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Alcotomic in 1997; left to right, John Freeman Baxter, Denny Brereton, Andy Strachan
Alcotomic in 1997; left to right, John Freeman Baxter, Denny Brereton, Andy Strachan
Background information
OriginMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
GenresPower Pop, Alternative
Years active1996–2001
LabelsMagneto, Not Lame Recordings, MGM Distribution, Popboomerang
SpinoffsHolocene, Magneto, Moler, Pollyanna (band), The Living End, prettymess.com
  • John Freeman Baxter
  • Paul Inglis
  • Andy Strachan
Past members
  • Denny Brereton
  • Stephen Boyle

Alcotomic was a power pop band formed in Melbourne, Victoria, February 1996.[1][2] Initially, the band was called Dozer and the first recording session commenced at the original Birdland Recording Studios in High Street Prahran, Melbourne with record producer Lindsay Gravina.[3][4] This line up consisted of John Freeman Baxter (Holocene) on vocals and guitar, Denny Brereton (Porcelain Jane) on bass and Stephen Boyle (Moler) on drums.[1][5][6]


Drummer Andy Strachan joined the band on drums in October 1996 and their five track self-titled debut EP often called "playing cards" due to the cover artwork, was released August 1997.[1][7] The single 'Living In Luxury' featured on the Australian TV drama's Stingers and Good Guys, Bad Guys.[8][unreliable source][9][unreliable source] Inpress Magazine's Natalie McPhee wrote: "This debut is filled with 6 examples of just how Alcotomic are able to manipulate the sounds of a three piece and make it all their own. I am in love with this voice, deep and husky; it sits beautifully within the arrangements that Alcotomic create."[10]

In January 1998, the band traveled to Sydney, New South Wales, to work with producer and former Bell Jar keyboardist David "DP" Price at Velvet Sound Studios[11] on what would become their follow-up three-track EP called 'Anything But You'.[1][12] Released by MGM Distribution on July 4, the single went on to rotation on the national youth radio station Triple J, and the band made an appearance on the ABC TV's Recovery program. Shortly after, they signed with the US indie record label Not Lame Records and were selected as the most promising artist in 1998 to perform before industry professionals at the Pacific Circle Music Conference in Sydney, November 1998.[13] Alex Wheaton from dB Magazine wrote: "Three songs only on this glorious little record from Melbourne's Alcotomic. Well crafted and airy harmonies of 'Invisible' are what set this song apart and the more stop/start percussive drive of 'Black Or White' utilizes a more complex arrangement."[14]

In mid 1998, bassist Denny Brereton departed and Strachan's housemate Paul Inglis, also from Adelaide, joined the band on bass guitar. In early 1999, the band performed their 100th live show and was filmed by RMITV performing live at the Punters Club Hotel in Fitzroy on 2 December.[15] The trio returned to Birdland Studio's to once again work with producer Lindsay Gravina in May 1999, cutting what would become their penultimate EP. Released July 2000 on Magneto/MGM, 'Where You Go' went on to receive glowing reviews and further radio support from Triple J and community radio stations.[16][17] Sanity Magazine single pick of the week remarked: "Where You Go is an intoxicating blend of melody, cracking riffs, cute keyboard squelch, heavy bass, endearing husky vocals and a whole lotta fun".[18]

By early 2001, band members began branching out into other projects, with Strachan joining Sydney band Pollyanna, and Baxter and Inglis working on a new band, Prettymess.[19][20] Shortly thereafter, Strachan joined Australian chart topping band the Living End.[21] The last live appearance of Alcotomic was on 1 August 2001, in Melbourne at the 9th Ward Bar, 298 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.[22]


  • John Freeman Baxter – vocals, guitar
  • Paul Inglis – bass guitar, vocals
  • Andy Strachan – drums, vocals


Extended plays[edit]

  • Alcotomic (1997) – Freebee Music
  • Where You Go (2018) – Remastered with bonus tracks, Magneto/MGM Records


  • "Anything But You" (1998) – Magneto/MGM Records, Not Lame Records, Popboomerang
  • "Where You Go" (2000) – Magneto/MGM Records, Not Lame Records, Popboomerang


  1. ^ a b c d Spencer, Chris (1987). Who's Who of Australian Rock. The Five Mile Press. pp. Page 6. ISBN 1-86503-891-1.
  2. ^ "Search for "alcotomic"". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 February 2024.
  3. ^ "Birdland Studio", Music Victoria Directory, a not-for-profit organization. Retrieved 28 February 2018
  4. ^ "Albums and Artists database" Retrieved 28 February 2018
  5. ^ Tran, Caz (15 June 2017). "Double J – 90's Australian Alternative Bands. H: Holocene".
  6. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1.
  7. ^ Kan, Ti. "Freeweb database".
  8. ^ "Stingers TV Series (1998)". IMDb.
  9. ^ "Good Guys, Bad Guys Australian TV Series (1997–1998)". IMDb.
  10. ^ McPhee, Natalie. (27 August 1997) Inpress Magazine Discs Reviews. Alcotomic self titled debut EP. Magneto Records (1997)
  11. ^ "Velvet Sound Recording Studios, Pitt Street Sydney. (now permanently closed)". Discogs. 1 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Australian Charts Portal. 2003–2018 eMedia Jungen". Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  13. ^ Billboard Magazine. 27 September 1997. p. 70 – via Google Books. {{cite magazine}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Wheaton, Alex. (3 September 2018) dB Magazine Singles Reviews. Adelaide, South Australia. Anything But You Single. Magneto/MGM
  15. ^ "RMITV – Student Community Television Inc". 2 December 1999. Archived from the original on 7 March 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  16. ^ "APRA AMCOS (APRA) Database. Alcotomic "Where You Go" Single. Note: to search for other titles click 'Search again' and enter at Performer: Alcotomic". Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  17. ^ "Music Injection Website". 25 February 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  18. ^ Sanity Magazine (Sain Unlimited) Volume 8 (2000). "Single pick of the week". Alcotomic: Where You Go Single. Magneto/MGM
  19. ^ Pringle, Rob (5 February 2018). "Indie Rock From Prettymess".
  20. ^ "Prettymess Official website". Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  21. ^ "The Living End Official website". Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  22. ^ "Tourism Victoria – 9th Ward Bar and Restaurant". Retrieved 3 March 2018.

External links[edit]