Though their chart-topping dance hit, the inspired INXS remix "One of My Kind" earned James Ash and Steve Davis an ARIA Award for Best Dance Single in 2003, Rogue Traders was dismissed as just another producer-based project, not a proper band with the songs to back it up. With their second album Here Come the Drums, Rogue Traders bounce back with a fresh lineup and build on their DJ roots for an ambitious new sound. Tim Henwood (guitar) and Cam McGlinchey (drums) join Ash (keyboards) for a tighter rock sound, but it's the addition of Natalie Bassingthwaighte that truly completes Rogue Traders' newfound enthusiasm. The former Neighbours soap darling rivals the flirty and foxy ways of Australia's favorite dance princess, Kylie Minogue, particularly on the guitar-driven synth beats of "World Go 'Round" and slow jam "Rescue Me." Bassingthwaite may be easy on the eyes and ears, but she holds her own with the rest of the band thanks to her coquettish personality adding some extra color to the songs themselves. From the bombastic riffs of album-opener "Believer" and roaring synth-guitar punch of "We're Coming Home" to their cheeky U.K. Top Ten hit "Voodoo Child" (which rides on samples of Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up,") the vibrant energy of the Rogue Traders is undeniably infectious. Here Come the Drums isn't exactly epic, but the fun atmosphere makes it worth listening to. Need more? Size up to the slinky bravado of "Watching You," "My Sharona" samples and all, for an even heavier dose of the Rogue Traders' polished electro-pop.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson