Originated in Melbourne, Australia, art rock project HTRK — pronounced “Hate Rock” (also known before as Hate Rock Trio) — began performing in 2003. After their former group disbanded, bassist Sean Stewart and guitarist Nigel Yang recruited vocalist Jonnine Standish with aims to create a project inspired by Lynchian imagery, using very slow mechanical repetition (courtesy of an 808 drum machine and Jonnine playing percussion), simple groove-laden basslines, and highly textured guitar noise.
Their aesthetic clashed drastically with the rock revival scene that was growing popular in Australia, and their early shows harbored mixed reviews. The trio followed its love of Krautrock to Berlin, Germany, and recorded an EP. Titled “Nostalgia”, the disc was self-released in a limited run of 500 in 2005.
Two years later, U.K. label Fire Records (Spacemen 3, Jackie-O-Motherfucker) gave the album a proper release, and soon after the trio started recording its first full-length, “Marry Me Tonight”, with former Birthday Party guitarist Rowland S. Howard. Long withheld due to a legal dispute, “Marry Me Tonight” finally saw a release in 2009 on seminal avant-rock label Blast First Petite (Pan Sonic, Suicide).