• First review of the album for James Williamson & The Pink Hearts

  • Birth of the Celibate Rifles

  • Why The Fleshtones still drink for free

Living & Loving In The USA b/w All That I Want (Is You) - Steve Lucas (Perfect Pitch)

living-and-lovingOnetime X howler Steve Lucas returns to the record store racks with a couple of seven-inch singles, this first one under his own name. If you’re hoping for “Hate City” you’re fresh outta luck.

“Living & Loving In The USA” is a double-headed ode to marital bliss that could have been called “Where We Went On Our Honeymoon”. It's the (true) story of two people eloping. Clean guitar, sweet backing vox from Mrs Lucas (aka the very rocking Joey Bedlam from Dollsquad) and all done without a hint of fuzz or distortion. It’s rocking mid-tempo pop with bongos, a hint of Tex-Mex and a great and heartfelt vocal from Mr Lucas.

Ronnie Wood b/w Fuck The Clowns - Dunhill Blues (Outtaspace)

ronnie-woodThey’ve discarded the keys and horns and are now going around live as a four-piece, but Sydney's Dunhill Blues have lost none of their musty garage charm. “Ronnie Wood” is a jagged guitar figure that's (as far we can make out) a homage to the wayward Stone. 

"Ronnie Wood" has a meat and potatoes sound with minimal overdubs and just some buried handclaps and female back-up vocals lightening the attack. Scrappy and fun.

Crossroads b/w Oh Well - Deniz Tek (Career Records)

crossroadsHe never lets the grass grow under his boots so it’s no surprise to see another Deniz Tek single drop. Such things are essential, really, if you want to make money on the road in Europe and these two tracks were taken from a early sessions for a forthcoming Tek album. 

“Crossroads” is a back-to-basics slice of chunky riff-a-rama that wouldn’t have been out of place on the Doctor’s “Outside” album back in his major label spin-off days. Its immediate and stripped-back production doesn’t sound as dense as that record but it’s coming from a similar Birdmanesque place. There's no fresh ground broken but most will feel there probably doesn't need to be. 

Poor Old Man - Captain Spud and the Nifty Keens (Spudland)

spud-art-nifty-keensThis Captain Spud chap, with his mildly alarming synthetic-bop is in the alternative charts down here in Adelaide with this CD single. This could mean anything. What it actually means is that Spud has done it again.

While I believe that men like this should be surging up the charts, exposing the dross and bogus aspects of the entertainment industry, the reality is that gorgeous little tunes like this, with its toyland-‘60s-musical aspect placed in a modern context … don’t.

Measuring the Space Between Us All - The Hadron Colliders (Interstellar Records)

measuring-hadronFlashback: I remember the first time I heard REM. Paul had just bought their first LP and we sat in his little bedroom, listening with something akin to amazement.

Now, I mention REM’s first LP because it was one of those exclamation mark moments, similar to “Measuring the Space” by inner-western Sydney band The Hadron Colliders.

My response to hearing this was immediate and positive, and I’ve now spun “Measuring the Space”…over and over.

Stranded with Ed and Judi Kuepper...with strings attached

ed-atp-himself

For more than 40 years, Ed Kuepper has been creating music. Over that time, he's claimed a place as one of the most progressive and critically acclaimed singer-songwriters and guitar players to emerge from Australia.

Ed has been (mostly) in the shadows of the mainstream and has always forged his own path.

No-one sounds like Ed Kuepper.

I was about 12 when “I’m Stranded” blared from my television set. With a mouthfull of Milo and with my school bag thrown on the sofa, I raced over and turned the volume up of the old National 18-inch colour “telly”. I was blown away by the sound and the image.  It was the afternoon show ABC ‘s Flashez that I recall and an interview followed with people who seemed like street urchins. It was explosive.   These blokes – The Saints - were the real deal.

True Believer - Michael Cullen (Speartackle)

true-believerWell, this is a first, I think. This is a four bottle CD, and I really do dislike it. However, I disliked it a lot less after the second listen, and by now (fourth spin) it’s beginning to grow on me.

Michael Cullen’s last CD, 2011’s “Love Transmitter”, I am unfamiliar with, but it seems all who heard it loved it. This fact, plus the quality of “True Believer” (I can see shedloads of you shelling out to hold it in your hands, then scampering out to see the man in the flesh) gives me pause.

“True Believer” takes us through loves lost and almost won, via European streets and Melbourne alleys, dashed hopes and determined belief and - a certain contempt amid the vulnerability.

Rev - Reverend Horton Heat (Victory Records)

revThere’s a lot of ‘50s revival acts and actors out there. And, I suspect for most, it’s just a bit of harmless narcissism. But the Rev…?

Have you ever stood in a jammed-in-crowded room and suddenly felt a large hand grip your balls and give them a playful squeeze? And there’s no-one around who looks like it was them..?

“Rev”, The Rev’s umpteenth LP, is full-tilt, in ya face, grabs your privates, smart, sassy, intelligent rock’n’roll from the old school.

Good Lord - Crazy & The Brains (Baldy Longhair Records)

good-lordThis New Jersey four-piece might be one of the oddest bands to grace the reviews section of the I-94 Bar - or most other places. if you know of any others to have a lead xylophone/glockenspeil player as backing vocalist, well you know our address.

OK, Dave Graney uses a fair chunk of vibraphone in some of his music. Mark Sultan made a killer solo record("The Sultanic Verses") with dinky keys and xylophone. Tommy Hall’s jug rhythms made 13th Floor Elevators sound other-worldy. Using a glockenspiel as a melodic advice puts Crazy & The Brains in a different category.

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