Active Galactic is enough to get you excited about the future of Australian rock’n’roll. There’s a reason The Delta Riggs have been on the radar for a few years, along the way casually picking up a Foo Fighters tour support slot and the attention of Jimmy Page, who paid entry into a gig in London. While their previous album Dipz Zebazios certainly established the band’s credentials, Active Galactic manages to surpass that impressive calling card with a rollicking lesson in rock’n’roll swagger.
With pacy, sexy grooves, a dash of funk and the Jagger-style vocal of Elliott Hammond, the record is dripping with seventies era atmospherics while also managing to feel resolutely fresh and contemporary. A track like ‘Get Right’, for instance, begins with a Zeppelin-like riff before taking the funk path, with a hip-hop drum beat and the vocal energy to match. It’s the kind of creative blend that gives the album its distinct sound, elevating it well beyond an exercise in retro.
There’s so much to like here, both as an album that cohesively holds together and some fantastic songs that can stand up on their own feet. Highlights include the psyched out seduction of ‘Sunny’, the infectious groove of ‘Never Seen This Before’ and the Strokes-style anthem,’Don’t Be Lonely’. ‘Losing All Our Love’ is then a perfectly chosen album closer, bring us back down to earth at a gentler pace after all the high-energy material preceding.
Active Galactic is timely reminder of just how much fun rock’n’roll should be. Put it on loud and get ready to dance
The Delta Riggs are touring nationally, playing The Gov on 30th September. Active Galactic is out now.
Reviewed by Matthew Trainor