The Cane Toad, The Common Australian Cockroach, Pampas Grass, the Euro Rabbit and the Cosmic Psychos – Irrepressible, notorious and iconic.
Cosmic Psychos are the Dromedary Camel of Australian rock and roll. Reliable like drought and heavy like a bushfire. A simple marriage of bonehead riffs and primal urge.
The first residual echoes of what would become Cosmic Psychos emanated from 1982 when bass player Ross Knight, who was playing in another band excellently named Rancid Spam, joined drummer Bill Walsh and guitarist Peter Jones in their group Spring Plains. By 1985 the Spring Plains name was gone and the band had recorded it’s first five track EP ,Down On The Farm, under a new moniker – Cosmic Psychos.
Recorded in The Psychos practice room to two-track tape, Down On The Farm established a sound that has barely changed in 35 years. A propulsive proto punk rock, cold filtered through a blundstone boot, with enough antipodean grease to choke a chook. The Psychos blue collar dirge, further typified by the 1987 Self Titled debut LP, would find welcoming ears not only here in Australia but also in a burgeoning American underground that would later get packaged up and commodified as a movement called Grunge.
Subsequent releases Go The Hack (1989) and Blokes You Can Trust (1991) came out in America on legendary labels Sub Pop and Amphetamine Reptile respectively. These further cementing The Psychos high regard in The States. Blokes You Can Trust featured new guitarist Robbie Watts (I Spit On Your Gravy) following the departure of Jones. Watts would play with the band through LP’s Self Totalled (1995), Oh What A Lovely Pie (1997) and 2006’s Off Ya Cruet! until his death that year after a show in Bendigo promoting the record. The band decided to continue and guitarist John McKeering (The Onyas, Mad Macka) completed the current line-up alongside Ex-Hoss drummer Dean Muller who replaced Walsh in 2005. As testament to their robust DNA, Cosmic Psychos sound changed little through these transitions and albums Dung Australia (2007), Glorious Barsteds (2011), Cum The Raw Prawn (2015) & Loudmouth Soup (2018) have all been cast in the mould of their pub rock precursors of the 1980’s and 90’s…while many of the pubs themselves have been gentrified into glistening gastro garb with huge helvetica signs.
In 2012 the band were the subject of a biographical documentary Cosmic Psychos: Blokes You Can Trust by Director Matt Weston, The Psychos entered the psyche and embrace of a new generation. Once again the band reinvented itself without changing anything about its sound. The documentary detailed the extraordinary life of the band with particular focus on Knight and testimonials by the likes of Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam, Matt Lukin and Mark Arm from Mudhoney, King Buzzo from The Melvins, L7, Butch Vig and more.