NEXT STOP ANTARTICA - The Green Mist (Bang! Records)
The Barman keeps on sending me CDs. I think I’m meant to listen to ‘em and write something about ‘em. There’s a bloody shitload of the bastards lying around here. The last batch arrived without cases, for postal reasons, I’d guess. So I got all these discs, covers and photcopied press releases piled up on the coffee table that does good duty as a music gear dumping place, mixed up with every other CD and piece of paper, speaker leads, candles, maps and my favourite hat.
I managed to fire off one or two reviews. Then I found myself getting a bit too much wired on drinking, so I figured I oughta score some pot to take the edge off. I rocked around in the 4WD ute to see the man and helped him build a stage in his backyard, and as a measure of gratitude, my tenner ended up more like a forty.
Y’know, smoking good bushweed doesn’t do much for one’s sense of initiative. I’ve found myself in this rock and roll band that is gonna be hotshit – so that consumes a chunk of time. And I have the best local pub I’ve ever known! The Glengarry Castle – given that the Hopetoun was my local in ‘90/91, that’s a big call, but I stand by it.
The Hopetoun was great as a local. While folks like YOU were paying $4 for a schooner, I was paying $2 and all I had to do was wave my arm and catch the eye of one of the beautiful barmaids. Almost got in a fight a few times, cos blokes who’d been trying to get to the bar for 10 minutes would see a properly frothed schooner set in front of someone who hadn’t said a word.
Yes, but the Garry’s better. I just spent a couple of hours there this eve, catching up with Jim, Fraser, Margaret, Donna, Col. And I came home and threw this Green Mist CD on again. I’ve been listening to it a lot lately, it’s a great record. Go to the pub, drink beer, have a 40 minute conversation with Johnny about the merits of ‘Ooh La La’, fr’instance, come home, roll a joint and listen to this Green Mist album again. Which is, conceptually, my life for the last 10 days.
It’s got a kind of an Americana sound. Reminds me of a strain of US bands in the mid 80s. Not like the Dream Syndicate, but like a band that might’ve toured with them, a band from Charlotte, NC, say. But there’s a track with an raga sound, another Patti Smith kinda track with a great line “if no-one’s listening then who the fuck pays.”
It’s a rock and roll album. It’s got a countryish inflection. Percussive wicked rhythms. I just scanned the credits, Brian Ritchie’s all over this record. Spencer P Jones and Charlie Owen are on there too. There’s hard-strummed accoustic guitars, squalling leads, and a thundering rhythm section. The band’s PO Box is in Darwin, it was recorded in Melbourne and got finance from Arts Tasmania. Which makes it very Australian in some sense, except that it’s much better than yr average Aust release. And doesn’t sound anything like yr typical Aust record.
Fuck, just go out and buy it. This is one of the best new records I’ve heard this year. - Earl O'Neill
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