Hot Dogma

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Hot Dogma
Hot Dogma (TISM album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by
Released1 October 1990
RecordedApril–July 1990, Platinum Studios
"I'll 'Ave Ya" and "I Don't Want TISM" recorded at Sing Sing Studios, 1989
GenreAlternative rock
70:41 (CD/MC versions)
ProducerPeter Blyton and Laurence Maddy
TISM chronology
Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance
Hot Dogma
Gentlemen, Start Your Egos

Hot Dogma, released on 1 October 1990, is the second full-length album by anonymous Australian band TISM. It was their major label debut on Phonogram Records, which peaked in the top 100 on the ARIA Albums Chart.[1] The title comes from a joining of the two phrases hot dog, a food, and dogma, a specific religious belief. An additional disc, Hot Dogma - The Interview Disc was added to initial sales copies and contains live responses by TISM to an unheard DJs questions.


Due to its large amounts of tracks, recurring themes between tracks, and the culmination of TISM's rock period occurring on the album, it is said by some to be the best TISM album although many argue that their breakthrough 1995 release Machiavelli and the Four Seasons is their best.

Originally released on vinyl in 1990, the later released CD and cassette versions had more tracks than the original LP version. The version released in Collected Recordings 1986-1993 (1995) had fewer tracks than any previous.

The varying track listings is due to TISM not liking the album. Humphrey B. Flaubert stated "No, no, I didn’t like Hot Dogma. I wince when I hear it", continuing that "it did have some good lyrics on it. I just hated the quintessentially 1980s music on it. I’ve always thought that TISM has always been unfashionably – to our own detriment at times – sort of not sounding like anyone else. And sometimes that sort of sheer dagginess... that album... because...." [1]

Not finishing the thought, the conclusion was later drawn that guitarist at the time, Leek Van Vlalen, was to blame for the sound of the album as, according to Ron Hitler-Barassi, "he was making us look bad".

"ExistentialTISM" and "Get Thee in My Behind, Satan" were played live as early as 1988 - a live version of the former appears on the band's live VHS Shoddy and Poor the year earlier, while a version of the latter was released as an iTunes bonus track for the band's previous album, Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance, in 2009. "The TISM Boat Hire Offer" was played live in Queensland in 1989 and appears on a bootleg of the performance. Pus of the Dead was first recorded in December 1982 for the band's unreleased tape Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance, however a different version appears on the band's self-titled demo tape in 1985. "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Whittle Away My Furniture" was recorded in 1985 for the tape Muggy Climates in My Jockettes - that version appears on the bonus demo disc included with the group's greatest hits album Best Off in 2002. Most of the other songs appear on two tapes, Free Nelson Mandela - With Every Record and Three Blake and a Dollar's Worth of Chips - A Song of Innocence and Experience, recorded throughout 1988.

The title of "It's Novel, It's Unique, It's Shithouse" had been used as a slogan by the band, first appearing as the name of an unreleased demo tape recorded in September 1983, followed by appearing in the runout groove of the group's debut album Form and Meaning Reach Ultimate Communion and (translated into French and Italian) the liner notes of Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance. The song itself was written in 1988.

In a review of The White Album, Anton S Trees of FasterLouder compared it to Hot Dogma, where the latter is "filled with moments of introspection and reflection on the nature of self, existence and mortality – TISM examine the value of life. Most prominent amongst the examinations of mortality and the cyclical nature of existence is 'Life Kills'."[2] Steve Bell of website noticed it "quickly became a fan favourite but didn’t set the world on fire commercially nor bother the charts, so TISM were soon unceremoniously dumped by Phonogram during 1991 and found themselves homeless."[3]

Cover and liner notes[edit]

The cover of the album features what appear to be Chinese Red Guards carrying a large banner with TISM written across it and carrying what, on first look, appears to be Mao Zedong's Little Red Book, but is on closer inspection The TISM Guide To Little Aesthetics. The artwork closely resembled posters of the time of Mao's reign.

The Chinese on the cover translates into "The unification of the proletariat under the banner of TISM".

An alternative cover was intended to be used when Phonogram re-released the album on 13 December 1993 however, the original cover was used and the alternate artwork was not used for another two years when the album would be re-released again in the Collected Recordings box set.

The back cover of the album has the track lists in Chinese, however TISM have repeatedly claimed that the Asian division of Polygram released a version with the track titles in English.[4] The titles are listed in English in the liner notes, however.

In one of TISM's many references to Australian Football League football, the liner notes, which chronicle the rise, fall and disbanding of TISM, and the band members individual exploits around the world, were credited to E.J. Whitten, argued by some to be the greatest AFL player of all time; a picture of Whitten appeared on the cover of the EP Gentlemen, Start Your Egos (1991).

Hot Dogma - The Interview Disc[edit]

Hot Dogma - The Interview Disc
Live album (interview) by
GenreSpoken word
TISM chronology
Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance
Hot Dogma - The Interview Disc
Machiavelli and the Four Seasons

Hot Dogma - The Interview Disc is a related 7" record by TISM, it was given away to customers who bought initial copies of Hot Dogma. This record contains an interview with TISM and blank spaces for a DJ to insert the questions, only the answers to the questions are heard. Both sides contain the same interview.


  • Your new album is on PolyGram, will you change now that you're signed to a major label?
  • How did you guys come to be in a band?
  • Why don't you ever show your face?
  • Your live shows have a reputation for being pretty wild affairs. Do you deliberately set out to work up your audience?
  • What kind of people come to your shows?
  • Your new album "Hot Dogma" is pretty amazing - over an hour of music, all kinds of different styles; what can you tell us about it?
  • OK, so you obviously prefer not to give much away in interviews. Why is that?
  • I am a self-respecting DJ...
  • I do think I have a feel for what's going down...
  • I do have a certain duty towards my audience...
  • YES!

After Hot Dogma[edit]

Six months later, due to TISM's extravagant nature for live show demands and other incidental requests, PolyGram fired TISM due to the band amounting thousands of dollars in debt.

TISM signed to Shock Records soon after, who bought and re-released TISM's back catalogue. Hot Dogma was not re-released, although it was re-released by Polygram in 1993. It was also left out of the re-release by Festival Mushroom Records in 2001. A cut-down 14 track version was released by Shock as part of the Collected Recordings 1986-1993 box set, with 8 bonus tracks.

In 2012, Sydney band Vanguard Party covered "It's Novel! It's Unique! It's Shithouse!".

Track listing[edit]

LP version[edit]

Synopsis: Act One
1."The TISM Boat Hire Offer"2:54
3."While My Catarrh Gently Weeps"5:18
4."They Shoot Heroin, Don’t They?"2:49
5."Kevin Borich Expressionism Part 1"0:23
6."Whinge Rock"2:34
7."(I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And) Whittle Away My Furniture"2:13
8."The TISM Finance Plan Offer"2:29
9."Leo’s Toltoy"4:04
Synopsis: Act Two
10."The History of Western Civilisation"3:00
11."Kevin Borich Expressionism Part 2"0:22
12."My Generation"4:06
13."Kevin Borich Expressionism Part 4"0:25
14."Let’s Club It To Death"2:46
15."Let's Form a Company"4:07
16."Life Kills"5:53
17."Pus Of The Dead"2:31
18."It's Novel! It's Unique!! It's Shithouse!!!"1:46

CD and cassette versions[edit]

Synopsis: Act One
1."The TISM Boat Hire Offer"2:54
3."While My Catarrh Gently Weeps"5:18
4."They Shoot Heroin, Don’t They?"2:49
5."Dazed And Confucious"5:33
6."Kevin Borich Expressionism Part 1"0:23
7."I'll 'Ave Ya"2:14
8."Whinge Rock"2:34
9."The TISM Nightsoil Cart And Horse Blues"2:53
10."I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Whittle Away My Furniture"2:13
11."The TISM Finance Plan Offer"2:29
12."Leo’s Toltoy"4:04
Synopsis: Act Two
13."The History of Western Civilisation"3:00
14."Kevin Borich Expressionism Part 2"0:22
15."My Generation"3:20
16."I Don't Want TISM, I Want a Girlfriend"4:06
17."Kevin Borich Expressionism Part 4"0:25
18."Get Thee in My Behind, Satan"3:02
19."We Are the Champignons"2:13
20."Let’s Club it to Death"2:46
21."Let's Form a Company"4:07
22."Life Kills"3:35
23.Untitled (unlisted Life Kills/Pus of the Dead segue)2:15
24."Pus of the Dead"2:34
25."It's Novel! It's Unique! It's Shithouse!"1:46

Please note that on the iTunes release, "Life Kills" and the unlisted segue are one track.

Demo tapes[edit]

Free Nelson Mandela - With Every Record
Demo album by
RecordedMarch–November 1988
GenreAlternative rock
Three Blake and a Dollar's Worth of Chips - A Song of Innocence and Experience
Demo album by
RecordedDecember 1988
GenreAlternative rock

Between March and December 1988, TISM recorded two tapes from which the bulk of Hot Dogma would be drawn, Free Nelson Mandela - With Every Record and Three Blake and a Dollar's Worth of Chips - A Song of Innocence and Experience.

Free Nelson Mandela - With Every Record[edit]

  1. Mark E. Smith at the Discothèque
  2. I'll 'Ave Ya
  3. I Don't Want TISM, I Want a Girlfriend
  4. Koori Punks Fuck Off
  5. Throw Your Drugs Away And Find A Fiancé
  6. You Think I'm a Shining Wit, But Really I'm a Whining Shit*
  7. My Generation
  8. Brian Wilson
  9. While My Catarrh Gently Weeps
  10. They Shoot Heroin, Don't They?
  11. The Law of Repulsion after Orgasm
  12. Robert Dipierdomenico Parts 1, 2 & 3
  13. It's Novel! It's Unique! It's Shithouse!
  14. Nunga Rock
  15. It's Alright
  16. Dishonourable Discharge
  17. Whinge Rock
  18. Life Kills
  19. Stop the World, I Wanna Get On
  20. Minimalism 7
  21. Minimalism 8
  • This song would later be retitled "Bishop = Handjob" and recorded for the band's LP The Beasts of Suburban in 1992.

Three Blake and a Dollar's Worth of Chips - A Song of Innocence and Experience[edit]

  1. Rabid
  2. The Law of Repulsion after Orgasm
  3. I Feel Guilty Because I'm Famous
  4. Supercalafragilisticexpihalitosis
  5. Let's Form a Company
  6. Minimalism 9
  7. I'd Trust the Boys from Harem Scarem
  8. The TISM Nightsoil Cart and Horse Blues
  9. Each Man Kills the Thing He Roots Via Rear Entry
  10. Rosebud (Or Some Other Enigmatic Shit)
  11. The TISM Boat Hire Offer
  12. The House of the Jiggling Bag
  13. If They're Different, Punch*
  14. I Hope I Get Old Before I Die
  15. Minimalism 10
  16. Money Doesn't Matter
  17. Rehearsal/Neighbours
  18. Let's Club It to Death
  19. That Was Is, This is Then
  20. Minimalism 10 Part 2 & 17
  21. Stop the World, I Wanna Get On
  22. The TISM Finance Plan Offer
  • A variation of the phrase appears in the song "Yob", from


  1. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  2. ^ Trees, Anton S (30 June 2004). "TISM – The White Albun". FasterLouder. Junkee Media. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  3. ^ Bell, Steve (1 May 2015). "20 Years Ago: How TISM's Third Album Helped Them Break Through, Despite Their Best Efforts". Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Releases :: Hot Dogma". Australian Music Online. Archived from the original on 22 November 2005. Retrieved 21 July 2016.

External links[edit]