Its 2017 – and Jeff Hoad, one of Oz’s rocks best vocalists & frontmen is back with a vengeance and releasing killer new rock ‘n’ roll – and for that we should all be thankful. ‘Take Us To Your Leader’ is a brand spanking new 5 track EP for the Rich and Famous – a Queensland 3 piece made up of Hoad, Dean Turner and Dean Reeson.
For the uninitiated, let me give you a little context. I’m on record of having stated that in the 1980’s, Jeff Hoad (with Kings Of The Sun) was one of the few Oz rock frontmen who was a genuine rock star that wiped the floor with all those late 80’s LA wannabe hair bands. He had musical chops to match the look and was cooler than Fonzie. Like most Australians though, he was, thankfully, down to earth, had a sense of humour – and a humility that the majority of sunset strip poseurs lacked.
In recent years, there has been a musical separation between the Hoad brothers with Cliff now doing his thing with Kings Of The Sun, and Jeff out with The Rich And Famous. I dig both bands. Jeff and his brother Cliff are as Oz rock as The Angels, Chisel and Rose Tattoo and all power to both of ‘em.
The first thing that’s apparent to me when I press play on the ‘Take Us To Your Leader’ CD is just how strong and distinct Jeff’s vocal delivery is. Man it’s good to hear him back. Track 1 is the title track, and it’s a corker. Behind a lyrical theme of reptilian alien invasion (V?) and fifth columnists – is a cleverly crafted rocker layered with subtleties ranging from an early 70s UK glam stomp on the chorus to an almost spoken word middle 8. I like this a lot. ‘Dirty Music’ is a full throttle rocker that simply kicks ass and grooves with a capital G. Ripping solo to boot. I like ‘Have You Heard’ a lot, highlighted by some neat wah wah guitar and Jeff stretching himself vocally. In fact, all 5 songs on this EP get a green tick, yet if I need to select just one, ‘Blast Off’ is the EP’s plum for mine. Catchy as all hell with a sing along chorus and melody galore, this screams radio hit. This is how The Darkness try to write ‘em.
This EP sees Jeff Hoad extending himself as a song writer, and going beyond the Kings Of The Sun formulae for which he is most known. Whilst anything he does will be referenced to KOTS, these songs display a diversity/growth that only add to his KOTS legacy. That’s a good thing in my books. Jeff Hoad is back and sounding better than ever. Highly recommended. 5 out of 5. Pick up the EP and other killer albums by The Rich and Famous at www.therichandfamousband.com
Listen to an interview with Jeff on The Australian Rock Show here