Mikey Madden is a pusher.
For the last three years he’s been hanging out in Basement Discs, encouraging open-minded humans to experiment with rock'n'roll. And he’s notoriously good at it, probably because he himself is an addict.
But as well as being the go-to man for Melbourne’s vinyl junkies, Madden also fronts Gruntbucket, a group of local dynamos with a penchant for loud noises.
Gruntbucket has been described as having "one foot in the garage, the other in outer space" but it could just as easily have been said they’ve a limb in 1974 and another in a year we haven’t yet reached.
Like any great band, influences are both visible and vague. If you were to take a piece of paper and write in the corners; Crazy Horse, Tumbleweed, Yardbirds and the Pretty Things, the area in the middle would be 100% Bucket territory.
And live, they’re a bit special.
Attending a typical Gruntbucket gig is akin to being punched in the face with a wad of cash. Sure it’s abrasive and occasionally overwhelming, but the whole experience reeks of balls-out decadence.
Bass guru Tim McCormack and drummer Dave Watkins are the band’s backbone. They trade grooves like they’re cigarettes, while Madden effortlessly overlays his signature riff-heavy guitars and silky smooth vocals.
No apologies, no prisoners.
Now, to celebrate the new album Songs from an Empty Room hitting record stores, Gruntbucket is taking the show on the road. With Iowa and Teenage Libido in support, Melbourne gets to witness the Bucket in a showcase gig at the Tote on May 5.
So basically, if you’re anywhere near Johnston St on that particular Saturday night, you’re likely to hear the heavy spill of raw rock goodness flowing onto the Collingwood streets and beyond. And if you’re smart, you’ll follow the noise Pied Piper style to the gig.
But be warned, Mikey Madden is a pusher. You might just get hooked.
For more information on the band and the gig visit www.gruntbucket.com. Door fee tbc.