HTRK, Marry Me Tonight: In Memory Of Sean Stewart

Published on May 30th, 2010 in: Current Faves, Eulogy, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Julie Finley

At the end of 2009, I stumbled upon an Australian band known as HTRK (pronounced “Hate Rock”). Their name was linked to the late great Rowland S. Howard, and I had to figure out what the connection was (this was before Rowland had passed. . . R.I.P. RSH!)

htrk marry me tonight

HTRK were linked to a few musical icons other than Rowland, all part of a corps of musicians hailing from Melbourne, Australia. The most direct link is to The Devastations. HTRK Singer Jonnine Standish is married to The Devastations’ Conrad Standish, and the matrimony doesn’t end there; the other members of HTRK (Nigel Yang and Sean Stewart) were involved with the Devastations musically as well.

Rowland S. Howard’s link is one not only of friend, but also that of producer of their latest album, Marry Me Tonight. Rowland also leant his signature guitar slinging on a few tracks and Jonnine leant her voice to “I Know a Girl Called Johnny” from Rowland’s last epic stand, Pop Crimes.

So once the linkage was clear, it piqued my interest and I decided to give HTRK a listen. The various press I read about the band clouded my first impression of them, however. At first, I thought they were as shallow, phony, and fashionable as shit like The Kills, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt, and over a few weeks, they truly grew on me! So much so, that Marry Me Tonight turned out to be one of my favorite albums of 2009.

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