Love is Blood - Frenchie's Blues Destroyers (self released)
Hello, I-94 Barflies! Hopefully, you're all well and healthy folks, and with all this self isolation it certainly gives you plenty of time to listen to the music we love.
Sometimes, something comes along and totally blows your mind. Well, ain't that just fine. So if you want your mind blown, you have to get your gloved hands on this fucking masterpiece.
Frenchie's Blues Destroyers are from Austin, Texas, and "Love Is Blood" is full of dirty sounds. It's based on huge guitar riffs and some quality vocals. But this ain't a blues album; this is garage rock meeting pop, with just a dollop of country blues.
The Breadmakers - The Breadmakers (Soundflat Records)
The Breadmakers are a Melbourne institution in a town that has plenty of them. They’ve been peddling their authentic brand of rhythm and blues around the Victorian capital, its environs and various parts of the world since 1989, and their seventh album sounds as fresh as any of its six predecessors.
R&B. Everybody’s on the correct page regarding R&B, right? The term’s been appropriated by the global music machine in recent decades, and applied to bland, largely soul-less genre of soft pap that permeates the airwaves like an insidious virus.
Skin Suit - The Bobby Lees (Alive Naturalsound)
If you were on the cusp of releasing your first "real" record, had US and European tours booked and ran head-first into the current viral shit show, you'd feel like you'd been whacked around the head with the Unlucky Baseball Bat, wouldn't you? Such is the lot of a young band in The Age of The Phlegm Plague.
Upstate New Yorkers The Bobby Lees sound mightily pissed-off on "Skin Suit", but the album was recorded long before Covid-19 was kicking anybody's arse.
The Bobby Lees play snotty, raucous blues thrash with all the rough edges left intact. Little wonder that Jon Spencer produced "Skin Suit" - the band's explosive blues sound is right up his alley.
Rough Trade From Venus - The Secret Buttons (self released)
Their third release, on which the West Australian trio unleashes six songs of dirt-encrusted sonic goodness, each delivered with the subtly of a MyGov website crash.
Remember that lame concoction of a "band" called Wolfmother? Cooked up to ride the global wave of so-called New Rock in the early 2000’s, they were as dangerous as eating a soufflé in the shower. They gave trios a bad name. No wonder they were originally named While Feather. The Secret Buttons are nothing like them.
All I Wanted Was a Kebab - White Knuckle Fever (self released)
Strap yourself in. Or strap it on. It’s going to be that sort of ride.
White Knuckle Fever is Sydney duo Celia Curtis on vocals and Ross Johnston on guitar and everything else. Ross used to be 3kShort in Machine Gun Fellatio and Celia goes by the name Cruella, Lady of Steel, in macabre vaudeville act Circus Bizarre. So they should be easy to find if the cops issue a summons.
In live performance (remember that?) the duo supplements things with loops and the like. On recordings, they sound like a five-headed Hades houndog that's chewing on the scrotum of Satan.
Nervous Breakdown - Destination Lonely (Voodoo Rhythm)
There’s more fuzz on “Nervous Breakdown” than an ageing punnet of strawberries from the back of the fridge a month after their use-by date. The band responsible, Destination Lonely, is described as “three angry men from Toulouse”, and they sound more crankier than one of their countrymen at the end of a crash diet when they’re told by the baker that he's fresh out of baguettes.
Sometimes a large meal is best consumed in a couple of portions and that might be your best approach to “Nervous Breakdown”. It’s 17 tracks long and sometimes all that distortion and primal skronk becomes hard going - like on the 14-minute noise fest “Nervous Breakdown (big band)”.