Hell ain't a bad place to be

a comedy of horrorsA Comedy of Horrors - Burn in Hell (Beast Becords)

“It’s rock and roll, Jim, but not as we know it.”

That might make sense if you’re a Trekkie, but of course you’re not. 

You are?

Leave now.

(ED: Sorry. Robert Brokenmouth has hacked this review. Normal transmission will be resumed, momentarily.) 

Burn in Hell is from Melbourne and is as rock and roll as AC/DC. Makes sense. The band comes from the home of AC/DC Lane, for fucksakes. They just play their songs as readily in waltz time as in 4/4. “A Comedy of Horrors” is their fourth album in close to 10 years and it’s off-the-wall, curious, warped, challenging and thoroughly enjoyable. It's an album for people who hate the mundane. 

2019 Barfly Top Tens: Bob Short

bob short in whiteTop Ten lists for 2019.  Barman promises free rein.  Let's test the limits.  Top 10 questions you should want answered.

1.  Was Donald Trump's 1980s application for a casino in Darling Harbour rejected because of his links to organised crime?

Answer:  Yes.  And very much on public record though no-one seems to remember.

2.  Why was God's honest man, Scott Morrison, sacked from his position as head honcho at Tourism Australia?

Answer: Despite his prominence in the NSW Liberal Party, Scomo got dropped quicker than a turd burger in Macdonalds.  Nobody is talking and sod all folk are asking.

3.  What the fuck is the deal with Anthony Albanese?

Answer: Maybe he got dusted in the snap.  Maybe Labor politicians need to embrace the left.

4.  If Elvis faked his death, would he have died for real by now.

Answer: Statistically, it is extremely likely.

5.  Why has everyone forgotten Trump was friends with Epstein.

Answer.  See question 1

2019 Barfly Top Tens: The Barman

barman and fansIn no particular order, The Barman’s Top 12 albums of 2019:

“So I Could Have Them Destroyed” – The Hard-Ons (Music Farmers)
You could say “What a comeback!” but only if they’d really gone away. So much variety yet it hangs together so well.

“The Devil Won't Take Charity” - Kim Volkman and the Whiskey Priests (Beast Records)
Kim and his band have that Stonesy-Keef vibe down pat. Raunch and roll.

“Mystery Train” – Chickenstones (Crankinhaus Records)
Sydney’s best kept secret. Doc might be driving the bus but Preacher Phil really steps up. Soulful and abrasive tunes played with heart.

“Shake Yer Popboomerang Vol 3” - Various Artists (Popboomerang)
Some of the material back-tracks but it’s a collection of rolled gold. Aussie power pop for the ages. 

“Black Door” – The Volcanics (Citadel)
High-energy, passion and variety. Their best to date. The Volcanics are truly a world class band.

“The Aints! Play The Saints” - The Aints! (Fatal Records)
Will we ever see their faces again? Maybe. Maybe not. This is a white-hot snapshot of what they delivered live.

“Ann Arbor Revival Meeting” - Scott Morgan’s Powertrane featuring Deniz Tek & Ron Asheton (Grown Up Wrong)
As historical artefacts go, this is as good as they get. It’s a generously appointed re-issue of a stellar, all-star show.

It's never too late to go back to school

river of snakesRaul in River of Snakes. Uncredited Facebook photo.

“I talk to a lot of people and musicians in rock’n’roll and they have a real resistance to it. ‘Why do you want to do that?’” laughs Raul Sanchez.

The object of Sanchez’s peers’ derision is his recently awakened interest and understanding in music theory – at first glance, anathema to the three-chord rock’n’roll style he’s explored and exploited as guitarist in Magic Dirt, Midnight Woolf and River of Snakes.

“Learning music theory blew my mind. I’ve known major and minor chords, but I’ve never really knew how they came from, how they worked, how they interacted, functional harmony, things like that. I just wondered ‘How the hell did we get by all those years writing songs without knowing this shit!’ You just grab that and that and say ‘Yeah, that sounds good’.”

A baker's dozen of memorable powerpop

dromana ramaDromana-Rama - Little Murders (Off the Hip)

Hello I-94 Bar Readers , well with all the bushfires and a shit Government ain't it good that there is music to take your mind this horrific summer. Folks, here is a worthy distraction

“Dromana Rama” is a pure pop sounding album with a nod to those old English mod bands. Little Murders were formed in 1979 by Rob Griffiths have a rich history in old Victoria as those who have followed the local music landscape can tell you.

What they did on their holidays

la banda en espanaLa Banda en Espana - Leadfinger (self released)

What does an Australian band that’s revelling in Spain’s delights (not the least of which is the populace's love of Real Rock and Roll) do on a day off from a European tour? Go into a studio and slap down some tracks, of course.  

This six-track EP, committed to tape/hard drive in 2017, is the result of that and represents the first stirrings from the Leadfinger camp for more than a year, following band leader Stew Cunningham’s successful fight against cancer.. Fuck, it’s great to have him - and them - back.

“La Banda en Espana” sounds like the band was having a ball. It's not meant to be too serious. It's not going to make them rich. 

Sympathy For The Rebel

 

old habits die hardOld Habits Die Hard - Junkyard (Acetate Records)

It ain't no easy gig being a rock 'n' roll singer.

I'm re-reading that old hardback Steven Tyler book I bought second hand at a thrift store for two dollars, 10 years ago, for entertainment purposes right now. When I'm not busy doing stuff, because I'm at that time of year where every stray dime must go towards providing the impossible Santa haul for kids brought up in a capitalist culture of insane competition and peer pressure and mandatory conforming to the never ending juggernaut of acquisition and updating and unboxing and having the latest special edition gizmo and gadget and sports celebrity running shoe.

Guerillas don't monkey about with labels

equation of lifeEquation of Life - Urban Guerrillas (MGM)

Ever been in a position where you didn't know what to expect when a disc landed in the CD player? That’s often a good thing. My preconceptions of Sydney’s Urban Guerrillas as inner-city, squat-dwelling, agitprop punk preachers are somewhat passe, and almost abandoned after a couple of spins.

The UG sound is more folk-pop than punk rock these days, and the concerns of the seven tracks on the “Equation of Life” EP are mostly universal. Not that the band was ever stuck in one sound. There’s a splash of Celtic pipes in “Divine Image” (a William Blake poem set to music) and “What I Wish For” sets out a societal manifesto with a stab of mandolin in its mix.There’s also enough chugging guitar and urban angst in “Claustrophobia” to light up a street-full of terrace houses in Erskineville.

All the girls in town

baby 8 penny ikingerBoutique label Fantastic Mess Records are indulging their romanticism with vinyl singles once again with the release of a split double A side 7” featuring Melbournes staples Penny Ikinger and Baby 8. 

The single will be launched at Th Old Bar at Fitzoy in Melbourne from 6pm on Sunday, December 8. The first 30 punters receive a free copy of the single. Support will be riot girl goths Plaster of Paris..

Sonic chanteuse, guitar ace and primal mistress of pop, Penny Ikinger, covers her favourite Oz rock song of all time, the Divynls classic “Boys in Town”, which she christened with a live outing at the rcent “Boys in Town‘- A Celebration for Chrissy” event to mark the occasion of what would have been the late Chrissy Amphlett’s 60th birthday. 

Proceeds from this event were donated to the Olivia Newtown-John Cancer, Wellness and Research Centre.

Baby 8 is a hard hitting power-pop five-piece band creating quite a rumble. A recent support to Gang of Four at The Croxton Hotel, Melbourne, left their audience wanting more. They play with strength, passion and attitude with some seriously powerful riffs and tunes reminiscent of the 90’s riot grrrl era.

Baby 8 features Kat Karamitros on vocals, Katie Dixon (Powerline Sneakers) on guitar and vocals, Jacqui Brown on guitar, Maureen Gearon on bass and vocals and Matty Whittle (ex GOD) on drums. 

 

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