In 2009, a combo of highly respected Western Australian musicians came together to have some fun playing no-frills boogie rock n' roll in pubs around Perth and Fremantle. Datura4 combine full-tilt boogie, heavy psychedelia, blues and classic rock’n’roll for a sound heavy on riffage and mind-bending wig-outs. Fronted by Aussie legend Dom Mariani, who came to prominence on the music scene in the 1980s with legendary garage rock combo The Stems, and later went on to form revered power pop outfits DM3 and The Someloves, Datura4 is Mariani’s return to his blues and heads-down, full-tilt boogie roots. Mariani continues his successful collaboration with bass player Stu Loasby (The Majestic Kelp, Sixes & Sevens) and drummer Warren “Wazza” Hall (The Volcanics, Johnny Casino & The Secrets, Gutterville Splendour Six) and ups the blues-boogie-legend quotient with the addition of long-time friend and Australian music stalwart Bob Patient (Fatty Lumpkin, Chain, Dave Hole). Rounding out the sound with splintering guitar riffs and vocals is fifth member Joe Grech (Timothy Nelson & The Infidels, BATS, Project Mayhem). Another Mariani long-time friend and iconic Perth musician Howie Smallman (Sneakers, The Jaywalkers) pulls out the harmonica for some rousing harp sound as guest performer at live gigs and on studio albums. Datura4's debut album 'Demon Blues' was released worldwide through Alive Natural Sound Records in 2015 and received international critical acclaim for its hard-rocking, progressive psych-blues. The follow-up 'Hairy Mountain' in 2016 trademarked the band's 'guitars to infinity approach and brought new fans. READ REVIEWS Throughout October 2019 Datura4 toured Italy, France and Spain, and were booked to do the same in 2020. However, with travel restrictions due to Coronavirus it may be some time before they play somewhere near you. Datura4 continues to refine and reinvent. The reviews for all 4 albums are unmistakeable; Australian psych-blues rock at its swaggering, brilliant best. 'Blessed is the Boogie' had worldwide release in April 2019 through Alive NaturalSound Records, followed by ‘West Coast Highway Cosmic’ in April 2020. Whispers are that album 5 is emerging nicely during Iso. Stay tuned.
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© 2020 DATURA4 | Fremantle and Perth, Western Australia
Feels like only five minutes since Datura4 anointed us with their blessed brand of down-under boogie and yet here they are already with their fourth album release, “West Coast Highway Cosmic”. As consistent as white lines flashing past in the middle of the road, Cosmic is once again loaded with snarly, stripped-back riffage and keys-heavy, bad-ass blues jams. Perhaps a bit less psychedelic than previous offerings, album number 4 from the 4 is continuing testament that band leader, Dom Mariani, has tunes flowing through his synapses for fun. From the slow-building, Hammond-soaked title track and the excellent 7 minute jam-out, “Wolfman Woogie”, Cosmic is further evidence these lads know how not to let anything get in the way of a driving riff. With songs as accessible as a two- dollar hooker, the formula is fairly straightforward – pluck a dirty, toe-tapping three or four chord run out of thin air, then sprinkle it with lush keyboards and wholesome harp, add cheeky-chappie Aussie lyrics, rinse and repeat. Thing is – how “hard” is “simple” to get right, right ? Its hard as nails but Dom and his four-piece just have that knack. Stu Loasby (bass) and Warren Hall (drums) provide the perfect canvas backdrop over which Mariani and his ivory-tinkling cohort, Bob Patient, create and craft. This album was actually completed prior to Datura4’s all-too-brief bounce through Europe late last year……caught them just outside of Marseilles where they romped roasting-hot through a great set, comprised mostly of tracks from the Blessed album. The introduction of permanent keyboards into the band’s line-up brings depth – an obvious evolution of the Datura4 sound and works really well, complimentary rather than competitive to the band’s main thrust. Hours in a van together have certainly honed the band’s output of rubber-meeting-the-road grit and toil blues/rock. Interestingly, “Rule My World” actually came before Blessed’s “Ooh Poo Pa Doo” but these two tracks are noticeably riff-related, the original all-guitar and harp version having been re-worked with Patient’s keyboards. In fact, Rule would morph into Poo (so-to-speak) in the live set but now makes it’s deserved album debut, re-mixed to great effect. “Mother Medusa” channels some Phenomenon/Lights Out-era UFO whilst the band skulks and broods on the moody, slidey “You’re The Only One”. “Give” has a slightly more Laurel Canyon-infused psychedelic groove to it and “Get Out” is a cool, up- tempo little rocker (auto-corrected to “rocket”…..yeah, okay, let’s go with that as an apt description too). “You Be The Fool” is a muddy, slow, 12-bar harp-infused blues – John Lee must be wondering how the riff to this one got away. “Evil People Pt 1”, a dreamy, mesmeric piece has been given a new lease of life as a meandering blues groove, lovingly re- worked as it is with Patient’s keys sounding like the Lord of Purple himself. Dedicated Datura followers will realize that “Evil Part 2” from Blessed is now effectively the prequel to “Evil Part 1” on Cosmic – ya with me ? You have the feeling the band could play around with this one as a lush album closer/live offering and slightly re-purpose it each time….trumpets and triangles next? A new Datura 4 album has really become a risk-free proposition – you’re safe and comfy in the expectation of what you’re gonna get but excited by a tasty little twist of evolution. Overall, West Coast Highway Cosmic may not quite reach the dizzying heights of individual song-writing quality which the Boogie album nailed down so impressively, but that would be churlish criticism. Datura4 are on a first-rate, four-album roll here – blessed with Dom’s honest, earthy DNA and with a little “patience” thrown in to broaden their sound. Cosmic, indeed….stellar, even. **** MARK ‘MAD DOG’ SHAW | GET READY TO ROCK UK
DATURA4 West Australian Rock Band|Dom Mariani
Highway Stars Four albums into the game and they’re still smoking - in the non-carcinogenic sense. Even though the title describes a well-traveled road between their two chosen recording studios in Western Australia, Datura4 is yet to hit a speed hump. “West Coast Highway Cosmic” is a very different beast to its predecessors but nonetheless another prime achievement. The addition of keyboardist Bob Patient to the core membership of Dom Mariani, bassist Stu Loasby and drummer Warren Hall has broadened the palette. Mariani is best known for leading venerable Aussie band The Stems who brought the ‘60s to The Australian ‘80s scene, but his earliest influences were absorbed from the Oz Rock pantheon of the early ‘70s. Mariani grew up in the West Australian port town of Fremantle so much of what he took on board was glimpsed via the national broadcaster's GTK filmclp show. Mariani ably manages all the guitar parts and, of course, sings. The band’s ethos remains true to its early ‘70s sonic ambitions. D4 is harking back but also looking forward with another choice crop of well-crafted songs. Bob Patient’s expansive keys are over most of these 10 tracks and recalls Jon Lord in an early Deep Purple or Warren Morgan in The Aztecs. He’s a veteran sideman who’s played with the likes of Dave Hole. Chain, Mariani’s own DM3 and a gazillion other Perth acts. He excels on cuts like “Give” and the title track, where he’s given ample space to move. Jam bands can often disappear up their own back catalogue but D4 rock even when they get self indulgent. The furious opening jams of “Mother Medusa” and chugging blues of “Wolfman Boogie” will leave a bruise. Dom peels off some stinging guitar on the aforementioned “Give” in particular. The rollicking blues of “Rule My World” could have brought a pissed and stoned Sunbury festival crowd to its feet at 4am. “You’re The Only One” switches the mood to soulful reserve. Howie Smallman adds some steamy blues harp. Patient adds the boogie woogie to “Get Out”, and adds some heavy cool to “Evil People Pt 1”, a cousin to the similarly titled song on the previous album, “Blessed is the Boogie”. “West Coast Highway Cosmic” builds on the bedrock of “Blessed…” and if it doesn’t reach the same heights, it sure doesn’t fall short by much. Four out of four ain’t bad. Buy it THE BARMAN | i-94 BAR, SYDNEY AUSTRALIA, MARCH 2020
West Coast Highway Cosmic has everything I love If you were lucky enough to grow up in the 60s and 70s, you know that the music coming out at that time had a certain vibe. We’re not talking about the bubble-gum pop that was prevalent on the AM stations of the day. This is that blues based, uber- overdriven, gritty sound that blasted on many a stereo. Australian rockers Datura4 have captured not just the sound, but that whole atmospheric ambience on their latest release, West Coast Highway Cosmic. READ MORE HERE JD NASH | AMERICAN BLUES SCENE
Highway Stars From the opening title track, Datura4 roars into life like a modern-day Steppenwolf. They’re all Hammond organ, vintage synths and a rock band, intent on making a statement. Datura4 employ a massive wall of sound that departs from Dom Mariani's preferred '60s space into late '60s- early '70s, Deep Purple shtick - without the overindulgence of Ritchie Blackmore. Datura4 still displays its garage roots, but is a blend of Arizona desert rock a la early Alice Cooper... albeit updated with modern sounds. These are well-written songs that still have Dom Mariani's vocal signature sound. Bob Patient's sonic landscape of Hammond organ, piano and Moog - and the credited purple fudge - set this project apart from DM3 and The Stems, nicely. Leaning further into the '70s rock with tracks like "Wolfman Woogie" and "Rule My World" (both featuring a rocking harmonica from Howie Smallman), the rhythm section packs a massive punch with Stu Loasby and Warren Hall kicking it along with venom. The jam-ish "Boogie" rocks along in that theme, but that unmistakeable pop sensibility kicks in with some hooky goodness. Some rocking guitars and wah-wah solos, phased out tom toms, tight as a veritable fish's...this mix of psychedelic sounds and garage pop have the wig-out manoeuvres that make this album put a smile on my dial...even without the deadly nightshade. The Celebrity Roadie THE CELEBRITY ROADIE | i-94 BAR, AUSTRALIA, MARCH 2020
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DATURA4 West Australian Rock Band|Dom Mariani
A way smokin’ slab of psyched ‘n’ furious jams, powered by amped up to 11 guitars and straight up boogaloo” 9/10 Vive le Rock UK
“Ah, the perfect middle ground. You could say that Australian quartet Datura4 play highway rock, stoner metal, chill doom or downer chug, and you’d be right on all fronts, the band striking that perfect spot between overdriven and stripped down.” - Chris Krovatin, KERRANG! ‘The ‘West Coast Highway’ in the album’s title refers to the geographical section of Australia (where the album was recorded), not California. Still, there’s no denying the ‘cosmic’ psychedelic threads running through everything. There are no weighty concepts at work, but lots of heavy playing on a batch of songs that go down easy. Push play and let it rip.” - Hal Horowitz, AMERICAN SONGWRITER “… eminently grooveable. With its fuzzy blues-rock riff dipped in psychedelia, ‘You Be the Fool’ sounds like ‘Roadhouse Blues’ covered by Count Five. Reliable set pieces from the classic rock canon in unexpected variations make the song feel at once fresh and familiar: a wailing harmonica which might have been filched from Howlin’ Wolf by the Rolling Stones, a funk undercurrent that smacks of Stevie Wonder, a falsetto refrain which—down to the lyric ‘What you gonna do?’—seems to echo Gary Clark Jr. on ‘What About Us.’ - M. L. Rio, THE VINYL DISTRICT “Datura4’s new single ‘You’re The Only One’, one of the standout tracks on the upcoming album, finds the band channeling the acoustic swamp blues of Tony Joe White alongside the big rock and roll harmonies of acts like the Black Keys.” – Neil Ferguson, GLIDE MAGAZINE “If you need to just check the hell out of whatever’s going on around you (for just shy of four minutes, anyway), this soft, suspenseful fusion of haunting blues, slide and wild west flavours on Datura4’s single ‘You’re The Only One’ is your guy.” Polly Glass, CLASSIC ROCK "...an overloaded boil of blasted psych blues. This aptly titled set is perfect for driving fast on long, lonely stretches of highway with the windows down and the wide-open night for company." - Thom Jurek, ALL MUSIC “Mariani’s masterful guitar tone is established early and continues throughout the 10 tracks. He doesn’t mess around with achingly long solos and instead delivers essential heft to every song in a way that sets him apart from many of his contemporaries.” - Jeff Monk, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS “It’s tempting to think that the four are still on their way home from a festival in the Australian Outback in the 1960s, that they all dropped acid and never came home, and such is the laid-back harmonica driven slice of brilliance that is 'Wolfman Woogie' that you can actually believe it. West Coast Highway’ Cosmic is a journey down roads you recognize, but still manages to reach for the universe beyond.” – Andy Thorley, MAXIMUM VOLUME MUSIC [4/5 stars!] “West Coast Highway Cosmic is as consistent as white lines flashing past in the middle of the road, and is once again loaded with snarly, stripped-back riffage and keys-heavy, bad-ass blues jams. Datura4 are on a first-rate, four-album roll here – blessed with Dom’s honest, earthy DNA and with a little ‘patience’ thrown in to broaden their sound. Cosmic, indeed….stellar, even.” - Mark “Mad Dog” Shaw, GET READY TO ROCK “If you enjoy the Boogie, you’re gonna love this band! Think of American bands like Grand Funk Railroad or British bands like Deep Purple and you’ll have a good place to start from. The music is stripped down and Bluesy, with solid rhythms providing the groundwork for great harmonica breaks and fine guitar licks.” - FEAR AND LOATHING [4/5 stars!] “West Coast Highway Cosmic is a great album from beginning to end. It should be the perfect soundtrack to your summer.” - Aaron Badgley, SPILL MAGAZINE
HERE'S WHAT CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT WEST COAST HIGHWAY COSMIC
Datura4 | featuring Dom Mariani (The Stems), Bob Patient, Warren Hall, Stu Loasby, Joe Grech, and guests, including Papa Howie Smallman
“Everybody loves a summer road trip. Of course, you can probably add that to the list of things you won’t be doing anytime soon. But hey, you can still dream of being a highway star. And while you do, you might as well spin the fourth full- length from these hard-driving Australian indie-rockers. In keeping with its handle, West Coast Highway Cosmic might be the perfect soundtrack for your involuntary staycation: 10 road- rested, psychedelia-spiked slices of old-school rock, organ- laced electric blues and freewheeling Outback boogie.” Darryl Sterdan TINNITIST
“The title cut from Australian garage rock/psych rock outfit Datura4's latest LP, West Coast Highway Cosmic, is the dash-pounding, air keyboard, rocking freakout this generation has long needed but was too afraid to ask for. Built on sturdy rhythms, lysergic twists and turns, and a vocal hook that won't soon leave you, this is the best of its kind since Deep Purple's ‘Highway Star.’” READ MORE Jedd Beaudoin POPMATTERS
2020 4TH ALBUM RELEASE - WEST COAST HIGHWAY COSMIC
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