The Casanovas formed in 1999 and got caught up in the early 21st-century rock mania, sharing a bill with a barely-known White Stripes early on before touring Europe with the Datsuns. Then came SXSW, Triple J rotation, The Big Day Out, and shows/tours with Motörhead, Mötley Crüe, The Darkness, The Living End, The Black Crowes, Redd Kross and Airbourne and others. They always had deeper roots though; they were as much the Powder Monkeys as AC/DC, and very much a merging of two great local traditions – hard rocking punk and larrikin Oz rock – so they naturally stuck to their guns when rock was no longer in fashion. These days it’s like the early days at the Tote all over, and with new drummer Brett Wolfenden on board (Wolfie is a longtime sideman of You Am I’s Davey Lane and has played with Jim Keays and Todd Rundgren), joining frontman/guitarist Tommy Boyce and longtime bass player Damo Campbell, they are finding an even greater joy in playing.
Released in August 2020, “Reptilian Overlord” was the Casanovas’ first album in five years and arguably the best-reviewed album of their 20 year career. Produced by iconic Oz Rock engineer/producer Mark Optiz (AC/DC, Angels, Chisel, Divinyls etc), and featuring singles including “Hollywood Riot” (which was appropriately picked up by legendary LA DJ Rodney Bingenheimer) and “Lost and Lonely Dreams”, the album was described by Melbourne’s own preeminent rock booster James Young (owner of the world famous Cherry Bar) thusly: “It’s like they’ve captured all my favourite rock acts – Cheap Trick, Stones, Kiss, ZZ Top & AC/DC, and crammed them all into their own jar of Vegemite.” Indeed it captured the band’s soulful rock’n’roll groove like never before and drew attention from around the world:
“’Reptilian Overlord’ is a straight-up feel good record. The Casanovas are at their best when they’re just joyously rocking out, and ‘Reptilian Overlord’ is filled to the brim: “Cold Day in Hell”, “Stand Back” and the supremely rocking “Red Hot” are simply parties looking for a place to happen, and that place should be the cars and living rooms of anyone who needs to something kick-ass right now.” 8/10 – Loud
“Summing up: wonderful songs, wonderful songwriters, wonderful band. Hopefully when the world gets back to its normal self we can go watch them rock the fuck out. The Casanovas will be a priority for me and I want to hear these songs live.” – 5/5, I-94 Bar
“With ‘Reptilian Overload’, The Casanovas sign off on their best album, a concentrate of hard rock with a sublime heavy touch! The Australian tradition continues!” 5/5 – United Rock Nations, France
“You can compare The Casanovas with bands like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Airbourne, a little bit of Kiss or the Stones. Asskicking Hard Rock with a light Glam / Sleaze note – sometimes hot and sometimes bluesy.” 8/10 –
Rock Garage, Germany
“This collection might just be their best too, given it’s got the most rock n roll feel of a career that has been steeped in it, and also a set of songs that by and large meet the vision.” – Maximum Volume Music – UK, 8.5/10
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