The Fumes exploded onto the Sydney music scene in 2004, their dirty blues-tinged rock creating a stir akin to a car backfiring in a street crowded with extremely skittish people. Their music has been described as to not sound out of place in 'a dukes of hazzard car chase'. It's hard, fast, loud. Travelling music if I ever heard any. Barefoot, grass stomping music. Prepare to dance crazier than a schizophrenic Mexican mechanic trying to shake a tarantula out of his pants.
Drums, Guitar and Vocals. No Bass. The Fumes are one Steve Merry; Accomplished on the resonator guitar, and throwing some wild slide and passionate finger picking rhythm into the mix with thanks (in part) to some mentoring in the US from Bob Brozman. And Joel Battersby; There were no pots and pans for this boy. After starting drum lessons to avoid looking like a copy cat to his brother and mate, he partook in many hours of practise on an ironing board before coercing his parents into buying a drum kit.
The 8 track demo Joel and Steve put out shortly after fusing their talents to become The Fumes, proved to be so popular that it was repackaged as a 7 track EP. Only available at shows, this self titled EP is continually selling out, allocations often exhausted even before the boys have left the stage. The Fumes unleashed their first single on Australian audiences in July 2005. Oh My Babylon received national airplay on radio stations such as Triple J, FBI, and RRR.
It wasn't until 2006 that the boys signed a deal with Silent Partner Recordings. The second single Automobile, taken from the soon to be released debut album also ended up in high rotation on community radio throughout Australia.
Guns of Gold was released to rave reviews in July 2006, debuting on the AIR chart at number 5. The album, recorded over 3 weeks in Melbourne’s Birdland Studios, ebbs and flows over 64 and a half minutes. Steve has been quoted as saying that he likes albums that have sections to them, recordings that 'when you listen to them as a whole you go for a bit of a trip'. This album is one of the best trips I've been on of late.
Where some local artists have alienated fans, forcing their way into the mainstream, over-produced debut albums being outshone by their live sets, this duo have not. Live reviews slide hand in hand with album reviews, and their fan base is only expanding. Preferring to stand by the realistic expectations that independent labels have to offer, the boys are still doing the rounds of mates couches in breaks from touring. The Fumes tours are supported at this stage by album and merch sales.
The Fumes (EP) - 2004 - Independant
Oh My Babylon (Single) - 2005 - Independant
Automobile (Single) - 2006 - Silent Partner Recordings/Inerta Distribution
Guns of Gold (Album) - 2006 - Silent Partner Recordings/Inerta Distribution
AMO band interview
AMO album interview
PS. 256 Rocks my beyond-pc world!