Tracer: Water For Thirsty Dogs

Aussie post-grungers complete another victory lap

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Tracer have taken enormous leaps during the four years since Spaces In Between, a debut of unmistakable potential, through to the Kevin Shirley (Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin)-helmed El Pistolero and into the present day.

Not only are the Aussie trio now self-producing to an above-average standard, they also project with the sense of self-assurance that can only come from a string of ‘best new band’ awards and a couple of overseas tours.

The ghosts of their influences continue to loom large. Indeed, they’ll perhaps be too intrusive for some. In lesser hands the album’s title track might have been an abject Nirvana rip-off, but Tracer triumph thanks to the vocal exuberance of guitarist Michael Brown and a well-crafted hook.

It’s Brown’s emphatic delivery that helps sidestep several such cagey moments, including Lazy, which strays a little closely into territory pre-owned by Soundgarden and Temple Of The Dog. But as third albums go, Water For Thirsty Dogs has enough oomph to fuel Tracer’s rise.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.