Never mind the nostalgia because it's never too loud

tatts adl

Rose Tattoo
Hard-Ons
The Meatbeaters 
The Gov, Adelaide. Friday, April 12 2019
Photos by Somnambulist Dillinger

The morning after the night before I'm trying to make sense of it. My ears are still hissing like a grumpy king brown, so I guess it's time I used earplugs at gigs. 

Here's a question for you. What does Angry Anderson, rough'n'tough rock'n'roller, taste like?

I'll come back to this.

Deep C Divers - The Leftards (Wreckless Records)

deep c diversIf you’ve spent any time in Wollongong, you’ll know it as Sydney’s less pretentious cousin. Much of the music from the onetime steelworks city is the same way. So here’s cheers to The Leftards, your new favourite punk band. 

As a bunch of older dudes from shop-soiled local bands like Bulldoze All Bowlos and The Dark Clouds,The Leftards have no compunction winding things back to the late ‘70s when everybody knew rap was crap and techno was a college where mechanics went to do a trade. This is the second Leftards seven-inch release and puts four inspired songs on a vinyl single.

Buzzy, fuzzy guitars, nagging and damaged vocals, yob humour and social commentary all sit side by side. The sound is a little shambolic - like a loose version of the Misfits - but nobody's shooting for AOR airplay.

.​.​.​For the Worms - All The Weathers (Rough Skies Records)

for the worms2019 is shaping up to be a real terror of a year. Parts of Australia are in the middle of a housing, job and health support crisis and the shit has well and truly hit the fan.

Heads of police are on trial for brutality, while politicians are dragging their feet on whether or not trans people have a right to exist.  Bodybuilders are shooting up strip clubs and a massive methamphetamine epidemic is destroying the lives of vulnerable young people.

Young men with schizophrenia are firebombing punk squats while teaching staff and metro workers are routinely striking, grinding workplaces and services to a halt.  On the street, there are hundreds of young people facing homelessness, violence, unemployment and lack of future prospects.  To them, the future is bleak. 

Despite all this, there are dozens of vibrant young artists creating challenging and unique works that directly tackle the horrendous and wretched world we find ourselves in.  One of those bands is Fern Tree, Tasmania, iconoclasts All The Weathers.

No rear vision for these Straight Arrows

straight arrows demolitionStraight Arrows. 

Straight Arrows

Bananagun

Tote Hotel, Melbourne

Friday, 22 March 2019

I’m not a big fan of the rose-coloured 1960s discourse. Sure, the music’s great, the anti-establishment political rhetoric is inspiring and the fashion iconic. But the 1960s gave the world Nixon and the first incarnation of Reagan the politician, Engelbert Humperdink outsold Hendrix and it was mainly rich white kids (especially men) who had the socio-economic stability to drop out – because they could drop back in again anytime they wanted to.

The 1960s is a mythical idea, not a corroborated historical construct. We want to believe what it was like, because it’s not like that now. Revisionism. Nostalgia. Self-deluded idealism. There was good shit going on, but there’s good stuff going on now. There was plenty of bad, square and nasty stuff going on then, too. More so than the good stuff.

Banangun sounded like they’d crawled straight out of a '60s documentary. Maybe a Nuggets Acid Rock compilation. I hadn’t heard of them before tonight, though later on it was pointed out to me that their main man is Nick from The Frowning Clouds, and then everything made sense.

5-6-7-8-9 is the countdown to new Aints! EP and shows

cover 56789 TheAints lgeAustralia's best old new musical group, The Aints!, are continuing their march to world domination with an EP and more live shows.

Ed Kuepper, Peter Oxley, Paul Larsen Loughhead and Alister Spence have added brass wizard Eamon Dilworth to the band ranks proper and are following up their debut album, "The Church of Simultaneous Existence".

As befits a band summoned to expand on the legacy of Kuepper's fabulous if reluctant punk pathfinders The Saints, the EP will be called "5-6-7-8-9", taking its cue from The Saints’ 1977 four-track release "1-2-3-4".

Click Read More to hear a track.

Silver Space Machine - Purple Urchin (self released)

silver space machineIt’s fuzz-laden and filthy rock and roll and the antecedents of two of Purple Urchin’s three members tells you why.

Guitarist-vocalist David “Spiff” Hopkins was in herbally-inclined Sydney skate-surf punks The Hellmen and treble-toned but righteous Perth rockers The M-16s, while Shayne Macri played bass in aptly-named West Australian band, The Fuzz, in which stellar-throated vocalist Abbe May also cut her teeth.

Purple Urchin come from Dunsborough, a surf town 250 kilometres south of Perth that serves as the gateway to Western Australia’s Margaret River wine region. Like everything else in that part of the world, it’s a long way from anywhere else. Purple Urchin have clearly brought their influences with them.

An intoxicating evening

Mick Harvey Gergely CsatariGergely Csatari photo.

"Nocturnal X"
Mick Harvey and the Intoxicated Men
Gemini 4
Harry Howard and the NDE
Tiamo 3
Primo!
Melbourne Museum, Friday, April 5 2019

Upstairs at the Melbourne Museum hosts a local exhibit, a collage of images, dioramas, reportage and oral testimonies from the city’s post-invasion history. In a corner of the exhibit can be found a movie telling the evolution of post-war Melbourne, from the faceless images of businessmen in John Bracks’ Collins St, 5pm painting, to the vibrant, cosmopolitan metropolis of the present day.

A black and white photo from 1979 shows five youths staring at the camera, sullen, callow, defiant and charmingly obnoxious. The adult voice of one of those rebellious kids talks of the change in Melbourne’s character: Mick Harvey, Boy Next Door, Birthday Partier, Bad Seed. Back in the day, Harvey intones matter-of-factly, the inner-city was a cultural backwater.

This is War! Godfathers Live! - The Godfathers (Godfathers Recordings)

this is warWe all know that band that was “born out of time”. The one that was on the cusp of success and that would/should have become household names given a modicum of luck and better timing. The Godfathers certainly qualify. 

Arising in the UK 10 years after punk’s initial rush and playing a brutal but hook-laden fast R & B, they had a degree of chart success in the US with “Birth, School, Work, Death” and “More Songs About Love & Hate” before leaving their major label for a German indie, peetering out in the 2000’s before a late decade reformation.

Crystal Cuts - Shifting Sands (Spooky Records/Beast Records)

crystal cutsYou might hear a better Australian album this year but I’m not sure I will. “Crystal Cuts” doesn’t have the immediate, dark pop rush of “Beach Coma” but that’s only by a matter of degrees. It works its way into your listening psyche through much more subtle means.

That’s not to say “Crystal Cuts” shouldn’t be occupying airwaves and taking up streaming bandwidth, worldwide. It manages the rare trick of being commercial (whatever that is) and subtle at the same time. Shit, I’d settle for hearing “Would’ve Killed Each Other” over “Hotel California” on the supermarket PA system, as I forage the health and beauty aisle of Coles for razor blades. Safety ones, of course…

The vocal combo of Geoff Corbett and Izzy Mellor makes for a rare treat. Yin and yang. It’s the gnarly, weather-beaten Serge matched with the darkly alluring, slightly diffident Jane. They’re like a Sarah Lee supermarket cake (remember the TV ad with the annoying line about “layer up-on layer up-on layer”? – me neither until now) with a serve of sugar icing atop a crusty old base.

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