COOKERS PARADISE – ALBUM REVIEW
Written by Rob Stewart on January 30, 2024
BAND: Mr Chrisy Mertas
ALBUM: Cookers Paradise
RELEASE DATE: 22/02/2024
Sometimes reviewing albums can be an onerous task, listening to music that just isn’t hitting your triggers, but you desperately try to mine for the positive treasures. Sometimes, and this is very rarely, it’s a task where you find yourself thinking…’fuck this, I’d much rather be rubbing my genitals on a cheese grater!’
Reviewing Cookers Paradise by Mr Chrisy Mertas does not fall into either hitherto mentioned scenarios by a long shot. Reviewing Cookers Paradise was a simply exuberant journey into unbridled, enthusiastic, zero fucks given, alt /surf / punk / rockin’ frivolity.
Independently recorded and produced by Matt McLean, Jake Coles, Matthew Gear, and Juran Timu in a block of flats in the small remote Northern Territory town of Nhulunbuy and mixed by the legendary Kris Keogh in both Arnhem Land and Japan, Cookers Paradise is sans pretence and armed with a shit load of seriously great sounds. This collection of tunes reminds me of why listening to albums in full, is more than a crusty curmudgeon’s chest bleating duty, but an essential service to your heart and minds well being.
Fronted by Matt McLean, he propels Mr Chrisy Mertas’ out of the mould brand of alt / surf / shed / punk rock that has risen from seemingly the most unlikey of places in the culturally rich heart of North East Arnhem Land where inspirational pioneers like Yothu Yindi fused the traditional with the contemporary to give rise to a groundswell of national recognition and love of indigenous music.
And that provides the conversely logical grounding as to why perhaps mr Chrisy Mertas also, could only have been formed there!
Bands like the Andrew Gurruwiwi Band, and current industry spotlights King Stingray all have a place in Arnhem land, they belong to the land, and they do what feels right, when it feels right, and not what is expected.
That’s the Chrisy Mertas ethos I believe, a daring do whatever the fuck we want sensibility fused with talent and creativity.
Tracks like one of the recent singles ‘Happy Days’ (and without going into all that musicality and track nuancing some reviewers may feel compelled to) all I can say is it showcases the imperious natural drumming skills of Jake Coles, packs an anthemic sing-a-long chorus, and the songs hook is seriously embedded into my synapses. Unshakeably so.
The debut single Dropkick makes ya wanna quit ya job, go back on the dole, drink goon, drop acid and have the best fun again.
Other singles Catch the Waves and Nosebleed serve to showcase the creative diversity of this fun loving unit.
Tracks like Sunday, Diazepam, and Seattle must be all putting their hands up and screaming ‘fuckin’ pick me!’ for a chance of being the next single to roar into life.
Mr Chrisy Mertas are;
Matt McLean OG on lead guitar and vocals, he’s a nice boy, some have described as a mad dog, and the beating heart of the Mertas.
Jake Coles, a drumming weapon, and one of the og’s.
Matthew Gear on bass and vocals, and ‘enthusiasm personified’.
And new kid in the block of flats is Juran Timu, guitar and vocals, she’s a musical powerhouse, who’s been making bands heaps better since whenever it was she first slung a guitar and unleashed her vocal euphoria.
Now excuse me, I have to listen to Cookers Paradise one more time. You should go and do the same. Buy it from places that sell it online, and then get the vinyl too when that drops.
It’ll make you a better person, turn your straight trousers into flares, maybe even make ya wanna get a little tattoo of a picture of a steaming cup of chai, and the words ‘Chai or Die’ emblazoned underneath it!