When the New Christs first formed in 1980 they only performed in a studio, releasing the searing acid-punk single Face A New God (1981).
Two guitar-driven hard rock singles were released on the independent Citadel label – Like A Curse (1984) and Born Out Of Time (1986), both of which were later included on the Citadel compilation Take Everything Leave Nothing (1988).
The band went through many incarnations over the years – the second and third lineups collapsed in 1984 after playing the Sydney pub circuit – and at various times the band has contained members of The Hitmen, Celibate Rifles, Lime Spiders and The Barracudas. The only constant was frontman Rob Younger.
Younger revived the New Christs name in 1987 with a lineup including guitarist Charlie Owen, bass player Jim Dickson (ex-Barracudas) and drummer Louis Burdett. Nick Fisher replaced Burdett and that lineup recorded four singles for Citadel; The Black Hole (1987), Dropping Like Flies/I Swear (December 1987), Headin’ South (November 1988) and Another Sin (June 1989).
Their debut album Distemper (1989) hit the #1 spot on the alternative charts in Australia and sold very well in Europe also, where the band toured successfully twice.
The band broke up again in 1989 but there was a short-lived reunion in 1991 when The New Christs were booked as the support act for The Ramones at their Sydney concert.
1992 brought a new lineup when Younger recruited Bill Gibson (ex-Eastern Dark), Christian Houllemare (ex-Happy Hate Me Nots), Stevie Plunder (ex-The Plunderers) and Peter Kelly (ex-The Flies and Vanilla Chainsaws).
Plunder left at the end of the year to join The Whitlams. He died in 1996.
Tony Harper (ex-Voodoo Lust) replaced him on guitar and the band issued the Pedestal EP CD in October 1994. A month later, Gibson left (he later joined The Lemonheads) to be replaced by Mark Wilkinson (ex-Lime Spiders).
A new CD EP, Woe Betide, was released in November 1995. Meanwhile, Canadian Lance Rock Records released the retrospective album Born Out Of Time which drew together 13 tracks from the New Christs’ back catalogue.
The powerful album Lower Yourself was released in 1997 and the band toured Europe with newcomer Al Creed on guitar and vocals.
They disbanded in 2001 and posthumously released a double studio album, We Got This!, in 2002. Younger declared that it would be the last album from the group.
Also in 2002, Citadel Records issued another compilation album, These Rags, using remixed versions of the earlier Pedestal and Woe Betide EP’s.
Younger displayed another New Christs lineup in 2006, including Jim Dickson (bass), Dave Kettley (guitar), Brent Williams (guitar and keyboards), and Stu Wilson (drums).
In May and June that year they performed in Spain, France, Germany and Belgium. They subsequently toured Europe four more times (in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2014).
The group’s fifth studio album, Gloria, was released in May 2009.
In 2011 Wilson was replaced by Paul Larsen and a live album (imaginatively entitled Live 2011) was released. This line-up issued their sixth studio album, Incantations, in June 2014.
Rob Younger (Rowdy Yates)
Bruce ‘Cab’ Callaway