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In February 1996, three piece band Alcotomic, emerged from the burgeoning Melbourne music scene. At that time, it was renown epicentre of the Australian alternative pop/rock movement where the band shone through with their coveted unique style of hard edged power pop.

Rehearsals began with Moler drummer Stephen Boyle and Porcelain Jane bass player Denny Brererton. The band’s first recordings were at Birdland Studios in Prahran with producer Lindsay Gravina and two songs from these sessions appeared on their 1997 self titled debut EP. It wasn't until the bands singer and guitarist John Baxter formerly of Melbourne band Holocene, met drummer and fellow Brunswick resident Andy Strachan that Alcotomic’s line-up was consolidated.

Launched August 7 1997 at the Esplanade Hotel, the debut self-titled EP (often called 'Playing Cards') featured live favourites Nowhere, Elastic Fantastic, Living in Luxury and Daisy. Community radio across the country, including Triple J, picked up on Living in Luxury, which also featured in 9 Networks Stingers and Good Guys, Bad Guys sound tracks.

The band spent most of 1997 touring around Victoria in venues large and small; from the Punters Club, Fitzroy to the Golden Vine, Bendigo, and the Espy, St. Kilda to the Whalebone, Warrnambool. High profile support gigs and festival dates came thick and fast including a two album record deal from Polygram Records, which eventually fell through due to label acquisition and restructuring.

Over four days from January 18 1998, Alcotomic commenced recording a follow-up EP at Velvet Sound Studios, Sydney with producer David Price who had previously worked with Screamfeeder and Split Enz. The band almost missed the sessions, the result of their Falcon wagon breaking down in rural NSW. These sessions produced the Anything But You single including, Invisible and Black & White, which was released July 4, 1998.

Denny Brereton parted ways in March, and was replaced by bassist Paul Inglis. The band again hit the road which included an appearance on ABC's Recovery on July 18 and a packed to the rafters CD launch at the Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy. Alcotomic signed with US label Not Lame Records and was invited to play the Pop Overthrow tour in the US. Around that time, the band was also selected alongside 78 Saab and Lodestar to showcase at the Pacific Circle Music Conference in Sydney as most promising artist for 1998. November 22, they performed for industry professionals from around the world at The Globe in Newtown.

In mid 1999, the band notched up their 100th live show and were filmed by RMITV performing  live at the Punters Club Hotel in Fitzroy on December 2. They signed up to work again with Lindsay Gravina to cut their penultimate EP and although the band had cut six new songs at X-Tek studios with producer Nic Moore earlier in the year, the decision was made to return to Birdland.

Recorded May 13, the intended EP was cut back to a three track single featuring Where You Go, Falling Pins and A Little Hour. These final Birdland recordings captured Alcotomic at their best; raw, angular and melodic with an element of tongue in cheek humour. On July 3 2000, Where You Go, the band’s last release through Magneto/MGM went on to receive glowing reviews and rotation on Triple J.

By early 2001, band members were branching out into other projects; Andy temporarily filling in drums for Sydney band Pollyanna and John working on new band, Prettymess. Shortly after Andy was asked to step in as permanent drummer for band the Living End and Alcotomic’s last live appearance was on August 1 2001 in Melbourne at the 9th Ward Bar, Flinders Lane.

Fast forward 20 years and by pure accident John stumbled across dozens of cassettes from the 1998 -2002 period containing demo’s that were earmarked for the bands then planned album. After many discussions throughout Covid, the band reunited to pick up where they left off. In Andy Strachans absence, drummer Jay Pinfold formerly of Duke Kartel who had just returned from a 10 year stint in the USA,  joined the band.

The first of many new singles scheduled for release in 2024 is called Bridges. It will be released on Small Sanctuary Records and will drop May 31, 2024. The band is undoubtably full of vigour and fire and Bridges captures that high energy driving wall of guitars and melody that the band has always been known for.

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