It’s About…Love - The Lonely Dogs (self released)

thelonelydogs loveAnd it’s about rock and roll. Eleven tracks of it from a French four-piece from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in the country’s south-east.

Many people say French garage bands can’t cut it because they weren’t brought up on rock and roll and lack that attack and swing that sorts the great bands out from the pretenders. There’s no rock without roll.

That might be true for many of them but there are exceptions to the rule. As rock and roll is pushed further down the cultural mine-shaft, the really good ones struggle up into the daylight. Which is what The Lonely Dogs have done.

Brat Farrar III - Brat Farrar (Off The Hip)

brat farrar iiiIt’s his third minimally-titled, full-length offering and Brat Farrar has toned down the electro sounds and gone straight for the throat with guitars at warp speed. It’s more raw, edgy and melodic punk-cum-stoner rock with a true DIY spirit shining through.

Brat (aka Sam Agostino) was half of Digger and The Pussycats and a third of Kamakaze Trio. He might bill himself as a bedroom musician but he’s still to be seen performing in his home city of Melbourne and in Europe, where Digger and The Pussycats had carved out a fan-base. Farrar is nothing if not prolific, churning out a dozen releases in varying formats, and plays everything on his records.

Crowd Surfing With The Molting Vulures: The Best Of - Molting Vultures (Off The Hip)

molting vulturesNo less than Psychotic Turnbuckles elder statesman The Grand Wizard provided the good oil about this Adelaide band, who remain largely unheard outside their home town and more enlightened parts of Melbourne.

You might be surprised, then, to hear that The Molting Vultures have been going since 2004 and have four albums under their belts. “Crowd Surfing” picks the eyes out of the albums and presents them on one disc, with a couple of newly-recorded songs thrown in.

Stinkwhistle - Fear and Loathing (EC Productions)

stinkwhistleBiased? No, I'm not biased. Why do you ask? See, Adelaide's Fear and Loathing (aka FAL) is the band everyone should see, experience or endure, at least four times in their lives.

First gig: At the sight of a bunch of late 40-somethings making what they sometimes call music and what everyone else calls punishment, you will feel an uncontrollable urge to get extremely drunk. You will not remember getting home.

Second gig: Still hungover from last time, you turn up because you've realised that you didn't quite take it all in, and they've got this hypnotic scrunch about them. By now you're tapping your toe, occasionally jiggling along gingerly. You find yourself buying the band numerous jugs of pale ale. You find yourself driving home at midday, fairly certain you're going in the right direction.

Glory Days of Aussie Pub Rock Vol 2 - Various Artists (Festival)

glory days vol 2Another 90 Oz Rock songs for 20 bucks. Can’t go wrong, eh?

This is Festival’s second “Glory Days” offering and it’s inevitably subject to some “mainstreaming”. There’s more chart action and a sprinkling of what might be regarded as lesser-known tracks or rarities, although you could argue they’re skewed from a Melbourne perspective. It's the lesser-known cuts that make this collection tolerable. 

Going Back To Wurstville - King Salami & The Cumberland Three (Off The Hip)

wurstvilleThree days, no brakes, something to celebrate. That’s the state I’ve found myself in after constantly playing King Salami & The Cumberland Three. This is what music is all about: Transcending barriers that are put up by the music snobs.

How the hell do you get a Japanese punk joining forces with a French punk and then finding a Caribbean tennis teacher for oral scintillation? Then they come up with a name that covers a love of sausages, calling themselves “the best party band in the British Isles” And they pull it off. How?

The answer is Music, pure delightful music. Music that you dance to. Music that you can surf to. Music that you can chop wood to. Pure music.