Cash Savage and the Last Drinks’ stunning second release The Hypnotiser has received some excellent reviews. I’ve been listening to the album all week and I can see why. The band shows no signs of slowing, announcing its first tour for 2014.
The Hypnotiser – an incredible work of depth, sorrow, love and tragedy – racked up an EG Award Song Of The Year nomination [for lead single “I’m In Love”], was one of the Top 25 Highly Recommended albums on the Coopers AMP Music Prize list and featured prominently in Top 10 Albums of 2013 lists from the country’s leading music journalists across numerous publications including the Herald Sun, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
PBS FM [where the album was an early feature album] listed The Hypnotiser in its Top 10 for 2013, and long-time lovers of the band Mess+Noise marked ‘I’m In Love’ as one of 2013’s Top Tracks.
The Hypnotiser’s opening track sets the scene for what is to follow. “Let Go” is atmospheric, wailing guitar and thumping horns against a somewhat fatalistic storyline where Savage, with a dark mind, is being called to see where this calling takes her. Ominous.
“Something Better” recalls the night before and the resultant hangover, with a menacing musical style hovering over. But there’s some cause for cautious optimism – ‘Because I found something better And she don’t wait for too long’. How it will work out I’m not sure because ‘maybe I should sit back down and finish this drink in front of me’. The track includes some evocative cello.
Then a change of pace – “The Hypnotiser” is mesmerizing. ‘I am the hypnotiser, Let’s move together baby’. Chanting, moaning building to a walled crescendo. Savage pleads then screams with a gospel fervour evident – we can all believe. The arrangements change dramatically after the five-minute mark, taking us to even another level. This track is brilliant.
“Howling For Me” features just guitar and vocals in this a tale of death and remorse. A pared back arrangement adding authenticity, sounding like it was recorded on the front porch in one take. “Five Boys One Farm” refers to a ‘mean father but good farmer’. The chorus restates ‘Five boys. One farm. One bad divorce’. Evocative story telling with Kat Mear’s violin a feature here.
All songs on the album bar one are either written by Savage or are Savage and Nick Finch co-writes. “Bareknuckle Boogie” is the exception (Savage, Joe White and Rene Mancuso) which is a tale of someone looking for physical trouble and the impact such actions have, with a trumpet and trombone building a wall of sound at the end.
The aforementioned “I’m In Love” has trumpet and choir intertwined like lovers – beautifully, happily. Here Cash is baring her soul, confessing her growing affection repeating the phrase as if proclaiming to the world with pride. “95km to Sandy Point” is filled with dread – a reunion of sorts, a bad man waiting in a court room, all going sour after ‘I picked him up near Churchill’. Then there’s a testimony in court in this darkest of stories, slowly unfolding around the loss of a warm friend. Again, graphic is the storytelling with Savage’s vocals full of passion and power.
“Early Morning Come Down Blues” – is like chanting from the cotton field – singing because it helps get through the pain as beer, wine, weed, gin do nothing to help forget. It’s a plea for relief from the terrible monotony of a hard-working existence.
Mother’s Lament” is the closer – violin and guitar surrounding a mother’s warning of a daughter’s darkness within and the daughter seeking at least some sort of guidance ‘- Hold a light up’. An eerie closer to what is a wonderfully mesmerizing collection, showcased by Savage and The Lost Drinks with soul and aplomb.
The Hypnotiser was produced by Nick Finch. The Last Drinks are Cash Savage, Joe White, Rene Mancuso, Kat Mear, Ed Farrar, Adam Redfern and Chris Lichti.
Kicking off 2014 with appearances before a burgeoning fanbase in Queensland [one headline show, and as part of the Little Day In alongside Gay Paris, Stella Angelico & The Switch and others], Cash Savage & The Last Drinks return to many of the venues that have loved them from the start.
They’ll be stopping in at The Adelaide Fringe and Kyneton Music festivals along the way, before sharing the stage with Dr John, Elvis Costello, John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr, Steve Earle and Michael Franti at the Deni Blues & Roots Festival. Any fans of the album who are yet to see Cash Savage & The Last Drinks live on stage should prepare themselves for the next-level ferocity and unashamed power of their electric, moving performances.
Golden Wolves Tour
Thu 30 Jan | Moonshine, Hotel Steyne
75 The Corso, Manly, NSW
Fri 31 Jan |RAD (formerly Yours and Owls)
95a Crown Street, Wollongong, NSW
Sat 1 Feb | Red Rattler
Archer Magazine Sydney Launch Party
6 Faversham Street, Marrickville, NSW
Sun 2 Feb | Lizotte’s Restaurant
Lot 3/Avoca Drive, Kincumber, NSW
Sat 15 Feb | Adelaide Fringe Festival
Paradiso Spiegeltent | Garden of Unearthly Delights
Sat 1 Mar | Kyneton Music Festival
w/ Eagle & The Worm, Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk, Suzannah Espie, Fraser Gorman & The Big Harvest, Ooga Boogas, The Resignators + more.
Venue TBC, Kyneton, VIC
Sun 20 April | Deni Blues & Roots Festival
w/ John Mayer, Elvis Costello, Doobie Brothers, Gary Clark Jr, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Boz Scaggs, Dr John & The Nite Trippers, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Russell Morris, The Wailers, Jackson Firebird + more.
Conargo Road, Deniliquin, NSW
Thanks: Heapsaflash: Music Media Management