“Sounding at odd times like a flying nun on drugs, a New Zealand punk rock garage band, or a psychotic turnbuckle gone AWOL, they can be jangly, grungy, or snot-nosed . . . very alternative pop.”
RAD magazine, November 1989
Our good buddy Peter McLennan) aka Dub Ayslum and former member of the Hallelujah Picassos) gave us the good news this week that the new retrospective Hallelujah Picassos album “Rewind the Hateman” is out now. Have a listen below.
First time I ever heard the Hallelujah Picassos was in 1989 on UFM (formerly Radio U and now RDU) with their track “Clap your hands”. Loved it so much I went out and bought the Pagan Records “Positive Vibrations” compilation.
At the time, with a lyric like “…clap your hands for Jesus…” I did wonder if they were a Christian band trying to put the “fun” back into “Christian Fundamentalism”, but a closer listen to the lyrics revealed that they probably weren’t.
The Hallelujah Picassos were active from 1988 through to 1996, and like contemporaries Salmonella Dub, Supergroove, and Head Like A Hole amongst others, brought some much needed colour to the local music scene.
I loved the Picassos because they crossed genres (garage, pop, reggae, dub), could be light and dark, and sounded like they were having a blast.
“Rewind the Hatemen” (the remastered 1993 album “Hateman in Love”) still sounds quite fresh. “Black Space Picasso Core” is still nutty sampledelic, “Bastardiser” still garage rocks, “Hello Pablo” still has sweet melodica action, and “Shivers” is still The Bats / Able Tasmans collaboration that never happened.
Here’s the track that (sort of) started it all…
- Dub Asylum: Who were the Hallelujah Picassos?
- Wikipedia: Hallelujah Picassos
- Bandcamp: Hallelujah Picassos