Howling At The Sun – 3 Headed Dog (Closer Records)

howling sunForget the clichés about French rock and roll bands being full of pale and inspid breadstick-chewers who can barely rock and are lamentably unable to roll. This Paris trio can do both as well as almost anyone you can name, and might just be the best band you’ve never heard. 

3 Headed Dog are Brenko (guitar), Vinz (bass) and Manga (drums.) All have been members of anarchic noisemeisters, Dimi Dero Inc, and the late Holy Curse, who for mine were the best rock and roll outfit in 20 years to have crawled from under the lid the establishment keeps firmly on France’s underground music scene.

I’ve Got Cock If You Want It - Raygun Mortlock b/w Don’t Follow Me - The Dirty F Holes (self released)

cock splitFancy some cock rock in a double-serving? This double A-sided split-single puts Gold Coast/Far Northern New South Wales misfits, Raygun Mortlock, intp bed with trashy Brisbane brat-beaters, The Dirty F Holes. Who wears the strap-on in this aural version of "50 Shades Of Grey" isn't clear but the consummation of this relationship isn’t pretty.

“I’ve Got Cock If You Want It” sits astride a repeating guitar figure and lets it all hang out. There is no fancy foreplay introduction or acoustic guitar filigree at the bridge in this ball of sludge. It has a direct, shout-along chorus (you can guess the words) that's interrupted only by a tightly-coiled guitar solo that takes the song out.

Peel Me Like A Egg – Hard-Ons (Citadel Records)

peel meIt’s hard to work out when Hard-Ons ceased being just another band and evolved into an unstoppable force of nature. Thirty-four years after publicly emerging into the dim lights of an inner Sydney pub stage, this indefatigable trio keep punching out albums when most of their contemporaries have long put their own cues in the rack.

Ask any record tragic. There’s a tried and tested rule for albums. Most long-lasting bands deliver one or two gems at their high point and the rest are shit or on a plateau. “Peel Me Like A Egg” easily stacks up against most of the Hard-Ons’ 10 previous studio efforts. It’s not so much because the band has stayed true its composite punk, metal, speedcore and pop roots (it’s always good to know what you’re going to get) as much as they’ve managed to make each release sound fresh.

The Hadron Colliders launch their EP

Sydney band, The Hadron Colliders, will launch their debut EP, “Measuring the Space between Us All” at the iconic Petersham Bowling Club in their home city on Sunday, February 22 from 5pm with an all-ages gig.

Containing members from ‘80s and ‘90s bands The Last Metro and The Catherine Wheel, The Hadron Colliders have built up a reputation for their dynamic live performances which has been further enhanced by the release of their debut EP.

The EP, recorded at Damien Gerard Studios with Russell Pilling (The Church, The Vines, Died Pretty) has been described as “...soulful, gentle indie pop... fragile, constructed melodies and (a) sort of melancholy sweetness”.  Our own Robert Brokenmouth said "Measuring the Space Between Us All" was “...sexy... a crushing, lovely boat trip down a brooding romance-laden river”.

Joining the band will be Canberra’s Positive Feedback Loop and Nature Strip Duo (a stripped down version of the inimitable The Nature Strip). Entry is $10 tickets at the door), with kids free.

Replacements announce US tour

The reformed Replacements have announced a run of US tour dates in the wake of recent sporadic festival appearances.

Original bandmates Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson, plus guitarist David Minehan and drummer Josh Freese, will also play shows in London, Amsterdam and Spain and are reportedly considering recording a new studio album.

The Replacements were the archetypal college radio slop-rockers of the '80s and an enormous influence on a generation of US bands. 

Sports return to the stage

dont throw stones largeMelbourne rock-pop legends The Sports will re-convene for a couple of live dates in their hometown in May.

Principal members Stephen Cummings, Martin Armiger and Andrew Pendlebury will be joined by keyboardist-guitarist James Black, drummer Peter Luscombe and bassist Mark Ferry for gigs at Memo Music Hall in St Kilda on May 8 and 9.

Reckless – The Sports (Festival/Warner) and Don’t Throw Stones – The Sports (Festival/Warner)

sports dont throw stonesreckless coverThere’s too much here to consume in one sitting or even two. Reanimator To The Stars (by Royal Appointment), Sir David Laing, has packed these deluxe editions of The Sports’ first two albums with enough bonus material to weigh down a Melbourne Cup certainty

For the uninitiated or the downright forgetful, The Sports sprang out of Melbourne’s fertile Carlton Scene in 1976 and petered out in 1981, but only after a run of four albums that spawned a slew of catchy Australian chart singles.

Smelling like roses: Pretty Thing Dick Taylor on "Bouquets From A Cloudy Sky"

dick and philThey’re entering the 53rd year of this career thing but guitarist Dick Taylor and his band, the Pretty Things, aren’t showing any signs of calling it a day.

With a vinyl only live record (“The Pretty Things Live at The 100 Club”) recently released and a new studio album ("The Sweet Pretty Things Are In Bed Now Of Course" ) in the wings, the Pretties have gone a step further by unleashing what’s probably the last word in box sets.

“Bouquets From A Cloudy Sky” (on Madfish through Snapper) does the band’s considerable legacy justice, bringing all of the 11 studio albums together, along with two documentaries and a brace of CDs of rare or previously unreleased material, beautifully presented in one compelling package.

Revolutionary Action – Scott Morgan (Easy Action)

revolutionary actionIn which the complete recorded works of the 1980s and ‘90s are compiled on one double CD set, spanning 38 tracks.

You have to give it to Easy Action. They know how to package a legacy. And Scott Morgan, of course, has had lots of legacy to restore.

Michigan’s Best Kept Musical Secret had been around the metaphorical block a few times by the time the ‘80s rolled around, but up until that point his bands hadn’t produced many recordings. If he hadn’t invented blue-eyed soul, Morgan played a big part in its arrival in the '60s when front-man for Ann Arbor’s Rationals who took a detour into soulful, pastoral-flecked psych before running out of steam. 

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