Psych-pop reggae, I know the genre sounds intense but it’s a downtempo listen of immense pleasure. The outfit known as Sticky Fingers (from Newtown NSW) are already on indefinite hiatus after getting so hot in the music industry they burst into flames. Sighting internal issues the band is on indefinite hiatus with a lot of shade surrounding front man Dylan Frost. Do personal issues colour the music for us as listeners or can you still enjoy their talent? The sound is still that of hypnotic reggae, psych; a fusion of contradictory flavours.
With three homebrew EP’s their first mastered single ‘Caress Your Soul’ was released with modest ink pen artwork of an egg with wings and a halo in 2012. Perhaps some ominous foreshadowing of what could hatch? With Freddy Crabs offering an unassuming piano riff and lightly soaring synth the boys get underway and it’s not long before Beaker Best’s shuffling drums and Seamus Coyle’s offbeat guitar join the mix. A sound which would grow to be their crowning feature in a genre they crafted. The single cracks the ARIA Top 50 and peaks at 39.
Their first album followed with the same name, which finally captured my attention, with the opening track ‘How to Fly’ seemingly grappling with the effect of drugs. Not unlike Eric Clapton’s ‘Cocaine’ which the man himself considers to be an anti-drug song. Sticky Fingers’ Paddy Cornwall’s bass compliments Coyle in ‘How to Fly’ and an incredible lyric
Escapes Frost’s lips with; “I chase the devil, into the sky because he’s the one who taught me. How to fly”. There’s something nihilistic about the lyrics as the music transports us into a reggae dawning-haze.
With traction firmly gained in the Australian music scene Sticky Finger’s embark on a European Tour in June/July of 2013. Their Instagram account provided an insight into their lifestyle, evidence of their extreme bohemian-like existence with a devil may care attitude.
This psych-inducing mob receives huge recognition from the tour both home and abroad and release the album ‘Land of Pleasure’ which culminates in their fresh single ‘Gold Snafu’ slipping into ‘Triple J’s Hottest 100’ for 2015. The album titled track has vocalist Frost echoing loudly greeting us to their latest album with ‘welcome to the land of pleasure’. ‘Rumrage’ stands out and offers the most pleasure, supremely downtempo with Coyle’s lamenting guitar licks leading you astray. Gold Snafu is also embraced by DJs across Australia and receives countless remixing entering the consciousness of club-goers.
Numerous tours through 2015 culminate in the announcement of their single ‘Outcast at Last’ as recorded in Thailand over four weeks in 2016. Soon breaking attendance records for Splendour in the Grass of the same year Sticky Fingers release Westway (The Glitter & The Slums) to critical acclaim of Rolling Stone, Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph. Debuting at #1 in the Aria Charts and staying in the Top 50 for six weeks. Track 7 ‘Something Strange’ features Melbourne rapper REMI and is a phenomenal experience for the Sticky Fingers experience. Frost vocal’s suggesting “it’s the perfect day to throw it all away”. A potent lyric for the band’s journey.
The album is the king-making jewel in the Sticky Finger’s crown. December of 2016 arrives and the wheels finally fall off of their perpetual rise with the announcement of indefinite hiatus. Frost publishes online that his recent behaviour has been unacceptable and that he struggles with alcohol addiction and mental health issues. Will Sticky Fingers rise out from fragmented ashes like a scorching phoenix or forever be lost in the shadows of their meteoric rise.