Brothers in arms

taste for evilTaste for Evil – The Cuthroat Brothers (Hound Gawd)

You’re over all those punk-blues duos? You prefer your blues un-bent, right? And you never want to see red and white stripes again? Think again.

The Cuthroat Brothers are real-life barbers from the US Pacific Northwest city of Tacoma, an area that also spawned The Sonics. One of them (Donny Paycheck) drummed for Zeke. Studio wiz Jack Endino (Mudhoney, Nirvana, Soundgarden) produced this, their second album. 

They sing songs about “blood, death, drugs, sex, black magic (and) bad relationships” and their music is raucous, rough-edged and rambunctious. What’s not to like?

When pop-rock knew no limits

no limitNo Limit: Collected Works 1985-89 – Love Minus Zero (Method Records and Music)

From the Never Quite Made It Department comes this collection of gems.

Love Minus Zero was a Sydney pop-rock band that was around in the mid-‘80s who managed to release some tracks on Waterfront label compilation and a self-titled EP on Citadel spin-off Green Fez before packing their tent.

“No Limit” is a pubic service of sorts, not the least reason being that it serves as a reminder of the embarrassment of riches that was the Sydney music scene 35 years ago.

Two albums full of piss and vinegar

bomber down address to the nation sm

Address to the Nation - Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders (I-94 Bar Records)
Bomber Down - Bomber Down (self released)

“Address to the Nation” and “Bomber Down” come out of the blocks, fiery and roaring, full of piss and vinegar. Tight strong songs, stuff that belongs on the stereo, in the car, loud at parties and annoying pimply neighbours who ruin the neighbourhood and go to bed at 8.30.

“Address to the Nation” is Klondike's fourth long-playing solo band CD; the others, although most readers of this site will have them, were Klondike's North 40: “The Straight Path”; Chris Klondike Masuak “Workhorse”; Chris Masuak and the Viveiro “'Brujita”.and now this all issued by the website you're reading now.

Full Disclosure nonsense: I like Chris too. Also, I knew the members of the immediate precursor to Bomber Down, Phil, Sean, Rob and Tony. Rob and Tony are no longer with us - it's not been a good year.

Lurid Tales of Wrecking and Repose - Cornish Wreckers (ReachesMars)

lurid talesI'll tell you about who these characters are in a minute. But first, “Lurid Tales…” is brilliant.

What a huge sound. Big breakers of broken chords ... huge, ripping silences. God, I'm hooked.

Really, I cannot emphasise this enough, “Lurid Tales…’” is a huge, majestic achievement. It's mature, gothic, simple, complex. And I'll be listening to this not just for weeks, but for years.

“Lurid Tales…” is both not at all what I expected Melbourne’s Michael Plater to be involved in, and exactly what I expect from him. And no, that's not a contradiction.

Twin guitar blasts that make perfect sense

this is warThis is War! Godfathers Live! – The Godfathers (self released)
Vol 4 – The Black Bombers (Easy Action)
The Second Cumming – The Filthy Gypsies (self released)

Twin guitar assault? Tick. The Godfathers have been around, in one form or another, for 35 years or so. There have been many line-up changes - and this one has just been summarily dismissed by the singer, Peter Coyne.

All I'll say is: brilliantly recorded live Godfathers will boot your bonnet. Their later albums are as much a feature as their earlier ones, and boy, do these songs rock and crackle. The band is tight, tight, tight and come at you with pizzazz and panache.

It's Alive 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition - The Ramones (Rhino)

its alive deluxeIt's better than I thought it would be. Sort of.

Once upon a time I lived in a share house with a New Order fan.

Don't you dare pity me.

Anyway, this muffin collected live tapes of New Order. Every time he got one, he'd play it. Loud.

Like I said, don't pity me. I can do that for myself.

The Devil Won't Take Charity - Kim Volkman and the Whiskey Priests (Beast Records)

devil wont take coverKIm Volkman and the Whiskey Priests come from Melbourne. No shock there. Most of the best Australian rock and roll does. And this is a record - like most of them - with a beginning and an end. No shit again, Sherlock. The distinction is that the songs at each end book-end and define what's inbetween - and it's pretty fucking great.

The slightly frayed vocal of opening track "I'm Still Standing (Alive and Well)" and its swaggering, Oz Rock chug suits its survivor sentiment to a tee. And the cover of the Jagger/Richards classic "Silver Train" that closes the album is pulled off with consummate, ragged ease.

Stones and Oz Rock. They're children of the blues. Throw in the inevitable Ian Rilen and the Love Addicts comparison (more on that later) and you'll appreciate how "The Devil Won't Take Charity" nails its colours to the masts.

Free – Iggy Pop (Lorna Vista)

Iggy Pop FreeLet’s get the obvious ones out of the way first, shall we?.

Firstly, after what he’s done in the past, Iggy is entitled to play whatever music he wants. Any outstanding debts have been repaid. In full. And with interest. He can be as indulgent as he wants. Except for that cover of “Michelle”. Or “White Christmas”. Oh boy.

Secondly, if his solo career doesn’t stack up against what he did with the Stooges, that’s almost certainly because most other people’s best work doesn’t, either. Being an ex-Stooge can be both a blessing and a curse. 

Any Port in a Storm - Shark Arm (self released)

shark-armFirst heard this outfit on Big Daddy K's Sydney community radio show (2RR, 6pm AEDT Saturday nights). They'd released a single ("Dog's Breakfast" b/w "Stitched", and I was smitten. So I got in touch. Turns out the band have released an LP, but as so many do, it's virtual at present.

You'll excuse me. Many, many bands show their influences. Sometimes these are subtle or complex. When I first listened to "Any Port..." I thought they were familiar with Chris Walsh's bass in The Moodists ... but no, apparently not. They've taken the bits of bands which have most impressed them, and created ... some sort of powerful monster.

Shark Arm are anything but subtle. They've taken aspects of The Birthday Party - but not the bits the Jesus and Mary Chain took - the violence at gigs, the shriek-y feedback, the singer leaning on the the guitarist onstage, and - of course - the big hair. None of that. Instead, we're looking at a two-piece (drums, and guitar/ vox) who use ugly bass loops, sing clearly about ugly truths, and whose guitarist has learned about space as well as position.