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    Rogue Traders

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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Change The Channel lyrics
    2Throw Your Arms Around Me lyrics
    3The Price We Pay lyrics
    Watching You lyrics
    Way To Go! lyrics
    Fashion lyrics
    7Believer lyrics
    8World Go 'Round lyrics
    9One of My Kind (Rogue Traders vs. INXS) lyrics
    10Casting Aside lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Here Come The Drums [2005]
    2We Know What You're Up To [2003]
    3Better In The Dark [2007]


    The Rogue Traders sure know how to make an entrance. Two years may have passed since they last graced the Australian charts, but the electro-rock single that signalled their return, 'Voodoo Child', exploded across the airwaves with an immediacy that was breathtaking. It debuted in the Top 10 back in June and has been resident ever since. With its warped, insistent Hammond organ riff and singer Natalie Bassingthwaighte's cracked, rock snarl, 'Voodoo Child' is already a pop classic in the making. But for Rogue Traders, the song was always more than just a single. "It was a signpost for the album", says Rogue Trader James Ash. No longer a dance act, the Rogue Traders have evolved on 'Here Come The Drums' with a new look, a new member - singer Natalie Bassingthwaighte - and a whole new sound.

    The seeds of their evolution can be traced all the way back to October 2003, when Rogue Traders James Ash and Steve Davis stood on the podium at the Sydney Convention Centre grasping their ARIA Award for Best Dance Single for their inspired INXS remix, 'One Of My Kind'. Although Ash and Davis were thrilled with the recognition, they secretly wondered if they would ever taste such success again. Despite the fact their debut album We Know What You're Up To was predominantly self-penned, 'One Of My Kind' was such a monstrous, crossover hit that Ash and Davis were immediately stereotyped as producers, not as artists who could write their own songs. "At that moment", recalls Ash, "We drew a line in the sand and said, 'We are going to be known for our own material'".

    'Here Come The Drums', the highly anticipated second album from Rogue Traders, is sweet vindication of their self-belief and their creative integrity. Two years in the making, self-written and self-produced, 'Here Come The Drums' is the sound of a band (and we do mean band: the album is awash with live instrumentation; live drums, live guitars and bass, performed by the same players who comprise their live band) finding their voice within the genre that they were perhaps least associated: punk rock. "We were at a point where we felt that we had gone as far as we could go with conventional dance music", says Ash. "And we wanted to have a sound that broke out of it. At that time dance music was taking itself very seriously and the music that we'd really been enjoying for the past couple of years had been rock acts. They had loads of energy, but they also had amazing production and really big melodies and the musical depth that I was after".

    An inspired, in-your-face electro-punk and pop trip, 'Here Come The Drums' syphons the guitar rock energy of young British acts like the Bloc Party, melds it with the glam-tinged 80s pop-smarts of Blondie, Roxy Music and Gary Numan then lashes it together with the punk rock snarl of the Sex Pistols. It's a heady mix that's intoxicating and infectious. "We love our rock music and we love our electronic music and on this album we're meeting right in the middle", says Ash. "We're making music that will work on the dance floor and on radio. We're not afraid to have a pop influence, but we also wanted attitude. So that's why I'd say the Sex Pistols are the single biggest influence on the album. They were about energy and it's exciting to listen to them".

    The inclusion of Bassingthwaighte as a fully-fledged new member is central to the Rogue Traders sound and their band persona. Whereas their debut album had four different vocalists, 'Here Come The Drums' (with the exception of 'Casting Aside' which is sung by Ash) is the vocal sound of Natalie Bassingthwaighte. Vampish, coquettish, spontaneous and inspired, Bassingthwaighte snarls and seduces, teases and taunts with a rawness that is exhilarating. "I wanted to bring my personality into the band," says Bassingthwaighte. "I wanted to colour it, to make it very rock, but also make the vocals very character based. I can be very outrageous, and the songs let me go out there and just explode".

    'Here Come The Drums' may be a deviation from the group's straight dance roots, but Ash's background as a DJ is all over the album. "I'm very aware of keeping the energy going in a room and knowing when is the right time to push a crowd and when is the right time to let them go a bit. And that definitely came into play when arranging these tracks and seeing how it was all going to work".

    From the opening cut, the thumping, serrated party starter 'Believer', 'Here Come The Drums' sets a ferocious, unrelenting pace. 'Voodoo Child' ups the ante yet again before being set firmly in its place by the irrepressible thrash and precocious rap of second single, 'Way To Go!' 'World Go Round' eases the tempo slightly with its deceptive pop-rock charms then the sultry, downbeat pop of 'Rescue Me' provides a moment of understated beauty. And then it's off again! 'Watching You', with its tasty sample of 'My Sharona' continues the slash and burn, 'We Could Be Zeroes' is all spiky beats and stabby synths, 'Fashion' struts and slithers beneath a Grand Master Flash inspired rap, while 'White Lightning's random musings and screaming vocals are strangely compelling. The restrained, melancholy 80s pop of 'In Love Again' and the swirling, acoustic 'Casting Aside' round out the album in fine style.

    Waist deep in potential singles, with rapacious hooks, monstrous guitar riffs, unfettered rock energy and youthful enthusiasm, 'Here Come The Drums' is proof positive that the Rogue Traders were right to follow their instincts. They could have released a 'One Of My Kind Part 2' and watched the cash roll in. Instead, they followed their hearts and created a sound - and a band - all their own.

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