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Album Review: Bluejuice ‘Retrospectable’

Words by Emma Jones - Published on September 19, 2014

Words by James Tait.

Announcing their breakup at the start of August were crafty veterans of the Australian music scene, Bluejuice. Crafty veterans may seem a stretch given that the band has released but three albums since 2007, but they’ve been kicking around since 2001, blasting their transcendent mash of hip-hop, electro, rock, funk and balls out (sometimes literally) amusement seemingly on the bill of every Australian festival anyone has ever attended. These guys are the Clint Howard of Aussie music festivals: weird, off-beat and appearing in just about everything.

Retrospectable is their anthological swansong to sail off into the sunset in a yellow leotard with. It’s a collection of previous singles including festival anthem Broken Leg (if Big Day Out was church, this is in the middle of the hymn book) as well as the song that first brought them screaming and spitting onto the national stage; the twitchy, scuzzy, shouty, fantastic Vitriol. There is an even enough split of well known material here from each of the Sydney boys’ previous three albums (Company, Head Of The Hawk and Problems) to keep this one in high rotation in the car stereos of all of their fans as well as three new tracks that represent what a diverse and genre-bending musical act Bluejuice really became.

I’ll Go Crazy is the lead single; a crystal clean, instantly accessible pop rock break-up number. The hook is catchier than The Clap, the accordion snaking its way around the chorus is just nifty and it should score major mainstream radio airplay to fill out the rest of the year.

George Costanza is an exercise in the band’s electro-funk chops, a much more musically complex song than I’ll Go Crazy. It’s not difficult to imagine the band having a whale of a time with this one in a live setting, and if there isn’t an accompanying music video I’ll feel robbed. In our recent interview with co-frontman, Stav, he describes the track, “A bit tongue-in-cheek, and the funny side of Bluejuice, even though the verses are really dark. It’s a reference to that episode of Seinfeld where George decides to do everything the opposite way; and once he decides to do that everything starts working out for him. In a way, it’s kind of about the end of the band too. It’s kind of like, “Well, let’s just do it the other way and it’ll all work out!”’ I’m all for an increase in Seinfeld references in contemporary music.

No Time For Tears is undeniably the band’s funeral march, fittingly the last track on the album. It’s a mid-tempo ballad that leaves you with a simple message: A band that has been through “10 years of tantrums, fights and fears” simply has no time for prolonged goodbyes or mourning, just an appreciation of their contributions to music.

Bluejuice may be going out too soon in the eyes of many, but they’re doing it on their own terms and making sure fans don’t walk away empty-handed with Retrospectable. Their national farewell tour kicks off this month.

Bluejuice Tour Dates:

Bluejuice tour dates

WED 24 SEPT UNI BAR, ADELAIDE (LIC/ALL AGES – EVENING)

THU 25 SEPT UNI BAR ADELAIDE SA

FRI 26 SEPT CAPITOL PERTH WA

SAT 27 SEPT RED EARTH ARTS FESTIVAL KARRATHA

WED 01 OCT SOL BAR, MAROOCHYDORE (18+ ONLY – EVENING)

THU 02 OCT HI FI BRISBANE

FRI O3 OCT COOLANGATTA HOTEL COOLANGATTA

SAT 04 OCT GREAT NORTHERN HOTEL BYRON BAY NSW

WED 08 OCT FEDERATION UNIVERSITY, GIPPSLAND CAMPUS (18+ ONLY – EVENING)

FRI 10 OCT HI FI MELBOURNE VIC

SAT 11 OCT HI FI MELBOURNE VIC (Under 18’s only Matinee show 12-3pm)

SAT 11OCT VILLAGE GREEN HOTEL MULGRAVE

SUN 12 OCT BARWON CLUB GEELONG

FRI 17 OCT WAVES WOLLONGONG

SAT 18 OCT ANU BAR CANBERRA ACT

THU 23 OCT BAR ON THE HILL NEWCASTLE

FRI 24 OCT METRO THEATRE SYDNEY NSW (LIC/ALL AGES)

SUN 26 OCT METRO THEATRE, SYDNEY (LIC/ALL AGES – EVENING)

THU 06 NOV MOVIDAS, MACKAY (18+ ONLY – EVENING)

FRI 07 NOV THE VENUE, TOWNSVILLE (18+ ONLY – EVENING)

SAT 08 NOV – THE JACK, CAIRNS (18+ ONLY – EVENING)

Part time writer/ Full time beer enthusiast

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