Run Yourself Ragged EP - Dan Brodie & The Grieving Widows (Fat Swine)
You all know who Dan Brodie is, right? He’s released several LPs and EPs and yeah. You need this lil’ gem in your collection.
Why? Apart from the songs, it’s a fine little story of r’n’r excess, consequences, surgical procedures and ends with a damn-the-consequences romp in sterling style. I’ll quickly add that the production on the EP is damn fine too - that’s Glen Hewer, and the mastering is raucous and clean: David Briggs.
The opener, Ian Rilen’s “Booze to Blame” (from the “Passion, Boots and Bruises” LP), is a sure-fire hit, a crackling version with a wall of guitars, spit and woe.
“No Warning” is a little more restrained, but we’re teetering on the edge of marital breakdown here, and a life spun out of control. “No Warning” is a mighty fine song, and if it were anywhere else it would shine. In this company it helps tell the tale.
“Run Yourself Ragged” is even more unpleasant, but utterly compelling; Spencer P. Jones’ guitar lifts the whole “I got cancer and it’s roaming around inside looking for a home” horror into a herky-jerky busted-up lament. It’s brilliant.
The killer, though, is “Let’s Get Fucked Up (and Dance)” is pure damn genius. Right up there with the Scientists’ Pissed on Another Planet, but with more chutzpah and smarts (I wouldn’t have believed it possible but there you are).
There were moments when I thought; hey, this sounds like Spencer (and I hadn’t looked at the back cover); but there are moments when I think, hey, this is a bit like Richard Hell’s first LP with the Voidoids without Robert Quine’s deranged guitar. So go figure. Influences aren’t always worn on sleeves.
There are moments throughout the EP which have me replaying it over and over; when a note drones away as the band hammer on regardless, the crowd of drunks hollering the chorus to “Let’s Get Fucked Up (and Dance)” makes no attempt at singing, it’s just like a bunch of yokels in a bar (and whoever got that woman in bellowing in that high-pitched squeak that all women seem to develop when they have two and a half glasses inside them; sheer bloody genius.
You know that bloody Angels song where everyone sings the “get fucked” line? And, you know, that song is rather shit but everyone loves it ‘cos they can be rude and live a life for a few seconds? (I know, cruel, but hey, if the Angels are your pinnacle of rebellion you deserve to wash dishes for a living)
Yeah, well, Dan Brodie has made the Angels look like what they are, and “Booze to Blame” and “Let’s Get Fucked Up” should be on every jukebox in the country.
I’ve pinched some of the lyrics for you:
Up, up, up, up, up ,up ,up!
Hand me a little more of that stuff
I'm not sure just what it is
but I think I could get used to it
We'll have a pinch of this
and just a pinch of that
and run around the city
like we're starring in a movie
Let's get fucked up and dance
If your radio station isn’t playing it, picket the bastard. Chain yourself to the railings and have a petition read in Parliament that they’re un-Australian.
“Run Yourself Ragged” is a great EP. - Robert Brokenmouth
Five jugs of Jack and cola, and pavement pizza. Now tour the bastard overseas.
Dan Brodie’s backstory should need no recounting: Feted Australian alt.country up-and-comer and dual ARIA award winner who did a Neil Young and headed for the ditch.
In short order, he turned gutter rocker, toured the world, stared down cancer and is playing his music game on his own terms. Which is to say he’s happily independent and turning out a gem like this EP.
Brodie is from Melbourne, a place where the influence of the late, great Ian Rilen (X, Rose Tattoo, Love Addicts et al) is still going strong, so his choice of “Booze To Blame” as an opening shot to this four-tracker is fairly apt.
Rilen penned this confessional when in Hell to Pay, an ill-starred super-combo of sorts whose number included the equally mercurial (but thankfully still earthbound) Spencer P Jones, and the song (and its writer’s) rough-hewn sensibilities cut through like a whisky chaser on the morning of the day after.
The Grieving Widows pull it off like champions and it’s no surprise then that Love Addicts drummer, Dave Nicholls, is in along for the ride. Nor that Spencer P Jones adds guest guitar to Brodie’s autobiographical song, “Run Yourself Ragged”, a harrowing survivor’s story. Lymphoma is bad shit and here’s why, told over seven minutes.
“No Warning” is an introspective pause, a well-written relationship song that’s built on Brodie’s full (and even Neil-esque) vocal and rounded out by slightly caustic guitar. The closer, “Let’s Get Fucked Up (And Dance)”, takes the EP to another extreme, with a thoroughly bare-bones production that’s bereft of guitars until halfway through and barely clocks in at two-and-a-half minutes. Fun if the least substantial song on the record.
Take the trouble to grab this EP. And join in and say: "Another album please." - The Barman