Classic Albums: Ex Tropical by Lost Animal

This album would have to be one of my most played, if not the most played of the last five years so can I name it/call it/included it in my Classic Albums yet? Well, yeah is my answer today but when can someone call a record a classic? Who calls/names it a classic first? So can I be the first to say it about this album? Can I see if I can do justice for it’s include here? As far I know it’s not been included in any lists/polls of classic albums or greatest records or the like but it’s on two Aussie music website: ToneDeaf’s 12 forgotten albums and FasterLouder’s 50 underrated albums at number 47, so is that the same thing? I’ve been listening a bit more to this month because of the new album is coming out but just now wanted to share this one with everyone! Who hasn’t heard it or should listen to again as a classic album! So yeah it was released in 2011 so it could be to soon to say something like this about it? How soon do you wait? How soon is now, I’ve got no rules for my Classic Albums pages/posts, you know? All I have to say about it was that I wanted to write about my fave albums so it’s not based on records sells or whatever just my faves and this is most definitely that. This one makes these pages/post into double figures so it’s only the tenth classic album I’ve written here. I’ve picked out another two albums from the tail year of 2011 that I’m also writing about here and included in these Classic Albums in the next few weeks, can anyone guess what the another two are? Prizes if you can guess right, OK?

I’ve known the new album that’s called You Yang has been coming for awhile now but he’s been very quite lately but here’s what made me think to do this here, it was when The Drones was on the TV show Rage a few months back the singer-songwriter Gareth Liddiard named the song Lose The Baby as his fave track from the last few years or something like that. Then for his side-project MK Ultra shows he played a cover of the song too. I total agree with that and now I’m going as far now calling Ex Tropical by Lost Animal a classic album, so here’s that Lose The Baby video clip. That’s was also my intro to the band too, when out and got it after hearing this one song a few years ago. He has say that Lose The Baby is the only song on the album written on his guitar too.


The album title comes from the singer-songwriter Jarrod Quarrell growing-up in Papa New Guinea and now him being Ex Tropical, simple as that so he says. Heavy Profession was the debut album by his previous band St Helens and then before that was another band called The New Seasons with their own self-titled debut too so later this month Yang You with make fourth or is it his fifth because there might have be band before that? I’ve just check he’s also on an the debut album by Scott & Charlene’s Wedding in 2010 called Para Vista Social Club but he was just roped in at the time to play bass on just that album and no longer playing with that band who still very much going right now. Plus also on something called End Show in 1999 but that seems to be only a CD-R album and side-project for someone else really. Anyway so it’s only the second album by the same band this year for him now.

Just before the album Ex Tropical come out in 2011 Quarrell says: “I want people to be dancing while their hearts are breaking” and followed that with Ex Tropical is “a very sunny break-up record” because he himself broken up with St Helens bandmate Hannah Brooks, having a relationship while in the band together and just before that he was in other long term relationship with a other unnamed maybe luckier girlfriend, he did state 80% of the album about both of them. I’ve right now say it’s a better album than say two of the greatest break-up albums of all-time, it’s tops both Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks and Nick Cave’s The Boatman’s Call because for those two are really so bleak and hash where Lost Animal’s Ex Tropical break-up album so much more dancing and sunny about it all, which is always my way to go after the facts become clear.

He clams he knew at the time St Helens was only going to have one album, he wanted that to sound want this Lost Animal album sounds like but for St Helens he had taken into account what the band members was saying at the time. So then on Lost Animal becomes want he wanted and who he wanted to work with. Who basically ended up being only two people: producer/engineered John Lee and bassist/keyboardist Shags Chamberlain. Plus the backing vocals are by Jojo Petrina on track nine and Sophia Brous on the opening track. Ex Tropical is pretty much a keyboard and Synth album because it was wrote almost all of it on one, he was the guitar player on past albums. Changing instrumental mean totally different songwriting started to happen, the first four were written in just two days after swapping to keys.

Those four are Say No To Thugs, Don’t Litter, Cold Cut Nature and Sundown. On triple J radio he says Say No To Thugs and Don’t Litter are “meaning ‘don’t put your weight on me and keep your rubbish out of my yard'” also he said Buai Raskol was his fave at the time “Inspired by my time living in Papua New Guinea, Buai is a concoction of Betal Nut, crushed Lime and some kind of Pepper that the locals chew to get a mellow high. It turns red in their mouths and is found spat all over the streets. Raskol is Pidgin English for criminal.” I always wonder about the next track and researching to write this page I found…

The final song written for the album. It had no title until I went to Perth to hang out with my good friend Paul. We were driving to the beach one day when we passed a road sign for a mental hospital called Graylands. I changed Graylands to Greylands and I had the name that fit the sentiment of the song. A love song about wanting something/someone that is potentially not right for you. Memory, nostalgia and an undying love despite negative consequences are the central themes. Shags (bass) out did himself on this one, an extremely funky bass line that ties the song together beautifully. I guess the idea of broken hearted songs with a glimmer of hope set to catchy upbeat tunes is somewhat of a blueprint for the whole album.

So I should say again, if you don’t know I’m from Perth and known Greylands. Old Lovers to quote him one more time is “A waltz for a lost love that will never really leave you.” and also one of his faves at the time. I don’t know how he can really pick out faves maybe totally different for the songwriter than the listener because for say me it’s always as a whole it’s prefect, works so well together flow for one to the next track but I guess that’s makes any album a classics. It did get released oversea two years later in 2013 which is a bit of a gap in between the Aussie release back in 2011 but I guess that happens with Australia records sometimes.

Ex Tropical was Beat magazine readers album of the year in 2011, Beat is the Melbourne weekly free music/art newspaper. I also remember some website named it the worst album cover of the year but I can’t remember which one but I guess it is that so the thing is it is/does make for it a great cover artwork for the same reasons, does it? Great albums covers make you pay attention it too, it and this cover do that, don’t it? Re-reading reviews now from the time alot seem totally confessed by it overall, labeling it all kind-off styles of music which to me seems totally pointless most of the time and here notices how I’ve not even bother to do that. It’s just one of the greatest albums in the last five years, more people should have a listen it for the first time or have another listen to it again even if you heard it before!

Ex Tropical track listing & times:

1. (Intro) Beat Goes On – 4:00
2. Say No To Thugs – 4:32
3. Buai Raskol – 5:20
4. Don’t Litter – 3:00
5. Cold Cut Nature – 2:49
6. Ex Tropical – 3:09
7. Lose The Baby – 5:40
8. Greylands – 4:02
9. Old Lovers – 5:50
10. Sundown – 3:57


My Classic Albums are, so far:

Tales From The Australian Underground – Volume 1 & 2 by Various Artists

Station To Station by David Bowie

Unplugged In New York by Nirvana

Rust In Peace by Megadeth

Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs by Marty Robbins

Henry’s Dream by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Whatever You Love, You Are by Dirty Three

Gala Mill by The Drones

Black Monk Time by The Monks

Ex Tropical by Lost Animal

So, this was the reason I started this blog. The idea is simply to write page/post about one of my fave album each that I consider a classic album. Please leave your comments below about each album because I would love to hear what you think about each album too, cheers!



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