It should be no surprise that Ron S Peno and The Superstitions have delivered their most fully realised album yet in “Do The Understanding”.
With 12 years and three previous long players behind them, they’re a crack outfit of experienced Melbourne players, fronted by a vocalist who made an indelible mark with Died Pretty.
Everyone has a COVID-19 story, and musicians are doing it harder than most.
But Ron Peno’s own experience was preceded by a diagnosis of esophageal cancer, followed by chemo and radiotherapy, and then remission. A much-delayed Died Pretty national tour in April this year was sandwiched between lockdowns.
“Do The Understanding” has a prolonged and disrupted gestation stretching back to its formative writing in 2018, but it’s a contender for best Australian album of the year.
It’s a record full of drama and delicacy; a superb collection of songs underpinned by soulful playing and (arguably) the best vocals of Ron Peno’s career.
“I really pleased with it. It's taken a while to surface but we're really pleased with the seven songs,” a dapper Peno says over a Saturday afternoon Zoom connection.
“I think it's seven wonderful songs. Nice, strong, rather than putting too many tunes on there.
“It's just an hour. It's seven songs. Nobody says you have to have 10 songs. It's a little journey…start here, you finish there, drift off into the distance, you know, and if it's too short…play it again. Take the take the journey again.
Real Gone - The Naked Lunch (Aldora Britain Records)
Surf punk pop is alive, The Naked Lunch has a new single out - and what a bloody good tune it is. “Real Gone” is so catchy. A different version was recorded and released by an earlier line-up back in the 1980s and the song was written by Tony “The Kid” Robertson and Died Pretty legend Ronald S Peno.Play it loud. This is what Sydney’s underground surf rock was/is all about.
The line-up of The Lunch boasts some of Australia’s finest musicians: Tony Gibson on guitar, Murray Shepherd on drums, The Kid on bass and Steve Beaves on vocals. It’s a brilliant single to follow 2019’s “The Naked Lunch” album. The second album is on its way and has the same name as the single. “Real Gone” is real gold and I am so looking forward to hearing the long player. The song is available in digital format here.