The Smokestack Orchestra
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The Smokestack Orchestra

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"The Zoo, Brisbane live review"

Sounding like the evil bastard offspring of The John Spencer Blues Explosion and Clutch, The Smokestack Orchestra’s sound is equally spacious and brutally chunky with the line-up of twin guitars and drums grinding out massive grooves that would make any stoner weep. These guys sound seriously huge tonight and put on a great show, with Scarecrow Wallace’s gravelly vocals sounding raw and slinky, backed by butt kicking guitar tones from Dean Hunt and monstrous primal rhythms from Skritch. Mesmerising blues riffs propel song after song with unrelenting power, and tunes like ‘Tractor’, ‘Dustbowl’ and ‘The Wreck’ get the punters amped up and wanting more. - Time Off Magazine


"Salute Heavy Industry album review"

Shake yer hips, move yer lips

Crash, bang, wallop – oh yeah! Hometown boys The Smokestack Orchestra prove they’ve got big balls of steel by delivering loads of gut-bucket blues-rock on their groove-laden debut full-length Salute Heavy Industry. The macho growl of lead singer Scarecrow Wallace brims with classic rock leer while the band, staying true to the record’s title, pack an industrial-strength punch. Kicking off with the jittery Vincent Price, things only get better as the trio launch into the fiery salvo of Dustbowl, Something Electric and Tractor – crunchy garage-blues riffage abounds. The trio fire on all cylinders for the length of the album; the mining truck-sized guitar motif in Nowhere Fast would make Jon Spencer cry, while slower-paced Girl is menacing and – yes – sexy. And while there are nods to the past – the riff in Intermission: The Bible is a dead ringer for Ocean Colour Scene’s 90s mod-revivalist classic The Riverboat Song (itself ‘inspired’ by Led Zep’s Four Sticks) – The Smokestack Orchestra wear their influences with pride and rock like “almighty fuck” (©Billy Thorpe). Move over The Mess Hall, there’s a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on. - Rave magazine


"Salute Heavy Industry album review 2"

There’s not a lot that betters grisly, gruff, rough-as-guts rock’n’roll. Hell, just ask the Beasts Of Bourbon lads. In the tradition of the legendary Beasts comes Salute Heavy Industry, the roaring debut album from Brisbane trio The Smokestack Orchestra. It may have taken the band a whole lot longer than most to issue their debut album, but the end has certainly justified the means and Salute Heavy Industry ranks up there with The Gin Club’s Junk and Violent Soho’s We Don’t Belong Here as one of the best Brissy records of the year. From opener ‘Vincent Price’ through to closer ‘Wordsmith’, Salute Heavy Industry features a dozen consistently potent doses of raw rock’n’roll, with teeth. Frontman Scarecrow Wallace has the kind of delivery lesser rock bands would kill for – an earthy, Tex Perkins-esque growl that both compels and propels these tunes. On ‘Tractor’, Wallace combines with the Butcher Birds’ Stacey Coleman for a snarling duet with plenty of beast, minus the beauty. It would be an injustice to give preference to individual tracks here (one cursory listen and you’ll understand why), but for the record ‘Dust Bowl’, ‘Waiting For The Haze’, ‘Girl’, ‘Heavy Rail’ and ‘The Wreck’ are just five highlights on an album made of them. There really isn’t a weak side to Salute Heavy Industry. Every track is driven by groove-heavy riffs accentuated by a keyboard here and a double bass there, providing plenty for the listener to sink their teeth into. Most importantly, there isn’t a shred of pretension to The Smokestack Orchestra – there’s no overbloated gimmicks that detract from the music. And what fine music it is at that!

**** - Time Off magazine


Discography

Under Sepia Skies EP - 2002 released independantly
Salut Heavy Industry - 2008 released through Plus One Records

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Bio

A heady concoction of rock and roll, shaking the earth down to its very foundation. With boiler-room percussion, slashing guitars and a voice to crack the heavens, The Smokestack Orchestra play loud music at its very finest. Formed at an oil refinery in 2001 and breaking hearts ever since, this is a band worth its weight in fossil fuels.