Still Here is, put succinctly, a fucking stomper. From the minute Tex counts us in on the four-to-the-floor riff-fest ‘On My Back’, you know exactly where you’re at – back in that filthy, familiar swamp with Australia’s most revered shit-slingers, The Beasts.
Having retreated into the mist following 2007’s Little Animals, The Beasts (now sans Bourbon) have definitely not lost any of their edge in the years between. With both Kim Salmon and Boris Sujdovic returning to the fold, and featuring contributions from almost every past and present member of the band throughout their 35-year career, Still Here serves as a perfect culmination of all of the sonic elements that made the band what it is, reimagined and captured at a time that make it feel almost like an Irish wake of sorts.
Tracks like ‘Drunk On A Train’ and the sublime ‘Just Let Go’ harken back to the sound of Little Animals and 1997’s Gone, while Kim Salmon’s contribution, ‘Pearls Before Swine’ takes the listener straight back to the ad-hoc cow-poke noise-punk of 1984’s The Axeman’s Jazz.
Released after the passing of Spencer P. Jones, Still Here undoubtedly lacks his presence. He did get one song on though – the uncomfortably wry ‘At The Hospital’. While the album might be missing a couple of familiar faces, what remains is a raucous celebration of everything that the band ever stood for, from ‘84’s The Axeman’s Jazz until now, reimagined by (most of) the men who were around to make it so. Another Australian classic from the best in the business, get your ears around this immediately.