The moment I saw this cover, my first question was whether that hair was real. When close inspection indicated that it was real, my next question was: where did they find this guy? The answer is that these are not models â€“Â theyâ€™re the group.
The gentleman you see before you, with his proud man-mane, is Jarrod Zlatic. He and band mate Nisa Venerosa are the Fabulous Diamonds, a Melbourne-based group that create soundscapes with reverbed vocal and dub and organ and saxaphone and lots of other noises. 7 Songs (theyâ€™re all untitled) was recorded over 2 days in a warehouse and represents the best stuff to come out of their acclaimed live gigs in 2007.
Theyâ€™ve developed a loyal and passionate following and have recently toured the States. While the music isnâ€™t exactly my thing, I love this cover. On the weekend I was talking to a girl whoâ€™d just told an ex that he should get his back hair lasered off. She said that this was a selfless service for the future women in his life.
It made me reflect on man hair a little. During my teenage years I waited for some facial hair to appear and elevate me to a new level of mature sophistication. Instead I remained doggedly hairless as friends around me transformed into veritable chia pets. Even now in my twenties I can skip shaving for weeks and simply develop one of those patchy Asian-man beards that just look shifty on a white guy.
So Iâ€™ve been too immersed in my own hairless existence to really think about life on the opposite extreme; that of the man covered in thick curly fur. So far as I know, Venerosa and Zlatic are not a couple, however this cover speaks beautifully of those couples that wonâ€™t allow a manâ€™s â€œsadness sweaterâ€ to come between them.
The lovely portrait was taken by Karl Scullin, of the much admired Kes Band.
In researching the plight of the hairy gentleman, I came across a hilarious and self-deprecating post by a young man name Jason, who argued that: â€œHairy men take women that the mainstream would consider â€œunattractiveâ€ and make them wives and mothers.â€ He goes on to name â€œHarry Truman, Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Barbara, Robin Williams and an abundance of other notable peopleâ€ who have â€œall shared in this dirty secret.â€
By coming out of the hairy closet, Zlatic has not only struck a blow for the unwaxed but also created the best Aussie album cover Iâ€™ve seen in ages.