Out of the 30+ bands that played at Gonerfest 5 this year in Memphis, I had heard roughly half of them prior to seeing them live. Of course, there were bound to be surprises – bands I hadn’t heard of before that would blow my lid (and eardrums) straight off. One of these bands was Melbourne, Australia’s Ooga Boogas. With members cobbled together from other Melbourne bands such as The Sailors, Onyas, and the slightly overhyped Eddy Current Suppression Ring (these guys are much better), this is what we might call an underground rock superband (does such a thing exist?).
While their live show is a lot louder and more pointed, the Ooga Boogas’ Romance and Adventure LP shows more diversity in their sound than their live show did at the time – perhaps I was too caught up in the moment to notice these things. While their vocalist sounds like Lou Reed, they can boogie on tracks such as “Fannie Mae” and “Ooga Boogie”. In other places, they ape The Fall in the best way possible (“On Safari”) and on other tracks such as “Neon Sunset”, they strike a balance between the familiar and the off-kilter.
Did I mention the packaging is exquisite (ATTN: PEOPLE LIKE PAUL)? Gatefold packaging is getting rarer these days but even moreso with single-LP records such as Romance and Adventure. Ooga Boogas buck the trend and give us gatefold packaging with some interesting cover/back art courtesy of Per Bystrom, and top it all off with a photo of the band inside the gatefold, handsomeness and all. One last thing, this record was apparently pressed in an edition of 500 so it is already out of print. The distros listed above still have it in-stock apparently so pick it up ASAP.