Full Flower Moon Band – ‘Diesel Forever’ review: Scorching rock with a sting in the tail

The Brisbane-based project’s second album offers blues rock with plenty of bite

If Brisbane’s Full Flower Moon Band has at all been floated your way in conversation, it’s probably been tagged with this emphatic sentiment: You’ve got to see them live. With a piercing triple-guitar formation and an arresting, hip-swivelling leader in Kate ‘Babyshakes’ Dillon, there is an undeniable electricity to experiencing the project in this manner. But ‘Diesel Forever’ is also a near-perfect introduction to the band – not least because it manages to bottle that lightning of their live performances and launch it forth through your speakers.

This is the second album to bear the Full Flower Moon Band name, following 2017 debut ‘Chinatown’. Its Bandcamp-only accessibility aside, that album merely hints at the greater potential within the project – something that is fully realised, and even expanded upon, across ‘Diesel Forever’. At a 30-minute runtime, it’s as trim a rock record as you’re likely to hear this year, not to mention one of the most idiosyncratic.

Overseeing lead vocals, lead guitar, songwriting and production duties, Dillon puts key focus on tone throughout the album’s nine songs. That’s made clear by the opening one-two of ‘Highway’ and ‘NY – LA’, which sport weighty guitars that gnash and bite against the steady current of the rhythm section, all while showing off Dillon’s characterful playfulness in her vocals and lyrics.


On ‘Highway’, she toys with classic AC/DC lyrics, dangling them in front of listeners in a deliberately provocative manner. “I’m on the highway”, she moans in the refrain – never specifying where said highway goes, leaving the question lingering. That’s followed by a snarky retooling of another of Acca Dacca’s best-known hooks: “Getting had / Getting took / Getting ripped off / Double booked”.

This meta commentary continues into ‘NY – LA’, which dismantles the holy trinity of sex, drugs and rock & roll in a warped, bluesy head-nodder. You can practically smell the sarcasm sizzling in every lyric, as Dillon spits knowingly deluded ramblings. “You bring the Adderall / And we’ll play for free”, she sneers, before going in for the kill on the closing line: “If everyone buys a ticket / We could play the Tivoli”. Hearing Full Moon Flower Band slice through the bullshit is not only hilarious but also refreshing.

Even if you don’t deep dive on the lyrical content of ‘Diesel Forever’, there’s still plenty in these songs to relish. On ‘Hurt Nobody’ Drew Heijden matches a slinking bassline to Luke Hanson’s walloping four-on-the-floor groove, resulting in a melody that’ll take up some serious real estate in your head once it’s in there.

Elsewhere, singles ‘You Know The Mayor’ and ‘Trainspotting’ maintain the live-band energy with propulsive guitar work and sly, sharp hooks. The story goes that the band assembled to record ‘Diesel Forever’ did so after only one rehearsal. Perhaps that’s PR spin, but such is the free-wheeling looseness on offer here that it’s entirely believable and even commendable.

‘Diesel Forever’ is not here to appease the algorithm, nor to pander to triple j – or Double J, or even 4ZZZ for that matter. It’s a dark, weird rock record that’s unapologetic about what it is and entirely alluring on account of that. Full Flower Moon Band have blossomed and bloomed here, doing so without cutting any tall poppies or by clipping their thorns.


Full Flower Moon Band - Diesel Forever

  • Release date: August 23
  • Record label: Dirty Power Studios/Gaga Digi