Tropical Fuck Storm
Tropical Fuck Storm
Tropical Fuck Storm, 2018. Left to right: Fiona Kitschin, Gareth Liddiard, Erica Dunn, Lauren Hammel.
|Labels||Joyful Noise Recordings, Flightless Records, Tropical Fuck Storm Records|
|Associated acts||The Drones, High Tension, MOD CON, Harmony, Palm Springs|
|Website||TFS official website|
Tropical Fuck Storm are an Australian band from Melbourne, Victoria, formed by Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin after taking a hiatus from the art-punk psych band The Drones. Lauren Hammel, from the band High Tension, plays drums, and Erica Dunn, from the bands MOD CON, Harmony and Palm Springs, plays guitars, keyboards, and other instruments.
Looking to reboot creatively, The Drones took a break at the end of their tour supporting Feelin' Kinda Free in December 2016. The following year, Drones founder Gareth Liddiard and longtime bandmate Fiona Kitschin started writing material for a new project under the name for the record label they'd coined to self-release the last Drones album. They recruited Erica Dunn and Lauren Hammel during the summer of 2017, before embarking on an American tour. According to Dunn, "They just rang me up. Gareth and Fi were on loudspeaker like excited children. The pitch was 'Do you want to play guitar? We’re just going to do some weird shit.' And I was like 'Okay, sure.' Then Gareth said 'We might go to America in the next month, are you free? And we have to write some songs.' Sure I'll clear my schedule. Hammer [Lauren Hammel] was a bit different though, because [Gareth] didn't know her and he had to take her to the pub."
They released a series of 7-inch singles later that autumn while on tour with Band of Horses and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard in the US. Their debut album, A Laughing Death in Meatspace, dropped in March of 2018 and the band signed with Joyful Noise Recordings shortly thereafter. "The album title links "meatspace" – as Silicon Valley engineers derogatorily refer to the physical realm – with a neurodegenerative disorder called kuru, once found in the Fore people of Papua New Guinea. Men would eat the muscles of the deceased, while women and children ate the brains, thereby inheriting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and pot-holing their own grey matter to such an extent that they lost control of their emotions and laughed themselves to death." Videos for the songs "You Let My Tyres Down", "Rubber Bullies" and "Soft Power" were released that spring.
The album received positive reviews one writing that "Starting a new project unencumbered by the Drones’ name or weighty reputation seems to have given Liddiard the freedom to jettison the last remaining trappings of rock traditionalism in his songwriting and let loose, with impressive results." The Quietus ranked it #8 out of 100 entries on their list of "Albums of the Year So Far 2018", writing that it's "hot with anger and full of ugly truths about the ways we live our lives[...]the effect is compelling." Greil Marcus wrote that the album makes "as fierce a band as" The Drones "seem austere" in comparison, writing that "the explosions in "Two Afternoons," "A Laughing Death," and "Rubber Bullies" are glorious and frightening, so big they don’t feel quite real, but there’s a story trying to climb out of the noise, carried by Liddiard's weariness, his uncynical fatalism, but shaped by the counter-vocals of Kitschin and Dunn", ending by saying that "you can feel as if this is what history sounds like as it's being written." As of January 2019, it is also the highest ranked punk blues album of the decade on the website Rate Your Music, based on over 3500 ratings.
In March 2019, the band released a new single, "The Planet of Straw Men". It is taken from their second studio album, which was released on 23 August 2019 by King Gizzard's Flightless Records label and on Joyful Noise  in the US.
- Gareth Liddiard – lead vocals, guitar
- Fiona Kitschin – backing vocals, bass guitar
- Erica Dunn – backing vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Lauren Hammel – drums, programming
- A Laughing Death in Meatspace (Joyful Noise Recordings, 2018) AUS: No. 25, May 2018
- Braindrops (Flightless Records, 2019) AUS: No. 10, August 2019
- "Chameleon Paint" b/w "Mansion Family" 7" (The Nation Blue cover) (Mistletone, 2017)
- "Soft Power" b/w "Lose the Baby" (Lost Animal cover) 7" (Mistletone, 2017)
- "You Let My Tyres Down" b/w "Back to the Wall" (Divinyls cover) 7" (Mistletone, 2018)
- "Rubber Bullies" b/w "Stayin' Alive" 7" (Bee Gees cover) (Mistletone, 2018)
- "The Planet of Straw Men" b/w "Can't Stop" (Missy Elliott cover) 7" (Flightless, 2019)
- "Paradise" (Flightless, 2019)
- "Who's My Eugene?" (Flightless, 2019)
- "Braindrops" (Flightless, 2019)
- "Tropical Fuck Storm Have the Best Band Name (and An Even Better Album)". Noisey. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- Valentish, Jenny (2 May 2018). "Gareth Liddiard on the wreckage of the web: 'If I could go back to 1999, I would'". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "The Quietus | Reviews | Tropical Fuck Storm". The Quietus. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "The Quietus - Features - Quietus Charts - Albums Of The Year So Far 2018: In Association With Norman Records". Thequietus.com. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "Real Life Rock Top 10: Memories of Aretha". The Village Voice. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
- "Custom chart - Rate Your Music". Rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "A Laughing Death in Meatspace by Tropical Fuck Storm". Rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "Announcing: Tropical Fuck Storm 'Braindrops' Storm". joyfulnoiserecordings.com. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
- "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2019.