He mighr be embarassed by it being said, but Jim Dixon is the Grand Old Bass Man of Sydney’s rock and roll scene.
Since dropping in as a member of raw Brisbane band The Survivors at the tail end of the ‘70s to relocating and driving the bottom end for The Passengers and many more, he’s been as much a fixture as cold beer and sticky carpets.
Active duty in London with the Barracudas and then back home to play with the likes of Louis Tillett, Penny Ikinger, the New Christs, the Deniz Tek Group and Radio Birdman, Gentleman Jim is omnipresent as both player and punter. Along the way he’s supplemented his music by working in a record store, running his own curry kitchen and, more lately, bussing tourists around Greater Sydney’s natural wonders.
It’s all so obvious and so much more childish than Parliamentary Question Time, but how can you resist a male-female duo called The Sex Organs who dress like they’re named with songs like “Lubrication” and “I Wanna Be a Pussy”? Oh, you can? If you have sufficient taste to push back, you can leave now.
Drummer Jackie and guitarist Bone formed The Sex Organs in 2014 to play European festivals and quickly recorded a single, “Fuck The Human Race”, in Amsterdam’s red light district. They come (pun intended) from somewhere in Europe. This is their debut album and of course it’s on Voodoo Rhythm, the people who peddle “songs to ruin any party”. Or orgy.
It could be as the title says and allude to obsession, but “It’s Psychological” also proves you can make an entire LP from songs about U-boats and shit food and come out winning.
Maybe it’s something in the sub-tropical water or the inexplicably-labelled local beer (that’d be Fourex to you and me) but Brisbane’s small underground rock scene is teeming. HITS are the heavyweights, Mick Medew is the elder statesman, but there’s plenty more happening if you use a coin to rub the panel on the scratch lottery ticket and look underneath.
You might think of it as just another European label re-issuing an American artist’s old work on vinyl - a smart commercial move because nobody in Europe buys albums on CD - if they can help it.But you should consider Hound Dawg Records' engineering the re-appearance of the first record for Pat Todd’s post-Lazy Cowgirls outfit as a public service. Here’s why:
Nothing succeeds like excess and this trio from Melbourne has the concept truly nailed on this seven-track EP, their second release. Studio leakage, a seething fuzz attack and enough strange aural samples to keep it weird, Fortress of Narzod actually turns over new turf in a well-ploughed paddock.
Nailing their colours to the mast of a boat occupied by bands like Sabbath, MC5, Union Carbide Productions and Dead Meadow, Fortress of Narzod comes across as an Antipodean, suburban version of all of the above. No war pigs or bustles in hedgerows here, Fortress of Narzod draws as much inspiration from Michael Moorcock sci-fi novels and video games as doom-laden minor chords.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a record by the re-constituted Godfathers rocks like a motherfucker. There’s plenty of YouTube evidence of recent gigs in packed Pommy pubs to show as much - as you can see for yourself, above.
The real ear-opener comes when you slip an advance copy of the new disc into the player and hear how fresh and true to the sound of the original band that they manage to be.
The Godfathers were built around brothers Peter and Chris Coyne (vocals and bass respectively) when they formed in 1986 and, for a time, they did bigger business in the USA than at home in the UK, where their brand of hard-riffing rhythm ’n’ rock-blues was distinctly on the nose.