Shy Impostors – Shy Impostors (Citadel)

shy impostors shy impostorsIt came out with bugger-all fanfare five months ago, to coincide with the band’s one-off Sydney reformation on a Sunnyboys undercard, so it’s high time this one was passed around the I-94 Bar for a critique. 

You might know the back story but too bad: Shy Impostors were fronted by uber talented vocalist Penny Ward and contained future Sunnyboys Peter Oxley and Richard Burgman, plus Michael Charles, who would go on to the Lipstick Killers and Screaming Tribesmen. Not much shyness about that lot and no impostors among them.

Hush The Mountain - Sabrina Lawrie (Pig City)

hush the mountainIf you’re not from Brisbane, you might be justified in asking: “Sabrina Who?” If you are from Brisvegas and you're still in the dark, shame, you need to get out much more. The rest of the world? You just need to pay attention.

Sabrina is well known in her home town and its small but vibrant live scene as a performer and band booker. She used to put bands through the much loved (and regrettably defunct) Beetle Bar. Her own Sabrina Lawrie and The Hunting Party is an ace band that I’ve been lucky enough to see, and she’s also dipped a toe in the water by playing in Los Angeles. 

Super Natural - Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind (Hound Gawd Records)

super naturalYou really don’t want to read another review masquerading as a song-by-song description of an album you’ve never heard? Good. You’re not going to get one.

Drop your preconceptions, too, if you’re a fan of the late great Jim Jones Revue.They’ve been dead and buried for close on three years. His other bands, Black Moses and Thee Hypnotics, have been decomposing in their graves for much longer than that. 

Slights Still Unspoken - Voigt/465 (Guerssen)

slights still unspoken smThere was a time when sharp divisions ran like Pacific Rim fault-lines between underground musical factions in Sydney. 

One one tectonic plate stood the Radio Birdman-influenced, leather-clad, guitar warriors steeped in ramalama-fa-fa-fa and the Stooges, on the other an esoteric bunch of people making sounds with synthesisers and other assorted machines. Picket lines were established and few crossed them, unless by accident or if no-one was looking.

Rosalita! - Thee Wylde Oscars (Off The Hip)

rosalita wylde oscarsLet’s not beat around the bush: This is a cracker of a record and the best garage rock album to land in these parts so far in 2017. 

“Rosalita!” (the album) leaps out of the speakers from the get-go with the surging crash-bang-wallop of “Seven Inch Record” and doesn’t let up for 11 more songs. “Rosalie!” (the song) might be an obvious crib of Ricky Nelson’s/The Allusions’ “Gypsy Woman” but who cares? When it’s good as this, stealing’s not a crime - except if you’re Led Zeppelin. 

X-Citations: Best of X and Rarities Vol 1 - X (Radio Rock)

x citations vol1Whatever your view about recent and current line-ups of the band (and there are naysayers of the Rilen-less version), X in their prime were The Real Deal. On a good night, no other act in Australia could match them for raw intensity with an underlying musicality.

There was something dangerous about X and it wasn’t just the lunatics that followed them, leaving a trail of smashed glasses, broken furniture and self-inflicted flesh wounds behind them.

That’s why the 40-year anniversary package of “X-Citations Vol 1” is so welcome. Picking up on the earliest days of X - the four-piece with Steve Lucas on vocals and Ian Krahe on guitar - and pushing through to the end of original drummer Steve Cafeiro’s tenure, this vinyl collection of 14 songs serves as a perfect reminder - or an introduction for the unaware - to their unique music.

5 Album Set (EMI), Plastic Box (Virgin), Metal Box Super Deluxe Edition & Album Super Deluxe Edition (Virgin/ UMC) - Public Image Limited

pil box budgetIn one way, every box here rates five bottles. They’re essential; if not for the music, then the history and their place in it. In another … every box rates between four and five bottles.  Why?

Well, all but two of the PiL albums represented here were patchy. One of those unpleasant truths we must all know (another is the knowledge that some our (many) rock ’n’ roll heroes have been anything but loveable rascals, but thugs of considerable degree who richly deserve four walls and a small barred door with the occasional beating…)

Get Shitfaced With The Onyas & Six! - The Onyas (Swashbuckling Hobo)

shitfacedSome re-issues are blatant money-making efforts and others are a public service. Think of these two as the latter. They’re both on vinyl. No digital downloads.

Dismissing The Onyas as a sub-tropical, Johnny-come-lately version of the Cosmic Psychos does both bands a disservice. Both bands are still going (The Onyas sporadically) and share a member in John McKeering (aka Mad Macka). You might say him joining Cosmic Psychos was inevitable. Some have.  

The Passengers Reimagined - The Passengers (self released)

reimaginedThe talent that stumbled out of the late ''70s Darlinghurst scene in Australia was astonishing: a match for anything coming out of London, New York or Los Angeles. But geography and population density is a fucking bitch.

Even scene bosses Radio Birdman are considered an underground phenomena.  So what chance is there for the small fry?

Meet The Passengers (if you have not already done so.).  Hey.  Make sure you find the right ones because there are some dodgy international acts with the same moniker.  They briefly graced us with their presence as the seventies clicked over.  A gift we clearly we did not deserve because we utterly failed to surrender the charts to them.