Dion Lunadon - Dion Lunadon (Agitated Records)

dion lunadon LPIf you hear a noisier, more brutal yet musical album this year, call your lawyer and sue Mitsubishi for opening a car plant in your backyard. 

Dion Lunadon used to be Dion Palmer, bassist for New Zealand-via-The-Lower-East-Side rockers The D4 back in the 1990s. He’s been living in New York City for the last 10 years, playing bass for abrasive noise merchants, A Place To Bury Strangers (APTBS). This eponymous LP is his first solo venture. 

There are elements of Kraut rock, hard rock, noise rock, psychedelic rock and almost everything that can be appended to rock on this record. It’s full of ideas to the point of near overload. Apparently written as a cathartic release after rigorous touring with APTBS, it reeks of grime, sweat , post-road angst and not a little desperation.

Neath A Shin Ei Sun - Neptune Power Federation (Erotic Volcano Records)

neptune albumGoblins shit me. Witches and bats, too. The intrinsic silliness and - now, let's be honest - pomposity in the most excessive heavy metal music bred in me a disdain for much of that musical form from a very young age. So where does a band with a garish album cover with a skull wearing a helmet adorned by stag horns stand?

Good question.

Imagine a woman in gothic chiffon dress and Melbourne Cup headpiece singing in front of a band that’s a cross between a metallic version of Funkadelic, Fu Manchu and Sabbath.

Two Hundred Years - Cub Callaway and The Revolutionnaires (Dominion Records)

two hundred years cubcallawayWant the short version? A collection of veteran, all-star Australian underground luminaries (and one bankable Hollywood star) make a thought-provoking and at times surprising album, packed full of solid songs.

You deserve better than that, and so does "Two Hundred Years". So try this: Playing "Two Hundred Years" is like digging through an attic full of relics and finding things you remember, and things you never found the first time.

Mainman Bruce “Cub” Callaway should require no introduction but a few of you may have been sleeping, so here goes: He’s a former member of The Saints (post-Ed) who toured Australia extensively in the early '80s with The Bard, Bailey, and his merry men.

Strange Birds - Giant Moths (self released)

giant moths EPA 30-minute EP. Four songs. Melbourne band. Bring ‘em to your town. However…caveat emptor, baby.

The Giant Moths ain’t for everybody. They are, frankly, a little peculiar, and rather endearing. I’ve heard this EP quite a few times since it was thrust into my hands, and I tell you now, not only is it a grower as well as an immediate smacker, you’ll seek out Giant Moths to see them live not just once, but over and over.

I’m sure the band would not be happy if I were to imply that the band is Andrea Scarlett’s baby - and I suspect that the rhythm section described on the back cover, the lynchpin of the outfit, would be at great pains to protest.

Spine 96 - Spine 96 (Off the Hip)

spine 96What a great cover! I mean, what a fucking great cover! And the inside is really interesting too. Now for the music. 14 songs of it.

I had no idea what to expect other than it’s on Off the Hip, and that apparently there’s a Green Circles connection, they’re from Adelaide, and this was recorded 20 years ago and there will be no reformation, no live gigs. There’s also no bio, no lyric sheet, no other info bar a negative-style image of the band, so … if I get these lyrics wrong, blame the band. Bastards. 

So you’d better dig it ‘cos this is all there is.

Original 7” Tracks /Demos LP - ME 262/Trans 262 (Buttercup Records)

me 262Most serious musicians would have an aneurysm if someone wanted to release recordings from their callow youth. They’ll tell you they’ve been hidden in a sock drawer for 40 years for good reason, and that demo recordings are just that. 

Of course, people with OCD, completists and the truly curious and/or obsessed - and any or all of these descriptors could apply to most of us - vehemently disagree. This release from the amazing Buttercup Records label in Melbourne satisfies our shared jones.