Music / Features
Track by Track:
Full Flower Moon Band - Death Or Hell
Words by Imogen Hanrahan
Friday 12th March, 2021
Following the release of their fiery new EP, we had Kate ‘Babyshakes’ Dillon - the mastermind behind Full Flower Moon Band - talk us through each thrilling moment on Death Or Hell.
An industry often driven by (what should be caricatures of) stale, cis male-focused attitudes, the Australian rock scene is being tugged in two transformative directions - evolve or die out. It’s this mildly-distressing landscape that Full Flower Moon Band have toiled upon with their new EP Death Or Hell

The Brisbane group is championed by rock multi-instrumentalist and underground cult favourite Kate ‘Babyshakes’ Dillon, whose creative direction results in live shows described as “fierce, eccentric, sensual performance art”. The EP, released via Sunset Pig Records, is similarly styled, paying tribute to death, rebirth, and the afterlife through a four-track narrative and trio of videos (paired to ‘Roadie’, ‘New Rocket’, and a lyric video for ‘Meet Ya’). Though Death Or Hell runs only for ten minutes (barely a two-station train ride), it packs in crisp production that tames but does not stunt otherwise unrestrained guitar-heavy tracks. However, it’s the femme, wailing vocals of Dillon though that is the true star of the release. Perhaps this is obvious, being her brainchild, but she plays it up to levels necessary to own the social space so often taken up by others. It’s a poignant observation, considering the release’s proximity to International Women’s Day.

“We are here to entertain. It doesn’t matter if it’s a two-minute rock song, a concept album, or a live show - if we’ve helped you transcend the mundane, we’ve done well.” Babyshakes

Full Flower Moon Band is more than happy to pay tribute to iconic motifs of sex, drugs, and rock & roll itself. Diehard fans of the genre won’t be disappointed there. Without listening directly to the lyrics, the tracks could slide unnoticed as simply excellent rock wailers but paying attention reveals the unapologetically blunt themes woven throughout the work. This is where Full Flower Moon Band brings a gust of change to the scene, and many are breathing collective sighs of relief. Dillon and the rest of the band offer an EP laden with weight through its instrumentation, its lyricism, and its delivery. With singles ‘Roadie’ and ‘New Rocket’ released previously to excellent reception, the full quartet was met with much anticipation. Death Or Hell has delivered. 

Babyshakes was kind enough to walk us through each track on the EP below.

Roadie is about power and seduction. It’s unclear why there is a problem, but the solution is clear - stop resisting seduction. Lay down your weapons and forgive. If you resist this message, you are the enemy. Give up, and give in. In this battle of power and sex, it would be better to cut your losses and forgive the seductress for whatever you hold against her, and accept her dictatorship. I feel like the performance of this song definitely implies that if you were to resist her, you would regret it.
New Rocket

This song is a pretty blatant description of feeling burnt out and alone. The lyrics talk about feeling like a power socket, a bad model, an empty pocket. It’s saying, I want a new rocket, a new toy, I want adrenaline. In the video clip for this track, I am shown bleeding from my mouth. I’m internally bleeding, and a younger woman encourages me to keep going, unaware of how desperately I am fighting to survive.
Meet Ya

This song is such a mission song. It’s revenge, and adrenaline… almost spiteful, and cunning. The satisfaction of getting something you want. It’s aggressive, it’s strategic, it’s planned. What an adrenaline rush. The line, "I’m gonna meet ya, and get on top of things" - wow so domineering. Manipulation, power games, it’s happening. In the chorus, I used to sing “then I get on the road again, I love you my friend” but I changed it to “I love you again”, because there were never any friends in this game, only winners and losers.

This song is about the feeling of being able to finally call it a day and go to bed. You can have the wildest adventure, but travelling back home is such a beautiful feeling if you have been missing your own bed. It’s similar to the feeling of being able to be alone after you have visitors that stay too long at your house, it is such a relief. I aways imagine singing this song to an audience at the end of stadium rock concert. Even though it was a good show, I’m sure a lot of people would be tired, and their feet sore. It’s like saying, the show was great, I had a good time, you had a good time, but now my body is sore, and you are tired, and we can all agree to go home. No one did anything wrong, but it’s okay to admit that we all want to leave now.
Death Or Hell is out now in all the usual places via Sunset Pig Records.