CMJ Preview: The Delta Riggs


Australian rock band The Delta Riggs are making their inaugural trip to the states for CMJ.

Australian rock band The Delta Riggs are making their inaugural trip to the states for CMJ. Photo: James Adams

The Delta Riggs play Pianos (158 Ludlow St.) on Oct. 15 at 4pm, Leftfield (87 Ludlow St.) on Oct. 16 at 8:30pm and The Delancey (168 Delancey St.) on Oct. 19 at 9:30 p.m.

“America,” the bass and organ-driven single off Australian band The Delta Riggs’ full-length debut album, Hex. Lover. Killer, catches lead singer Elliott Hammond singing about longing for America, which is something he knows about first hand.

“I was having a dream last night as I was falling asleep about San Francisco,” Hammond said over Skype recently. “I was walking through the streets and thinking, this is legit.”

Now, Hammond’s dreams are coming true.

Unless you’ve spent some around Melbourne, odds are you’ve never seen this raucous five-piece rock group. Hammond and his band mates will be making their first trip to the states for CMJ. He’s ready to get his music in front of a new audience, and he thinks that an American crowd might understand it even more than his Aussie fans.

“The album was never meant to be a big rock and roll record,” Hammond said about their debut. “We were referencing the Fugees and a lot of R&B, like the early Black Eyed Peas. I think that your American audiences are going to probably understand it a little better.”

Hex. Lover. Killer starts in full rock and roll throttle, with Hammond’s throaty, raspy wails puncturing heavy guitar riffs, thick bass lines and swampy psychedelic organs on album opener “Stars.” But percussion-heavy track “Street Signs and Brake Lights” more than nods to other genres, with hip-hop beats and percussive stutters, and some R&B croons and funk organs for genre-blending good measure.

Hammond will have to wait until the group’s next stateside sojourn to hit San Francisco. The Delta Riggs play three shows in Los Angeles before rounding out their brief American tour at CMJ. But he’s optimistic that more U.S. dates in their future.

“We’re trying to kind of set up to come back, obviously,” Hammond said. We really want to come back and have a stab at the market.”


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