Highly touted Geelong (Victoria) band Magic Dirt started life in 1991 as Dear Bubbles. The band's contemporaries on the Geelong scene included Bored!, Amba Fear, She Freak, Seaweed Goorillas, Warped, Supergrass and Poppin' Mommas. As The Jim Jims, the band contributed a version of The Velvet Underground's `Heroin' to Dave Thomas's 1992 Geelong compilation Check this Action . . . Let the Fun Begin (which also featured the abovenamed bands, plus others like The Dirty Lovers).
With another name change to Magic Dirt, the band issued a one-off single, `Super Tear'/`Sea', on the independent Fellaheen label (July 1993) before signing to Melbourne label Au-Go-Go. The band's penchant for feedback improvisation, distorted guitar riffs and unusual tunings drew comparisons with The Stooges, Dinosaur Jr and New York indie veterans Sonic Youth. Magic Dirt scored support slots to US bands Sonic Youth and Pavement when they toured Australia. The CD EPs Signs of Satanic Youth (March 1994) and Life was Better (November 1994) established the band's reputation as bona fide alternative rock heroes. The band appeared on the 1995 Big Day Out tour and supported US visitors Hole around the country. Ex-Bored! frontman Dave Thomas (who had previously been Magic Dirt's manager) replaced Daniel Herring on lead guitar, and the band issued the 10-inch EP `I was Cruel' (February 1996).
1996 was a busy year for Magic Dirt: the band signed a major deal with Warner Brothers in the USA, toured North America with the Archers of Loaf and issued the full-length album Friends in Danger (September). Produced by Paul McKercher (You Am I, Tumbleweed), the album matched the band's fearless experimentation with a dark, unhinged sound that went from moments of eerie near-silence to full-tilt guitar noise. `Sparrow' was lifted as a CD single/double 7-inch vinyl single set in March 1997. Magic Dirt contributed a version of God's `My Pal' to the Idiot Box soundtrack issued on rooArt/BMG in February 1997. Following that, Thomas left to be replaced by Spanish-born Raoul Sanchez (guitar; ex-Muffcake). Magic Dirt recorded a new album, Young and Full of the Devil (slated for release in early 1998), which yielded the CD EP `Rabbit with Fangs' (November 1997).
Magic Dirt’s new CD single, ‘She-Riff’, and second album, Young and Full of the Devil, came out in April 1998. As well as touring constantly, Adalita Srsen and Dean Turner appeared on a single by Melbourne electronic dance outfit Ronin System, issued on the Prozaac label: Ronin System featuring Magic Dirt, ‘Expectations’ (August 1999). Magic Dirt supported US visitors Red Hot Chili Peppers on an Australian tour during February 2000.