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Record Reviews

Cosmic Psychos
Glorius Barsteds

Yob-rock icons Cosmic Psychos are back with a new album – but their time-honoured formula of beers, blokes and rock’n’roll hasn’t changed, writes PATRICK EMERY.

I used to work with a guy whose daily routine was the stuff of cliched public service ritual. At 10.30am every day he’d stand in the kitchen and cut his apple in the same standardised manner he’d practised over the preceding 25 years. Two hours later, he’d be back, preparing his cheese sandwiches, cutting them again in four equal sections. One day a younger colleague, with academic training in human psychology, posed a question: Would he ever contemplate cutting the sandwiches across the diagonal, rather than parallel with the sides? The response was enigmatic, yet painfully revealing. He stood there, knife poised above the uncut sandwiches, grappling with the infinite enormity of this perverse suggestion. One wondered whether if such a radical change in procedure might lead, domino-like, to a state of absolute turmoil where any semblance of structure and normality had been reduced to a pile of smouldering ruins.

Had my former colleague been enamoured of the Cosmic Psychos, and had the Psychos ditched their time-honoured formula of beers, blokes and rock’n’roll in favour of flaccid Sandringham yacht rock, one assumes the consequential effect would have been even more exaggerated. Thankfully, they’re still on the same fuzz-laden straight-and-narrow road to the pub they’ve always been on. There’s been the odd hiccup in the Psychos journey – the estrangement with original drummer Bill Walsh and the death of guitarist Robbie Watts – but it’d take a Massey Ferguson tractor to stop this immovable force of rock’n’roll, and even then most people’s money would be on the Psychos.

Now comprising the barrel-chested Ross Knight, John “Mad Macka” McKeering (Onyas) on guitar and Dean Muller (Hoss, Dung) on drums, the Cosmic Psychos have released their latest album, *Glorius Barsteds. Any dim thought of a concept album is shot down with the brilliantly simplistic ‘Nice Day To Go to the Pub’, a picture-perfect collage of Knight’s fuzzy bass, McKeering’s serene garage-in-the pub licks and Muller’s thumping beats.

There’s a moment during the piss-taking spoken word track that opens the second track, ‘Battlewitch’, when you wonder if the Psychos turned down the dark alley of gothic self-indulgence. However, the thespian air soon clears, the engine hots up and normal dirty rock’n’roll programming is resumed.

The paradox of the Psychos’ simplistic formula is the astute social commentary that lies just beneath the rough-as-guts surface. ‘Hate. Drunkenness. Vandalism. Demolition.’ takes aim at the idiocy of inner-city violence, while ‘Hoon’ does the same for the average bogan let loose on suburban streets. On ‘Please Sir (Can I Have Some More)’, Knight’s lyrics evoke scathing criticism worthy of Johnny Rotten. Macka gets his moment in the vocal sun on ‘Enmore Backender’, lacing double-entendres with screeching stadium rock licks.

“The paradox of the Psychos’ simplistic formula is the astute social commentary that lies just beneath the rough-as-guts surface.”

Let anyone think the Psychos were getting soft in their advancing years, ‘Bull At A Gate’ throws down the gauntlet to anyone who’s stupid enough to suggest the Psychos can be tamed. ‘3rd Strike’ is dumb rock in all its sneering glory and ‘Nude Sheilas on Motorbikes Drinking Beer’ is the alcoholic-pornographic dream sequence Russ Meyer needed to commit to celluloid. ‘Watchbox Truck (Fucked in a Truck)’ is a profane narrative of cognitive and physical incapacity on a suburban street and the early foxing ‘Tossing the Kaber’ gives way into the obligatory Psychos beery speedway assault. The final track, ‘Wake Up Rocket’, is awash with pathos, as the band pays tribute to its lost, and much loved guitarist, imploring him to wake from his slumber and “go and play some rock’n’roll”.

Glorius Barsteds comes with a second disc comprising a decent selection of your old Psychos favourites: ‘Custom Credit’, ‘Down on the Farm’, ‘Pub’, ‘Quarter to Three’, ‘David Lee Roth’, ‘Rain Gauge’, ‘Hooray Fuck’, ‘Dead Roo’, ‘Back in Town’, and a bunch more (issues with former drummer Bill Walsh means the priceless ‘You Can’t Come In’ is unlikely to feature in any future Psychos performances or releases). We’ve all heard it a million times – over a million years – and it’s still fucking great.

Take a cursory glance at any change management text, and you’ll be confronted with a slew of rhetoric describing the perpetual state of change – my favourite (sic) being the “permanent white water” – within which the contemporary world exists. The Cosmic Psychos couldn’t give a rat’s arse. As long as the beer is cold.


‘Glorius Barsteds’ is out now through Missing Link/Fuse.

Listen to the Psychos' classic 'Lost Cause':

Lost Cause-COSMIC PSYCHOS by abc2711

  -   Published on Thursday, April 14 2011 by Patrick Emery.
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Your Comments

anonymous  said about 4 years ago:

top album.

review seems to be missing on rotation tag.

josejones  said about 4 years ago:

not all feature reviews are ''on rotation''. this is just our format for lengthier reviews.

Ben  said about 4 years ago:

they were best on ground at Golden Plains the other month.

get a dog up ya!

scallywag  said about 4 years ago:

the cover reminds me of depression-era ''rouges gallery'' photos

top stuff.

toadphoney  said about 4 years ago:

Did the guy try cutting his sandwiches or apple differently? Do we have to wait for another review to discuss that? One where the band had changed their sound?

MissAustralia2003  said about 4 years ago:

it is spelt mass*e*y ferguson, and most australian farmers these days have kubotas. it's like range rover versus toyota. i think cosmic psychos are more toyota than range rover

Barman  said about 4 years ago:

An the album title is spent Glorius but who cares. Top release, great review.

astrousersasmind  said about 4 years ago:

Let anyone think the Psychos were getting soft in their advancing years

Should this be 'lest'?
Great review, love the opening section. And yes, Psycho were a sterling choice for GP.

FrankieTeardrop  said about 4 years ago:

Hmm. Now I've got 'Can't Come In' stuck in my head.

''Can't come in... GET FUCKED!''

angelicIV  said about 4 years ago:

I'm glad barman is happy.

Dogbastard  said about 4 years ago:

An the album title is spent Glorius but who cares. Top release, great review.

And I'm pretty sure ''Hooray Ruck'' is not the actual name of that song.

angelicIV  said about 4 years ago:

I might send barman a copy of my new cd.

wipey  said about 4 years ago:


scallywag  said about 4 years ago:

you still sore about your i94 bar review angelic?

wipey  said about 4 years ago:

He didn't even review the Unfuckable 7''.


angelicIV  said about 4 years ago:


Actually no. I think that it might smarten me up. Nice that someone cares enough to give me that much shit...and now I will attempt to get it on.

scallywag  said about 4 years ago:

that's good to hear angelic.

angelicIV  said about 4 years ago:

Yeah well Rock n roll gave me my life. Thanks everyone in rock.
I'm done with weird music. Time to wake up.

Barman  said about 4 years ago:

We never got sent a copy of the Unfuckable 7'', wipey. I'm sure all the quality media it no doubt got a write-up in thought it was worth hearing.

angelicIV  said about 4 years ago:

Hey, barman,


Barman  said about 4 years ago:

You and Bob Short have a relationship, angelic.Good to hear you're using it in your journey of self discovery.

angelicIV  said about 4 years ago:

Haha bob short and I had a blast.

tabula rasa  said about 4 years ago:

Here's my vid of the Psychos doing ''Lost Cause'' at Golden Plains recently. They're in fine form.

nahsteck  said about 4 years ago:

siiiiick! top-shelf aussie music

LaxCharisma  said about 4 years ago:

Man...I'm loving the album. Really excited about seeing em' at Monster Sessions.

TimChuma  said about 3 years ago:

ARIA nominated!

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  • 1.   Nice Day To Go To The Pub (Disc 1)
  • 2.   Battlewitch (Disc 1)
  • 3.   Hate, Drunkenness, Vandalism, Demolition (Disc 1)
  • 4.   Hoon (Disc 1)
  • 5.   Enmore Backender (Disc 1)
  • 6.   Please Sir (Can I Have Some More) (Disc 1)
  • 7.   Bull At A Gate (Disc 1)
  • 8.   3rd Strike (Disc 1)
  • 9.   Nude Sheilas On Motorbikes Drinking Beer (Disc 1)
  • 10.   Watchbox Road (Fucked In The Truck) (Disc 1)
  • 11.   Tossing The Kaber (Disc 1)
  • 12.   Wake Up The Rocket (Disc 1)
  • 13.   Custom Credit (Disc 2)
  • 14.   Down The Farm (Disc 2)
  • 15.   Lead Me Astray (Disc 2)
  • 16.   Lost Cause (Disc 2)
  • 17.   Pub (Disc 2)
  • 18.   Quarter To Three (Disc 2)
  • 19.   Go The Hack (Disc 2)
  • 20.   David Lee Roth (Disc two)
  • 21.   Dead Roo (Disc 2)
  • 22.   Hooray Fuck (Disc 2)
  • 23.   Back In Town (Disc 2)
  • 24.   I'm Up You're Out (Disc 2)
  • 25.   The Shed (Disc 2)
  • 26.   Rain Gauge (Disc 2)
  • 27.   Whip Me (Unplugged) (Disc 2)
  • 28.   Rip & Dig (Live At Db's) (Disc 2)
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