Hammered - Jackson Reid Briggs and the Heaters (Grubby Publications/Beast Records)
“Hammered” is a term I associate with a different era. A time of binge weekend drinking, gratuitous displays of alcoholic masculinity, bloviated local sporting club identities, sub-optimum musical soundtracks (I’m sure I remember hearing Dennis Leary’s “Asshole” about 63 times one Saturday night after a long day in the field) and bleary-eyed Sunday morning recoveries. They were best of times, but only until you come to your senses.
But Jackson Reid Briggs and the Heaters get you "Hammered", it’s a thing of perennial excellence, an ordeal that makes you stronger, better, all the attributes you thought that slab of Southwark Premium was going to do.
The Tale of Tornado Turner is a curious but intriguing piece of Stooges history. You’re about to hear the story. First-hand.
Flashback to 1973. An increasingly bored and three-quarters strung-out Iggy and the Stooges are holed-up in a rented mansion in the Hollywood Hills, captives of their management company Mainman. “Raw Power” is out. For reasons best known to themselves, Mainman is booking no tours to promote it.
One reluctantly-arranged show (Ford Auditorium, Detroit, March 27) produces an ultimatum following a clash at an after-party between Manman supremo Tony Defries and guitarist James Williamson. The edict is: It’s him or the band. Iggy sacks James. Enter a replacement, Warren Klein.
Nunchukka Superfly White Knuckle Fever Bitchcraft Babymachine Garry David Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney Friday, February 21, 2020
Friday night and gig-bound, I really had no idea what to expect. Part of the thrill of seeing a multi-band bill is to be blown away by a group you're unfamiliar with although I was armed with the knowledge that only one, Nunchukka Superfly, is familiar so I was attending with an open mind.
First up was Garry David. Without previous knowledge who Garry David was, I was expecting, maybe, a solo guitarist singing busking style songs with an inner city bent? Wrong.
They formed in 2009 but it's in the last few years that San Diego’s Schizophonics have convincingly cemented their reputation as one of the world’s hardest-working and most dynamic bands.
Gymnastically-inclined singer-guitarist Pat Beers, drummer (and his wife) Lety Beers, plus a series of bass players, have been wowing audiences around the world with their unique brand of explosive garage rock. They’re poised to pay Australia and New Zealand their second visit in a year in February and March, before hitting Japan for the first time.
The Schizophonics have been likened to a cross between James Brown and the MC5. Local bands have been lining up to join them on bills. Aussie all-female combo, The Fangin’ Felines, are lucky enough to be joining them for two support spots - in their own hometown Wollongong (Lalalas, March 12) and Sydney (Marrickville Bowlo, March 13).
Strong females are integral to both bands, so it made perfect sense for the I-94 Bar to host a pre-tour conversation between Lety Beers and Fangin’ Feline singer Carrie Phillis. The ladies spoke over Skype earlier this week. Pat Beers joined them and uber fan Russell Hopkinson (You Am I, ex-Radio Birdman) made the whole thing happen.
Hoody from The Johnnys revels in a pair of undies last seen on a stage when Tom Jones played Marrickville Bowlo.
The Johnnys Molting Vultures Jupiter 5 Marrickville Bowling Club Friday, February 14, 2020
After a hard day of work at the end of the week, the temptation to see three A-class bands at Marrickville Bowling Club was hard to resist.
I don’t usually plug bistros but I have to say that what might appear to be basic club or pub food was done exceptionally well at the Bowlo. Hats off to the Marrickville Bowling Club for having a fantastic diner.
After that meal and time well spent watching planes from around the world fly over as the sun set over the greens of the club with a Young Henrys Newtowner beer in hand, it was time to see Jupiter 5.
Ex-Radio Birdman guitarist Chris Masuak’s Aussie-Euro band The Outside embark on their short and sharp French tour this week. Featuring Masuak on guitar and vocals, expat Aussie and former tennis professional Gregory Bowen on guitar, Frenchman Bruno Mondo on bass and Spaniard Juan Martinez El Kara on drums, their five-show run includes a support to Supersuckers in Rennes. This is the film clip for their Bowen-written 2013 single “In The Class”.
FEB 13 - L'Armony, Montreuil 14 - Piano Bleu Saint Brieuc 15 - Le Galion, Lorient 17 - Mondo Bizarro, Rennes (with Supersuckers) 18 - Nantes, La Cour
Twist the Lens - The Pedaljets (Electric Moth Rcords)
The Pedaljets are Midwestern rock veterans who formed in Kansas City in 1984. In 2020 they’re still in Kansas, at least for recording purposes. This album was produced in Shawnee, KS by their former guitarist Paul Malinowski and he did a great job. It leaps out at you. They sound as modern as tomorrow and as rock as they ever did, but with some welcome twists and turns along the way.
As contemporaries and tour partners of the top level of '80s US alternative bands – The Replacements, Husker Du, The Flaming Lips – they put out a couple of albums and did a lot of touring. Somehow they didn’t break through to that R.E.M. next level, and pulled the pin out of frustration. Two decades later they returned to the studio and have released a couple of albums in the last 10 years, including this absolute belter.
Tune Out Switch Off Drop In - The Routes (Groovie Records)
Echo, vibrato, tremelo, retro-a-go-go. The Routes aren’t afraid to wear their influences on their paisley sleeves. From Nuggets-style garage and psych, to surf and swamp, this Japan-based act tread a well-trodden route (sorry!) but they do it with substance and style.
Formed by expat Scotsman Chris Jack and based in Hita City in the mountains of Oita prefecture, The Routes have been making music since 2006 with a variety of line-ups. Jack remains the one constant, and on this album he handles vocals, guitar, bass and organ, leaving the drums to Bryan Styles. “Tune Out Switch Off Drop In” is their seventh album, released on Groovie Records in late December 2019.
The CD version boasts four bonus tracks from their 2018 EP “Driving Round In Circles”, featuring Shinichi Nakayama on drums. I hope I’m not being insulting to either drummer when I say it’s hard to spot much difference – they’re both solid and match their tempos to Jack’s tunes. The downside of including the EP is that the CD becomes a 14-track effort and that stretches things a little further than necessary.