Amphetamine Reptile Revisited – Cosmic Psychos

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With a career spanning more than 20 years, Cosmic Psychos are one of the top-notch Australian rock bands. Barely known outside their native country, they nonetheless managed to release albums on such respected American labels as Sub Pop and Amphetamine Reptile.

As far as lyrical content is concerned, Psychos mostly deal with a wide range of hot-button topics like drinking, fighting and perversion. Even when they’re touching on more morbid subjects like death and murder, the band still treats them in their own special way, with their collective tongue firmly stuck in cheek.

CosmicPsychosDownOnBackCover-small-150x150 Amphetamine Reptile Revisited – Cosmic PsychosPsychos debuted in 1985 with “Down On The Farm” EP, which came out on Mr. Spaceman label. It was followed two years later by their self-titled album (which also came out on Mr. Spaceman).

“Down On The Farm” was described by All Music Guide as “a classic study in low-budget recording with little or no luxury.” Together with self-titled album, it was also described by AMG as “a brilliant, rough-hewn document of simple, gritty rock & roll informed by late-’70s Australian punk like the Saints, Radio Birdman, and Rose Tattoo.” / ” The Cosmic Psychos’ best, freshest, and least rehearsed.”

Late 80s also saw the release of “Go The Hack” album, which, according to AMG, contained more of “dirty, mean, simple, garagey punk rock & roll” that the band excelled at creating. Furthermore, AMG commented that “this is a working man’s rock band — basic, uncomplicated, tough, but like Motörhead and Rose Tattoo, Cosmic Psychos are not without their sense of humor, especially on tracks like “Out of the Band.””

90s saw the band releasing a whole number of albums, including 1991 “Blokes You Can Trust”, 1993 “Palomino Pizza” and 1995 “Self-Totaled”.During that time, they also recorded splits with the likes of Vertigo and Melvins and even did an unplugged session!

AMG commented on “Self-Totaled” album – “Self-Totaled doesn’t deviate from the band’s formula of hard driving rhythms, fuzzed out guitars, humorously sneering vocals, and true-to-the-bone working man’s attitude. In fact, it builds on that formula: The melodies show better craftsmanship, the band is tighter, and the engineering is perfect. Like AC/DC, the Cosmic Psychos have always kept things simple and stuck lyrically to what they know, and on this album, they seem to know a bit about shooting the neighbor’s cat, S&M, psychotic girlfriends, drinking, and fighting.”

cosmic-lovelypie-p-150x150 Amphetamine Reptile Revisited – Cosmic PsychosFollowing the release of “Oh, What A Lovely Pie” album the band fell quiet, but 10 years later Cosmic Psychos returned with “Off Ya Cruet” – an album that featured new drummer –  Dean Muller, who replaced  a long-time member Bill Walsh.

Also, the band suffered a tragedy when another key member of the band – guitarist Robbie Watts – died after a show that the band played in Bendingo. For a while, the band considered changing their name, but decided to move forward and hired John McKeering from the band Onyas to serve as a replacement for Watts.

The band’s latest (as of 2010) album is 2007 “Dung Australia”, which originally came out on Timberyard Records and was later reissued by Pitshark label. Mess + Noise website characterized the record as “40 minutes of grimy, unrelenting rock with great drumbeats”. Further on, they added that “If The Beasts of Bourbon are a glamorous reflection of heavy-drinking life in the gutter, the Psychos would shatter the camera lens.”

Fun Facts

  • British electronic band The Prodigy released a version of “Fuel My Fire” co written with L7 which was largely based on a Cosmic Psychos tune “Lost Cause”.
  • the Cosmic Psychos are one of the defining bands of the yob rock genre, a movement that celebrates  Australian male lifestyle. Other bands include The Onyas, The Vee Bees and ThundaBox.

  • In 1991, they recorded “Blokes That You Can Trust”, with production duties handled by then unknown Butch Vig, who just finished work on Nirvana’s “Nevermind”.

Current Line-Up:

Ross Knight

Dean Mueller

John McKeering

Former Members:

Peter Jones

Bill Walsh

Robbie Watts

Discography

Down On The Farm 12″ (Mr. Spaceman, 1985 / Rattlesnake, 1991)

Cosmic Psychos CD / LP (Mr. Spacemen, 1987 / Shagpile + Arschloch, 1987 / What Goes On, 1988)

Go To The Hack CD / LP / LP + 7″ (Normal, 1989 / Survival, 1989 / Sub Pop, 1989)

You Can’t Come In 7″ (Normal, 1989)

Slave To The Crave CD / LP (Rattlesnake, 1990)

Blokes You Can Trust CD / LP (Amphetamine Reptile, 1991 / Survival, 1991)

Down On The Farm / Cosmic Psychos CD (Rattlesnake, 1991 / Survival, 1991 / Amphetamine Reptile, 1992)

Back At School CD (Survival, 1992)

Cosmic Psychos / Vertigo Split 7″ (Hippy Knight, 1993)

Palomino Pizza CD (City Slang, 1993)

Neighbours 7″ (City Slang, 1994)

Self Totalled CD (Amphetamine Reptile, 1995)

She’s A Lost Cause / Crazy Woman (1996)

Unplugged / Whip Me 7″ (Man’s Ruin, 1996)

Oh, What A Lovely Pie LP (Amphetamine Reptile, 1997)

Cosmic Psychos / Melvins Split 7″ (Gearhead, 1998)

15 Years, A Million Beers 2xLP (Dropkick, 2001)

Dung Australia CD (Timberyeard, 2007)

Compilation Tracks:

Custom Credit” on The Not So Lucky Country (Reactor, 1988)

Hard” on Dope, Guns And Fucking In The Streets Volumes 4-7 (Amphetamine Reptile, 1990)

Rip’N’Dig” on 10 Jahre Normal (Normal, 1992)

Dead Roo” on Dope, Guns And Fucking Up Your Video Deck Vol.2 (Amphetamine Reptile + Atavistic Video, 1992)

Shove” on From Out Of Nowhere (Survival, 1992)

There She Goes Again” on The Velvet Down Underground (Birdland + Shock, 1993)

Rain Gauge” on Dope, Guns And Destroying Your Video Deck Vol.3 (Amphetamine Reptile + Atavistic Video, 1994)

B.I.T. (Very Metal)” on Overdub Presents: The Psycho Factory (Overdub Fanzine, 1995)

Thank Your Mother For The Rabbits” on Triple J: This Is Twelve (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1995)

The Man Who Drank Too Much” on Vulgar Tongue (Shock, 1996)

Moll” on Rock Sound Vol.12 (Rock Sound Magazine, 1997)

Guns Away” on Homebake 98 (Shock, 1998)

Some Girls” on Runnin’ on Fumes! – The Gearhead Magazine Singles Compilation (Gearhead, 2000)

Lost Cause” on Tales From The Australian Underground – Singles 1976-1989 (Feel Presents + Festival Mushroom, 2003)


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3 thoughts on “Amphetamine Reptile Revisited – Cosmic Psychos

  • […] of the fittest 3 – tad – obscene hand 4 – boss hog – big fish 5 – cosmic psychos – the man who drank too much 6 – u-men – that’s wild about jack 7 – […]

  • Cosmic Psychos are one of my favorite Aussie bands. I remember seeing them for the first time when I was 16, at a pub supporting L7. It was the first proper gig I ever went to, and it was amazing. Highlights included a game or beercan tennis with guitars as the raquets, and a nude train chugging along the stage during the L7 set. Good times and thanks for the write up!

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