In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “A pretty great encapsulation of everything Regurgitator had done up until this point.”
From what I can tell, original Rugurgitator drummer Martin Lee left sometime during the recording of …art. He gets credited on a lot of the tracks on that album, but I don’t remember ever seeing him play live with them once the record was out. Guitarist Quan Yeomons and bass player Ben Ely were always the principal song writers, but my naïve young music listening mind in the year 2000 liked to imagine every band was democratically even symbiosis with each member contributing equally to the sound.
Two things had me a little concerned as a Regurgitator fan when it was time for the next record. The lead single sounded like a deliberate parody and piss take, and the cover only included Yeomans and Ely. It wasn’t so much that Lee was gone that had me worried. What concerned me was that those two had (in my mind) declared themselves Regurgitator, with no need for an equal partner member on the drum stool. Both concerns are clearly manufactured completely in my own head, based on nothing more than my own assumptions. But they were strong enough that they all came flooding back today when I sat down to once again listen to Eduardo and Rodriguez Wage War on T-Wrecks for the first time in a long time.
Going further than just looped and sampled beats for the backing track, Yeomons goes to the extreme of obviously editing and sampling his own vocals for the deliberate and millisecond meticulousness of hyper hip hop that is C’Mon. Even from a band who had made a career of rarely delivering the expected, this is a gutsy, possibly polarising way to open an album.
Next up is Fat Cop, the lead single that in the year 2000 sounded like a deliberate parody and piss take of nu metal. The ‘Gurge had a long history of sarcasm, using musical genres against themselves. But to my late teenaged mind, always on the lookout for “sell outs” and “posers”, this seemed like it was at risk of becoming exactly what it was making fun of. In the years since, I’ve come to appreciate it more, but it’s never made its way into my pantheon of Regurgitator classics.
The other song I remember being a single at the time is up next with Yeomans delivering his signature take on guitar pop and ear worm melodies with Superstraight. Another Yeomans staple comes in the form of Hullabaloo. Hip hop had been standard issue for these guys since their earliest releases, Hullaballoo just pushes it to the extreme, showing Yeomans’ knack for forcing in more words per beat than almost anyone else ever has, while still making it sound effortless and totally natural.
Future is Plastic brings Eduardo and Rodriguez’s first example of straight ahead guitar driven punk rock. The snarl in Quan Yeomans’ voice is so perfect for this kind of angst, and the thin twang of his guitar only amplifies it here. Later, Ely counters Future is Plastic with his own assault of no bullshit, no frills pun k rock assault, Nothing Ever Happens. And as is the case every time he indulges in this lizard part of his song writing brain, it’s awesome.
Regurgitator throw everything at the wall and it all sticks with The Man: Part 1. It’s punky, it’s electronic, it’s guitar driven, it’s sampled and hip hop. Quan’s faux British accent is kind of unnecessary, but the rest of this glorious soup of sounds is too good for me to get held on a little affectation like that. Which when it leads into the cool and clean groove of the instrumental The Man: Part 2, is a pretty great way to wrap an album. Four full length albums in, and Eduardo and Rodriguez Wage War on T-Wrecks is a pretty great encapsulation of everything Regurgitator had done up until this point. Almost like a bow tied neatly on the end of this first section of their career. Which was timely, because this is about the same time that this wave alternative Aussie guitar rock was ending in general.