Hoodoo Gurus -- Stoneage Romeos


As published in the Daily Collegian on September 19, 1984

In the past few years, before corporate and metal bands tried to corner the market on what was considered "Rock and Roll," Australia's Hoodoo Gurus would have been considered by the general public as just and rock and roll band. Yet, nowadays, it is much more complicated to classify music with meaningless terms like "new wave" and "new music" being used to describe anything that doesn't sound like Journey or the Scorpions. So, the Hoodoo Gurus' debut album Stoneage Romeos falls into the un-category of "Guitar Bands That Play Loud Pop Music That Is Sort Of Familiar If You Like The Sixties But Is Still Fresh And New For Right Now. Oh Yeah, Lots Of Fun, Too."

The Hoodoo Gurus might even have a genuine hit if they get any commercial airplay. "I Want You Back" (not the old Jackson 5 song) is the sort of sing-along pop song that is impossible not to like. Songs like "Tojo," "Arthur," "Death Ship," and "Dig It Up" are variations of classic rock themes, both musical and lyrical. "(Let's All) Turn On" is a recounting of their influences that boasts the lyrical punctuation of "that's what I like" after almost every line. And the album's closer, "My Girl" (not the old Temptations song), is yet another offshoot of rock's "Louie Louie" family tree.

There is nothing earth-shattering on Stoneage Romeos, but most of the songs are exciting and refreshingly unpretentious. No wonder it's the number one album on nationwide college radio this week. It's also a good indication that the Hoodoo Gurus might crossover to commercial radio, since the last two number ones have been Lou Reed and R.E.M. In any event, the Hoodoo Gurus are certainly an example of a group that makes rock and roll that may never be heard by the millions of people who profess to like it. But that's what I thought about U2, also.

--Jim Connelly

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