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Song You Need to Know: Motor Ace, ‘Knock Knock’

17 years after the release of their last record, Melbourne alt-rockers Motor Ace have returned with jangly new single “Knock Knock”.

Rhys Graham*

They’re veterans of the Aussie rock scene, and after 17 long years, Melbourne rockers Motor Ace have returned with a brand new single, sharing “Knock Knock” ahead of its official release this week.

Having first formed in the late ’90s, Motor Ace were virtually inescapable in the early 21st century, with albums such as Five Star Laundry and Shoot This spawning classic tracks such as “Death Defy”, “American Shoes”, “Hey Driver”, and “Carry On”.

Beloved staples of the live scene, the group ultimately announced their disbandment in 2005, splitting following the release of their third album, Animal.

Though the band’s members haven’t been lazy in the interim, it was in 2018 that they announced a return, hitting the live stage once again and reissuing their beloved albums on vinyl to satiate the demands of countless fans. Now, they’ve returned with their first new single in 17 years.

Dubbed “Knock Knock”, the track sees Motor Ace harnessing their classic alt-rock and post-grunge sound, pairing it with driving guitars, infectious hooks, and even a guest vocal appearance from Icehouse’s Paul Gildea.

As vocalist and guitarist Patrick Robertson explains, the track actually sprang from an idea that was written following Five Star Laundry and prior to Shoot This, but ultimately fell victim to the other plans that the universe had for the track.

“It’s an idea that was kicking around back in the day, but we never got around to finishing it,” Robertson explains. “We’d always loved the sound, but it was written between the first and second records and didn’t really fit with what we were aiming for on the second. Probably should have finished it then!”

Working with Five Star Laundry producer Craig Harnath (Hothouse Studios), Motor Ace took to the studio to capture that same sort of energy and powerful essence that itself had given rise to the band’s reunion shows just a few years ago.

“Coming back after 15 years away and receiving such a huge reaction at our shows was really humbling,” Robertson explains. “It was a lightning rod for a new creative venture with the band.

“We wanted to capture the spirit of Five Star Laundry, which in retrospect we all feel had an energy and simplicity that was never fully explored. The process of recording was extremely straight forward – no rehearsals,” he adds. “We wanted to capture the essence of band without overthinking every aspect of production – less talking, more playing. Sonically the track is up there with my favourite Motor Ace tunes yet.”

In addition to their new single, Motor Ace will also be hitting the road this June for an extensive 20th anniversary tour of their Five Star Laundry record. Visiting Fremantle, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide, and Melbourne, the tour will see the group teaming up with fellow noughties icons Klinger for all dates except WA, who will play their first shows since 2015. Full details are available below.

Motor Ace’s “Knock Knock” is officially released on Friday, March 25th.

Motor Ace – Five Star Laundry 20th Anniversary Tour

With special guests Klinger (excluding WA)

Friday, June 10th
Freo Social, Fremantle, WA (18+)

Saturday, June 11th
Badlands, Perth, WA (18+)

Thursday, June 16th
The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD (18+)

Friday, June 17th
The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW (18+)

Saturday, June 18th
The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW (18+)

Thursday, June 23rd
The Gov, Adelaide, SA (18+)

Friday June 24th
170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC (18+)

Tickets on sale via Live Nation