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

  • Birth of the Celibate Rifles

  • Why The Fleshtones still drink for free

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.

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.

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.

Motors, Women, Booze, Drugs. Booze & Killing - The Sick Livers (self released)

sick-livers-epThere’s a case to be made for not messing with the tried and tested formula of two sharp-edged guitars, a raucous singer and an energetic engine room and Welsh band The Sick Livers knows it only too well.

If you thought South Wales was only good for rugby union, Harry Secombe and massed male choirs, think again. The Sick Livers add glam punk (“glunk”) to the list in emphatic style. “Motors, Women, Drugs, Booze & Killing” doesn’t break any fresh ground in terms of musical style or lyrical content - but don’t let that deter you if you prefer your cocktails served in the gutter without extraneous fruit or little paper umbrellas.

These five gnarly Welshmen won’t win any beauty contests but latch onto three chords like a starving Pembroke Corgi chomping down on a Glamorgan sausage after a five-day fast. They name-check Turbonegro (and especially fair call) and Backyard Babies in their bio and even some bloke called Glen Matlock likes ‘em. No, that doesn’t mean they sound like the Beatles, smart arse.

Lavish new Pretty Things box set drops in February

Listen up if you’re proudly “collector scum”, a completist or just an appreciator of one of the greatest rock and roll bands to have walked the planet.

For more than 50 fifty years, The Pretty Things have proudly, unapologetically and righteously scorched their own, unique trail through contemporary music. A half-century (plus) of the raunchiest white-boy rhythm and blues, of punch-ups, dazzling highs and epic struggles, of innovation and exultation, lauded by their peers, vilified by authority, a crucial influence on successive generations of acts, The Pretty Things make it to the mid-20-teens with mojo intact and edge unblunted.

This epochal British rock 'n' roll band is justly being celebrated by way of “Bouquets From A Cloudy Sky”, a lavish multi-media box set due out in February in a limited edition of 2000.

We Will Riot – Mr Flabio (Conquest Of Noise)

we-will-riotThis record is so smart it should have lifetime membership of Mensa, but its a cleverness that's never snobbish or intellectual. Mr Flabio sits back, tongue in cheek and pen at the ready, and takes aim at the directionless, the Interwebs generation and yes, you and me, with withering accuracy. This is melodic fuzz guitars played at stun volume and Mr Flabio’s sardonic barbs are meted out with sugar hits embedded in their pop hooks.

Let’s get this out of the way up front: “We Will Riot” is a grunge record. It’s just gone 2015 and someone is actually making a grunge record? What the fuck’s grunge anyway? You expected Silverchair with short hair? Nirvana wearing nursing home pyjamas?

Mudhoney says Kim Salmon invented it and who are we to argue? When you got down to it, grunge was really just a bunch of tuned-down metallised guitars and anguished punk rock vocals with shithouse dress sense. It got the major labels a little too excited and wiped the musical landscape clean for any other form of rock and roll – and not necessarily in a good way.

Real Times - Johnny Thunders (Remarquable Records)

thunders-remarquableThis is the initial release on the Remarquable label and what a way to start. Basically the deal is that these folks have gotten their hands on some utterly prime Johnny Thunders music that no one has heard before. They are focusing on the year 1978, when Johnny was on Real Records and put out his classic solo album "So Alone".

This first EP (more is promised) is a beautifully-packaged 10" record with four songs ("Leave me Alone"/Great Big Kiss"/"Pipeline"/"London Boys") recorded early January 1978, a mere two weeks after Walter Lure and Billy Rath had called it quits and returned to NYC from London, where the Heartbreakers had relocated to in 1977.

The Television Addicts play the songs of The Victims

television-addictsThe planets have aligned and the World's Worst Kept Secret is out. Legendary Perth punk band The Victims are (almost) reforming for select Australian East Coast shows.

The Victims were temporarily reincarnated in the guise of The Television Addicts, playing a one-off gig at The Rosemount Hotel in North Perth in August last year.

Founding Victims members James Baker and Dave ("Flick") Faulkner were joined on stage by lifelong Victims fan Ray Ahn and the trio proceeded to belt out a set of classic Victims tunes, most of which had not been heard since the band broke up in mid-1978.

Another unannounced gig followed in Sydney for Clyde Bramley's 60th birthday party. 

This February, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will also get a chance to see The Television Addicts for one night only.

Thursday 12 Feb: The Reverence Hotel, Footscray VIC
(supported by Sun God Replica and Deep Heat)
Tix: www.reverencehotel.com

Friday 13 Feb:
Newtown Social Club, Newtown NSW
(supported by Bruce and Thorax)
Tix: www.newtownsocialclub.com

Saturday 14 Feb:
Punkfest at The Prince Of Wales Hotel, Nundah QLD
(supported by Screamfeeder, 1.1.1 and Loud Goes Bang)
Tix: www.oztix.com.au

This is the closest thing you’ll get to a full-blown Victims reunion. Come and see what all the fuss is about.

 

Outta Ammo - VeeBees (Ocker Records)

outta-ammoThis album stinks so much of stale beer that you’ll wonder if you hit your head on the footpath on a late-night bender and woke up in a homeless shelter It reeks of hops - and i don’t mean that nancy boy craft shit either. This is your stock standard, public bar piss. So fuck off if you want a cocktail.

Which should all be no surprise. It’s the fourth studio album in 15 years for the VeeBees and “Outta Ammo” is no great departure, sonically speaking, from its predecessors. It’s crude and dirty with a nod to Moorhead, the Tatts, Powder Monkeys and the Psychos. When you’re on a good thing, why not stick to it?

Aussie Yob Rock has been around since Thorpey plugged in and killed that tankful of fish to the sound of punters yelling “Suck more piss.” VeeBees bypass boogie and play it with an edge that betrays listening to lots of hardcore, especially Black Flag.

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