Jangling pop on one side and rocking power pop on the other.
Love Minus Zero were a Sydney band from the second half of the 1980s, active on both the Waterfont label and Green Fez, the Citadel spin-off. Their lineage came via mods Division 4, Suicidal Flowers and the (later) Bambalams.
Both cuts are on a forthcoming compilation of their output - if you were on the ball, you might have caught their recent reformation show - and you’ll need to be quick if you cherish vinyl singles; as this is in a run of just 100.
“Mary Mary” gets positively Beatle-esque in its employment of a trumpet over its Rickenbacker jangle. Just like the label says, it cajoles rather than confronts and has a nice psychedelic edge. “Don’t Bring Me Down” is not the Animals song. A smudge of backward masked guitar announces the song itself, a stellar pop tune led by guitarist Dario Becego's melodic vocal. The guitars rock and Joe Genua’s drumming is right on the money, too. A gem.
First heard this outfit on Big Daddy K's Sydney community radio show (2RR, 6pm AEDT Saturday nights). They'd released a single ("Dog's Breakfast" b/w "Stitched", and I was smitten. So I got in touch. Turns out the band have released an LP, but as so many do, it's virtual at present.
You'll excuse me. Many, many bands show their influences. Sometimes these are subtle or complex. When I first listened to "Any Port..." I thought they were familiar with Chris Walsh's bass in The Moodists ... but no, apparently not. They've taken the bits of bands which have most impressed them, and created ... some sort of powerful monster.
Shark Arm are anything but subtle. They've taken aspects of The Birthday Party - but not the bits the Jesus and Mary Chain took - the violence at gigs, the shriek-y feedback, the singer leaning on the the guitarist onstage, and - of course - the big hair. None of that. Instead, we're looking at a two-piece (drums, and guitar/ vox) who use ugly bass loops, sing clearly about ugly truths, and whose guitarist has learned about space as well as position.
Not so much a clash of disparate styles as a brash melding of them, The A.C.C. (aka The Abbiati Cantarelli Conspiracy) harvests a well-cultivated paddock to come up with its own distinctive crop.
The A.C.C. is a partnership of Italian musicians Stiv Cantranelli and Ed Abbiat, and “Beautiful, All Night” welds blues, alt.country and punk. Abbiati supplies lead vocals and guitars while Cantranelli brings lead guitar and backing vocals. They’re joined by bassist Joe Barreca and drummer Antonio Perugini, two well-travelled roots and blues players.
Cantanrelli’s history includes Satellite Inn, an Italian band that was signed to US label Moodfood and toured America extensively. His own Silent Strangers and colaboration JD Hangover are worth tracking down if you're into stark and dark gutter blues-punk. Abbiati was a member of Italian roots outfit Lowlands and partnered with ex-Green On Red keyboardist Chris Cacavas on an album in 2014.