Ode To The Dudes | Billie Reid

“Billie Reid’s deeply poetic lyrics stand at the fore of his arson, hitting injustice square in the jaw”

Enter the world of Billie Reid. Australia’s resident singer-songwriter out to get the bad guys and keep the good guys in check. Through his album ‘Ode To The Dudes’, and single ‘Demon Street’, he’s fast making a name for himself as a musician you do not want to miss. Flunking tradition for a life on the road; Campaigning against religion, science and politics; Generally sticking it to the man. These themes run wild throughout the history of multiple, troubadour-peddling genres. Some of the world’s greatest musicians have valiantly proclaimed war on society’s invisible boundaries. They’ve taken it upon themselves to preach a life of freedom in the face of the institutions that surround them on a daily basis. This ethos is pinnacle to some of the greatest movements in the history of music. It continues to live strong today.

Billie Reid is a musician who stands proud as a purveyor of righteousness in current times. Based and working out of Fremantle, Australia, the singer-songwriter’s artillery is a huge catalogue of music and a will to perform. His deeply poetic lyrics stand at the fore of his arson, brandishing words like a sword and hitting injustice square in the jaw. Unsurprisingly, Reid draws influence from genres that are notorious for encapsulating a determination to rebel against social norms, as well as famous literary rebels Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. This is the wordy goodness of the beat movement put to music.

Punk, alt-rock, Americana, all come crashing down from his pedestal in a fuss of anger, girth, and the occasional nod to the fairer sex. Joining him on his stand is his trusty acoustic guitar. It works in collaboration with his trademark vocal – a furious, grizzled spit that emulates the late, great Joe Strummer from The Clash. With songs ranging from one to three minutes, the tracks contained within ‘Ode To The Dudes’ typically display an aptitude for punk music, clawing in the listener and bellowing punk-pop-rock infused morality in their ear.

Standout tracks on the album include ‘Honey Skin’, the opening lament to lost love, and ‘About You’, a whisky drenched swill to round things off towards the end of the record. Although ‘Ode To The Dudes’ has been compared to The Buzzcocks, The Flaming Groovies and Elvis Costello, it holds the undeniable hallmark of a unique musician fighting his own fight.

In comparison his single ‘Demon Street’ is a well executed howl of desperation, aimed in the direction of an unobtainable woman. Despite being, on the face of it, a love song, Reid uses the track to open up about the social and personal constrictions he feels. Punk doesn’t need to be soulless, after all …. and neither do Facebook messages.

Through a series of sometimes controversial updates, Reid has made a name for himself as a musician who’s not afraid to speak his mind on and off the page. Queue copyright accusations a-plenty …. “Powderfinger song just on Triple J, is such an absolute clone of The Cars’ ‘Who’s Gonna Drive You Home’ …. I thought they’d gone to their “like a version” segment but then Bernard Fanning claimed it as an original! Sickening really, the song is literally plagiarism, not just a direct lyrical rip-off though, even the riffs are blatant copies of that song from 80’s. Even the actual arrangement of the tune and phrasing of the words is the same! How rude …. AARGGH!”. There’s even time for some self-preservation …. “Jose Gonzales has definitely heard my ‘Down the Line’ … his words are different, but the title, feel and sub-structure are the same”.

From structural similarities to local radio stations and gun owners, through to songwriter extraordinaire and recording maverick, whatever Billie Reid’s metaphorical gun is pointed at, it’s clear that he’s one passionate and determined guy.

Tiffany Daniels