A death-defying experience has driven Australia’s most determined, tough-touring rock trio, Dallas Frasca to bigger and better things with new EP, Dirt Buzz, due out tomorrow.
On New Year’s Day, a harrowing fall from a remote Northern Territory rockpool ledge set in motion a sequence of events similar to those preceding 2015’s record, Love Army.
As with Love Army, when lead singer Dallas was rushed to a European hospital mid-tour for an emergency appendectomy, Frasca found herself laid up for two unexpected weeks this year, reassessing her life, music and the people she chose to share it with.
“I actually thought I’d broken my back,” said front-woman and band namesake, Dallas Frasca, “But I didn’t, thank fuck. It was just the biggest metaphor for all the stuff I wasn’t paying attention to.”
So what exactly was lacking attention in the life of Melbourne’s stalwarts of rock ‘n’ roll? “All of us made some big decisions with the band and in my life,” she said, “Things linger in our life all the time, whether it’s a business decision or who you’re hanging out with, and you just keep plodding along. And until you make those changes life fucking happens to you.”
Frasca remained aloof about the personal stuff, however the big business decisions include a lineup change, new label announcement and a return to the lo-fi style recording that so aptly reflects the band’s renowned live show.
“Jeff and I have always had rotating members in the band. And touring life is hard for anyone you know. You can get tired as a band,” she said. “Josh is a great friend of ours. Jeff and I were like let’s close that chapter and start a fresh one.”
That new chapter included a surprising departure from Australian record label, Social Family Records, who signed the band in 2015 for the release of Love Army. SFR’s recent acquisition by Golden Robot Entertainment likely offered Dallas Frasca their golden return ticket to independence and control, with the band announcing the release of Dirt Buzz under their own new record label, Spank Betty Records.
Of the band’s bold decisions this year, the new EP speaks volumes. Dallas Frasca’s dedicated fan base will be stoked to hear a return of the rough edges that were polished off for the ARIA charting Love Army.
Dirt Buzz features the hallmark ‘Frascanisms’ – her unwavering whistle, husky vocals, the stomping anthemic beats and Jeff Curran’s riff-mastery that makes you never for a minute question the lack of bass – but, the references to artists-gone-by are entirely missing. It is in this 5-track offering that Dallas Frasca have truly discovered their unique sound.
“Two weeks into pre-production, Jeff was coming up with some of his best riffs, which inspired me,” she said, as did working with a woman producer, Anna Lavity, for the first time, “Bringing that strong female energy really injected the life into the songs as well.”
Scrapping eight months of songwriting, the pair totally re-wrote the record to include ‘Check Bang’, a fuzzy tale inspired by Frasca’s fall and resulting epiphanies; the rocking, freedom-loving lead single ‘Wasting Time’; a driving, chugging anthem in ‘Catch Me When I Fall’; the sexy number leaving nothing to the imagination, ‘Self Lovin’ Is Free’; and ‘Whisper’, a beautiful, tear-jerker about unrequited love born from a long-lost riff Jeff wrote.
In a profound celebration of 10 years together, Dirt Buzz is the perfect marriage of Dallas Frasca’s pop hooks, soul-filled vocals, riff-shredding and general rock ‘n’ roll ratbaggery – a feat Frasca said wasn’t easy, but is undoubtedly their “proudest work to date.”
With Melbourne drummer, Chris Winley (formerly of Mangelwurzel) behind the kit, Dallas Frasca are hitting the road in celebration of Dirt Buzz this October before joining iconic U.S. rock band, Ugly Kid Joe as part of a massive 40-date tour.
DALLAS FRASCA ‘Dirt Buzz’ AUS Tour
Presented by 123 Agency + Spank Betty Records
7/10 Sol Bar, Sunshine Coast, QLD
8/10 Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane, QLD
18/11 Jive, Adelaide S.A
19/11 Common Ground Fest, Seymour VIC
25/11 The Loft, Warnambool, VIC
26/11 The Caledonian Hotel, Wonthaggi VIC
1/12 Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
2/12 Baha’s, Rye, VIC
3/12 Newtown Social Club, Sydney, NSW
9/12 Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
16/12 Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
23/12 The Homestead, Hobart, TAS
30/12 The Grand, Mornington, VIC
Tickets from dallasfrasca.com