For me Spiderbait along with Powderfinger are the best Australian bands who are currently still active. All their hits, lots of songs, lots of fun.
Spiderbait is an Australian rock band who have had two top ten albums and another three albums reach the Australian top 40. Their song Buy Me a Pony was #1 on the Triple J Hottest 100 for 1996, and the group enjoyed success with their 2004 #1 Australian hit cover of " Black Betty".
The three band members Mark Maher better known as Kram (drums/vocals), Damien Whitty or "Whitt" (guitar) and Janet English (bass/vocals) come from the small town Finley in southern New South Wales where they jammed together in their youth.
The band moved to Melbourne, Australia where Kram was studying at the Victorian College of the Arts School of Music. The band played its first gig at a loungeroom for a friend's party. The band soon became part of Melbourne's punk scene playing gigs at venues like the Tote Hotel in Collingwood, Victoria. They released their first single Circle K on Au-Go-Go Records with an EP titled P'tang Yang Kipper Bang Uh! (named after a Michael Apted movie) following in 1992. The band's first album Shashavaglava was released in 1992. 'Shashavaglava' means 'dickhead' in Serbo-Croatian. This album featured the songs Old Man Sam and a cover of English comedians The Goodies' song Run Spiderbait signed with Polydor Records and released their first album with the new label named The Unfinished Spanish Galleon of Finley Lake in 1995. The album reached #14 on the Australian charts with singles Monty and Jesus receiving extensive airplay on Triple J. The album title refers to an unfinished project by the Finley Rotary Club, which became a venue for teenage drinking in their home town.
Their second album Ivy and the Big Apples was released in 1996 and reached #3, and sold over 180,000 copies in Australia. Their first single Buy Me a Pony received extensive airplay on Triple J resulting in listeners voting it as their favourite song of the year. The second single Calypso also achieved commercial airplay, and reached #13 in the Australian singles charts in 1997.
In 1998, Janet English and her then boyfriend Quan Yeomans of Regurgitator recorded an album as Happyland. Around the same time, Kram and Richie Lewis of Tumbleweed released their own side-project the Hot Rollers - so named as both member's mothers were hairdressers. The Hot Rollers only album (self-titled) was released through Polydor.
Spiderbait returned together in 1999 with the album Grand Slam which also debuted at #10 on the Australian album charts.
Despite good airplay for the Grand Slam singles Shazam! and Stevie, their 2001 album The Flight of Wally Funk was a commercial flop, only selling 20,000 copies. The album was recorded in Whitt's living room.
Spiderbait recorded the Tonight Alright album in Los Angeles with producer Sylvia Massy who had worked with acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Tool, System of a Down and Skunk Anansie. The first single Black Betty was a cover version of the old Leadbelly song which became a hit in 1977 when covered by Ram Jam. The single reached #1 after 10 weeks in the singles chart in May 2004 (after debuting at #12), and stayed there for three weeks, becoming their biggest selling single ever. The film clip featured a hot rod similar to the car on the ZZ Top Eliminator. The song also made the soundtrack to the Electronic Arts video games Need for Speed: Underground 2 and Need for Speed: Underground Rivals for the PSP. Tonight Alright was released on 28 March 2004, and debuted and peaked at #14. The second single Fucken Awesome debuted in the top 30 on June 28 2004. Interscope Records signed the band in 2004 to distribute Tonight Alright in the US and UK.
In September 2005 they released a Greatest Hits collection to reveal their back catalogue to younger fans who were caught up by Black Betty. This debuted at #6 and received a Gold Accreditation.
The band went on hiatus March 2005 after bassist Janet English gave birth to her daughter and planned a cycling tour across Europe. More recently Kram had announced plans of a solo album to be released sometime next year.