Beneath the Southern Cross

Australia has helped rock the world by exporting the music of super-groups like AC/DC, INXS, Midnight Oil, Men at Work, Crowded House and on a smaller scale the music of Australian alternative groups like The Triffids, The Church, Hunters and Collectors, Celibate Rifles, The Saints and Laughing Clowns who also found an audience beyond the confines of Australia, but where a group like

“The Triffids were big business in England, Holland, Germany, France and particularly Scandinavia, particularly with their album Born Sandy Devotional. In Belgium, they played to 70,000 fans.”

they, like the majority of Australian musical acts, have failed to connect with America’s music buying public; and groups like Godstar and Glide have simply fallen through the cracks.

Godstar is the singular creation of Nic Dalton (vocals, guitar, bass) and a revolving cast of musicans. A member of Canberra punk band the Plunderers he had taken to writing songs that he felt were inappropriate for that band.

Conceived as a creative commune, he named the band Godstar after a 1986 single by Psychic TV. Besides leading Godstar he also fronts the group Sneeze and runs the independent Australian record label Half a Cow. He’s also found time to be a member of the Lemonheads (1992-1994), Love Positions and Hummingbirds, touring extensively with the Lemonheads.

Besides Dalton the bands original line-up included Smudge’s Tom Morgan and Alison Galaway. In 1992 the band released their debut EP The Brightest Star. The vinyl version included the Dalton song “Kitchen”, later covered by The Lemonheads on their It’s A Shame About Ray album.

While busy preparing for Godstar’s debut album Sleeper he accepted the position as touring bassist for a revamped Lemonheads. Produced by Lou Giordano Sleeper was recorded in Boston with The Lemonhead’s Evan Dando, Smudge’s Tom Morgan and Alison Galaway, Rachael King of the Cakekitchen, ex Hummingbirds/Love Positions bassist Robyn St. Clare and Shellac’s Bob Weston.

Released in 1993 on Half a Cow in Australia and Taang in the U.S. Sleeper features chiming guitars and charming vocals, with many of the albums 16 songs showing the influence of British “C86” groups like the Razorcuts and the Pooh Sticks, while “Forgotten Night” and “Every Now & Again”, two solo drone poems, show the influence of the Velvet Underground.

The groups second album, 1995’s, Coastal, was recorded in a variety of places while Dalton toured with the Lemonheads. For this album he was backed by Boston group Fuzzy, the Lemonheads Evan Dando and David Ryan and John Encarnacao, Tania Bowers and Robyn St. Clare of the Hummingbirds. The original 14 track album has been re-released with 4 extra tracks that were originally b-sides and a 14 track bonus disk that includes unreleased recordings, rare tracks and a live show from November 1995.

During the Lemonheads 1993 UK tour he recorded The Glasgow EP. While bass and drums were played by Scottish studio musicans he was able to get Eugenius’ Eugene Kelly to help out on vocals and guitar.

Besides the two studio albums Godstar released a slew of 7″ singles that have been released in Spain, England, Australia and the U.S. The promotional only compilation, Way Out Jim, was released only in Japan.

In late 1996 Dalton decided to quit recording under the Godstar moniker and concentrate on his other group, Sneeze.

“Sneeze was a way for Dalton and Morgan to clear out songs too “goofy” to put on albums and too good to throw away.”

Backed by members of Australian bands Swirl and Ratcat Sneeze, and no song over 2 minutes, Sneeze condenses 20 of them on two 7-inches.


Not to be confused with Will Sergeant’s (Echo and the Bunnymen) solo project of the same name Glide was an Australian band that recorded during the 1990’s. The group formed in Sydney in 1991 and was led by songwriter William Arthur. The group attained a cult following in their native country on the basis of their live shows and their hard-hitting and melodic sound which they referred to as the “wall of harmony.” Critically acclaimed they failed to attract much attention beyond Australia. Prior to releasing a fourth album Arthur died of a heroin overdose in 1999.

Produced by Wayne Connolly Disappear Here manages to meld the genre’s of late-’60s psychedelia, ’80s Midwest post-punk, and hints of garage rock, dream pop and Brit-pop with guitar work that draws on the musical stylings of Buffalo Tom, Man Sized Action, Soul Asylum and Hüsker Dü.


Godstar Discography

Singles and EPs

The Brightest Star (7″ Single-Aus) (Half A Cow) 1992
Bad Bad Implications: The Chemcraze EP (CD Single) (Half A Cow) 1993
Chemcraze (CD) (Half A Cow) 1993
Glasgow EP (Rugger Bugger) 1993
The Brightest Star (7″ Single-US) (Bus Stop) 1993
Lie Down Forever (Aus Half A Cow/ Taang) 1994
Single (Taang Records) 1994
Four Seventy EP (Bus Stop) 1994
Take the Money and Run EP (Elefant) 1994
Has She Got Your Time Now? (45:PicSleeve) (Blind) 1994
Pushpin/Seeing Stars (Half A Cow) 1995
Table for One (Half A Cow) 1995

Full-length

Sleeper (CD, Cass, LP) (Aus Half A Cow/ Taang) 1993
Coastal (2xCD) (Half A Cow) 1995
September (Half A Cow) 1997

Tracks Appear On:

“Single” Half a Cow Records Compilation (CD) (Half A Cow) 1993
“Duje Daisy” Music for Film & T.V. (disc 1) 1995
“Speak Memory Speak”, “Fly Me to the Moon” Heard It Through the Bovine (Half A Cow) 1996
“Parking Lot” Snowstorm: A Tribute to Galaxie 500 (disc 2) 2004
“Lie Down Forever” AP: Indie-Gestion, Volume 2
“Lie Down Forever” Quarantine (DVD-US) 1994
“Pushpin” Love and Other Catastrophes
(DVD-Australia) 1997


Godstar – Sleeper (1993)

Playing Time: 39 minutes 58 seconds

godstar-sleeper

1. Ersatz (0:51)
2. Bad Bad Implications (3:22)
3. Little Bit About (2:21)
4. Single (3:23)
5. Everything You Give Me Breaks (2:59)
6. Wigram (4:21)
7. Forgotten Night (2:00)
8. Lie Down Forever (3:26)
9. The Brightest Star (2:18)
10. Had The Time Of My Life (2:50)
11. Stranger (3:09)
12. Days Gone By (3:56)
13. Something Unplanned (3:40)
14. Every Now & Again (1:22)

Buy Sleeper at Amazon.com


Glide Discography

Singles

“Here She Comes” / “Tangled” 1996
“Surfaced Euphoric” (Hypnotized) 1996

Full-length

Open Up and Croon (Hypnotized/Shock) 1995
Disappear Here (Hypnotized) 1996
Shrink Wrapped Real Thing (Independent) 1997
Last (Independent) 1999

Tracks Appear On:

Fade Young Blood 3 (rooArt) 1990
“This Faced Man” The Big Backyard (Polydor)
“Ride With Me” Totally Wireless: The Triple J Acoustic Sessions (Polygram Australia) 1993


Glide – Disappear Here (1996)

Playing Time: 39 minutes 46 seconds

glide - disappear here

1. You Were Always More Than A Trick To Me, Ray (3:54)
2. What Do I Know? (3:15)
3. Two Wrists (4:11)
4. Tangled (3:40)
5. Wrapped In Fingers (3:19)
6. Here She Comes (3:12)
7. Surfaced Euphoric (4:43)
8. To Your Side (2:58)
9. Hole In The Middle (3:09)
10. Ripped And Stripped (3:59)
11. Cradlesong (3:26)

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One response to “Beneath the Southern Cross

  1. Could not find a direct link to just email-so I am sticking this here. Just ran across this while trying to find Pond’s first one to play for my daughter (thanks! have not heard that one since college) Wonderful blog you have going here reads like my college CD collection which sadly has been dismantled over the years so I just wanted to give a thanks for bringing back some great memories (ditch croaker-man that monkey wild was so catchy on the little darla comp where I first ran across it.)
    Anyway really just wanted to post a thanks -I used to do a music blog myself and really loved comments when they were left-so thank you kind sir….now-for a small request simply because you might actually own it-do you have Sprinkler’s More Boy, Less Friend my vinyl version is barely audible these days and I would love to hear it again perhaps this might be a place to look…anyway cheers mate-and keep up the great work-I plan to revisit often-also if you might be looking for anything hit me up I have all sorts of obscure gems which I would gladly share which are of a similar background to the likes posted here
    love and bruises
    Sam

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