that’s before its reprise at the disc’s end. “A Boy Named Epic” limps along. But with such a swag of tracks covering a variety of styles from lounge to europop to guitar swagger, you’re sure to find something to like.
The original albums were not Graney’s best and occasionally you feel there’s some turd polishing going on here. But the title track from “The Brother Who Lived” is defibrillated by sudden power chords from Lurid Yellow Mist guitar hero Stu Perera. “The Royal Troll” has been energised by thudding percussion and wailing harmonica and “new” track “Midnight to Dawn” is rhythm-infused rock.
The melancholy blues of “I’m Seein’ Demons” has been given a sinister, something-at-the-edge-of-vision vibe. There’s the pop breeze in “Are We Goin’ Too Fast For Love?”. “My Old Gloves” skims on smooth percussion and propulsive bass. Then there’s the disconcerting strangeness of “She Looked at me From Out of her Eyes” and “While You Dream, I Live”.
The lyrics are awash with Graney’s left-brain humour. The music is often dense and rich, buoyed by the dynamics of Clare Moore’s drumming as she switches effortlessly from cabaret to strut to syncopated groove. Graney and Moore have taken two albums that were, arguably, “renovators’ delights” and produced something ungainly, eclectic, often infuriating – and well worth a listen.
Colin Varney- The Dwarf

Another message from the parallel universe occupied by Dave Graney. This time it's about bringing the past into the present, and it's coming in loud and clear, from out on the astroplane.
If you think re-visiting two of your old albums from a decade ago to soup up the songs is a curious career move, you won't be alone. Critics trying to read the Graney match plan must have given up years ago; the guy's no longer in the main(stream) game but still cares enough to have a kick. His umpires are wearing different uniforms and he makes up his own rules.
The short story is that "Supermodified" takes significant parts of "The Brother That Lived" (2003) and "Heroic Blues" (2001), gives them a studio re-working and adds some outtakes. It works in its own right. It's a strong album - a double LP in the old money - that's more to the centre than "Knock Yourself Out" or "We Wuz Curious", but still retains that trademark eclectic edge.
There's a fresh vibe to the re-workings almost always but a dark undertone. Dave's songs are quirky vignettes with a narrative that's not always starkly clear on first listen, so the songs can make you work. Ambiguity be thy name. Re-cast rhythms, splashes of guitar or a re-tracked vocal go together her to build new versions of songs like "Clingin' To The Coast","A Boy Named Epic", "Are We Goin' Too Fast For Love?" and "I'm Seein' Demons".
At the risk of being repetitive, stating the obvious and being slagged for running it up the flagpole to see who salutes, it ain't always rock as you and I know it. It's leather sofa (as opposed to lounge) pop with muscles, deep R & B undercurrents and a quasi-European character. It's a soundtrack to an art-house thriller that's playing in a country cinema at the end of a dusty road, many miles from Graney's punk beginnings with The Moodists.
Make no mistake: Graney still loves to fuck shit up. He just doesn't break as many mic stands in the process. He posseses irony in wheelbarrow-loads but it's not the sole rationale for what he does. He plays for keeps.
I could reel off descriptions of all 18 tracks but it wouldn't serve much purpose. You'll be into it if you like his stuff. Others will have given up on this review in disgust because it's become patently that "Supermodified" doesn't barrel down the highway at 140kph, cop licks from the MC5 or get all greasy from rolling around on the garage floor. That's the choice you and your tastes make and that's well and good. Just remember that sometimes the backroads are more interesting. -

The i94bar.com - The Barman

Supermodified
(Cockaigne/Fuse)

A story never really ends, like a book that’s never finished even though eventually its author needs to cut it loose and move on. In the same way, songs never stop growing and evolving – only this usually happens on the stage while the recorded versions stay locked in time.
Well, always one to buck a trend, Melbourne’s consummate purveyor of suave, Mr Dave Graney, has decided to redraw the line in the sand by returning to 2001’s Heroic Blues and 2003’s Brother Who Lived and cherry-pick songs that needed a bit of updating and giving others a total overhaul. The super-modified outcome is 18 songs of Graney taking his dry martini and turning it into a Long Island iced tea, many of the songs here having 12-string added to the traditional six as well as vibes, harmonica and plenty more. Oh yes, turn up the reverb, get Arthur Lyman on the line and someone put an umbrella in that drink!
Where once Are We Goin’ Too Fast For Love had some piano and a lone bongo track, now it’s got full embellishments, drums and the like. Vocal takes like those in The Brother Who Lived have been replaced here with retakes that smoulder and glow unlike the originals ever could. Commercial Street East and I Ain’t Natural, tracks that never got out the first time, have been given time to mature and ferment and add to the mesmerising mood of this album.
Graney’s love for the kitsch, pop groove and swing of the 70s goes way beyond your three-button polyester and a nice pair of slacks. For this expedition, the whole wardrobe’s been packed. This isn’t the best of Davey Graney, it’s Dave Graney returning to his soft and sexy best!
HHHH Richard Alverez
TIME OFF-Brisbane

With the benefit of hindsight, Dave Graney’s life appears to be one long cycle of reinvention. Born and bred in the South Australian regional centre of Mt Gambier, Graney joined the nascent Adelaide punk scene in the late 1970s. Within a few years, Graney had become a pivotal figure in the expatriate Australian rock scene in London. Upon returning to Australia, Graney set about constructing the post-punk flavoured cabaret image within which he exists today.

Graney’s latest release, Supermodified is an exercise in reinvention in another, narrower context. Supermodified sees Graney and his band revisit tracks from the Heroic Blues and The Brother Who Lived albums from 2001 and 2003 respectively. According to the liner notes, Graney’s performances – especially his vocals – on the latter record were detrimentally affected by the lung infection he contracted in the early part of this century. An impending digital release offered Graney the opportunity to go back to the source material and re-hash it as he now wanted it to sound.

The end result is a record that’s polished and plush. On The Brother Who Lived, Graney is the lounge lizard found lying under a couch in the corner of CBGBs, All Our Friends Were Stars is a lush ‘Vegas crooner, the biographical Epic Soundtracks is a touching tribute to a long-lost ‘80s punk icon and Clingin’ To The Coast might be the closest thing Graney will come to a Beach Boys cover.

Graney’s political aspirations get a workout in I Am Your Humble Servant and I’m Seein’ Demons, while Midnight To Dawn is dirty rock as only Graney and Clare Moore can do. The production is also elegant in the extreme: reverb vocals, off key guitar parts, Stu Pereira’s criminally underappreciated licks and Clare Moore’s deft rhythms.

Some people ‘get’ Dave Graney, and others will never know. One thing’s clear: there’s no irony involved here – Dave Graney is what Dave Graney is.
Beat- Patrick Emery

Just as James Brown sang, “I’ve got soul and I’m super bad” (with Brown reappropriating the term bad to be a positive thing), Dave Graney has done same with his latest release Supermodified. While this is a new release, the material is not. For the sticklers though, it has been reinvented – hell, it’s been re-sung, re-strung, re-drummed, souped up and ultimately supermodified. The project became a labour of love kickstarted when Graney was planning to digitally re-release his 2003 album, The Brother Who Lived, recorded by The Royal Dave Graney Show incarnation. Like any good aural mechanic, he began tinkering a little and found he couldn’t stop; a tweak here, an improvement there. And why stop? Ten tracks from that album and he might as well throw in four tracks from Heroic Blues (2001) and another four previously unreleased tracks from the same era.
The resulting overhaul has turned the hulking chassis of two albums into a singular, shiny, classic V8 supercar, firing on all cylinders. And, as an antithesis to Graney’s renowned soft ‘n’ sexy sound, this body of work, could be known as the evil ‘n’ sinister sound, representing a tough time through which Graney battled personal illness and the deaths of two close friends, one being The Triffids’ David McComb. That creepy overtone is personified in key tracks I’m Seeing Demons, She Looked At Me From Out Of Her Eyes, I Ain’t Natural and While You Live, I Dream. As with all Graney material, his songwriting skill is steering this vehicle and evident in the standout opener The Brother Who Lived, along with other highlights All Our Friends Were Stars, Are We Going Too Fast For Love?, Anchors Aweigh and A Boy Named Epic. In the end, though I love the rawness of the original releases, the new-found additional nuances do make this album seem like a new release – great for fans and great for newbies as the originals are nigh on impossible to purchase – taking the chequered flag!
Inpress- The Boomeister
notices 4 Keepin it unreal
press for we wuz curious

notices 4 Hashish and Liquor

notices 4 the brother who lived

 

a short bio of Clare and David