St Valentine’s Day Massacre - Baby MachineVee Bees (self released)
The pairing of Wollongong’s female tearaways Babymachine with Queanbeyan-via-the-Gong-and-inner-western-Sydney yobs The VeeBees for this three-song, 10-inch EP fell out of a Lemmy tribute bill a few yars ago on which both bands appeared. It’s a match made, not in heaven, but the back bar of the Sunset Strip's Rainbow Bar and Grill.
Taking a leaf out of the book written by Motorhead and Girlschool, “St Valentine’s Day Massacre” mixes the bloodlines, if not the bodily fluids, of two bands with a similar spirit. The result is a song by each act and one joint effort. Babymachine tackles “Bomber” while the VeeBees put paid to Girlchool’s “Emergency”. The A side, “Please Don’t Touch”, is a lesser-known Johnny Kidd and the Pirates number.
Son of The King b/w Elvis’s Lip - The Secret Buttons (Fancy Time Records)
This is an offering from a Perth trio that’s a couple of years old and came out a similar period after the very cool debut EP of 2016, “Some Buttons Should Never Be Pushed”. It’s a savage beast of a seven-incher, a two-headed behemoth that’s equal parts ragged and righteous.
“Son of The King” rides a rollercoaster riff before an affirmation of superiority befitting someone who's lucky enough to drive a Chevrolet. There’s enough bravado in this one to rival, oh, the Psychotic Turnbuckles, even if it is tongue-in-cheek. Set against a grinding feel, the tough rifferama really lights it up.
Je T'aime Moi Non Plus b/w Je T'aime Instrumental - Steve Lucas & Joey Bedlam (Radio Rocks)
This is the I-94 Bar Singles Bar, isn't it? "Je T'aime Moi Non Plus" (translated: "I love you no more") is a lovingly-crafted cover of the Serge Gainsborough song he wrote for for Brigitte Bardot, sung by X's Steve Lucas and his better half Joey Bedlam, most notably of Dollsquad.
Everybody from Kim Salmon and the Surrealists to Nick Cave and Anita Lane, TV siren Abigail and Bob Downe has had a lash at "J T'aime", so it would be a pity if you had to self-isolate and not have the chance to sing along with your own nearest and dearest and steam up some windows.
It's a faithfully-rendered version and a million miles from X, but it's also a bunch of fun. Flip the sucker over and there's an instrumental version that you can karaoke with or record along to. Grab a copy at Bandcamp and see the uncensored cover that Facebook banned.
Tall Order b/w Something Inside - The Fangin’ Felines (Evil Tone)
It’s no tall order to like this brace of sassy and smart tunes from The Fangin' Felines, who come from Wollongong south of Sydney. There’s just the right blend of bawdy garage rock rawness and girl group sweets to rattle almost any I-94 Bar barfly’s cage.
“Tall Order” is catchier than a Chinese bat virus after a side order of snakeskin soup in a Wuhan roadside diner. It coms out all guns blazing on the back of a Jerry Nolan beat and a brash Carrie Phillis vocal, aided and abetted by fullsome harmonies and some coo-ing and whooping. Morgana Ancone’s deft guitar adds a light touch.
Flip the sucker over and “Something Inside” is another winner. An undulating melody and a rolling feel nail this one to the floor with the Felines again showing the value of solid live gigging and knowing their way around a studio. Not as immediately addictive but you'll get hooked soon enough.
Surely a full-length album is only a formality? Meanwhile, grab this while it’s still available. The purchase link is below.
Buy it on Discogs
Black Interceptor b/w Bee-Music - 50LgE (Rare bone Records)
Ensconced in sub-tropical Far Northern New South Wales - where the hippies are numerous and the sheep would be scared if they weren’t so mellow - 50LgE is a band that clearly likes to do things its own way.
You’d issue your debut single as a 12-inch slice o’ vinyl, right? Cheap to ship (not). Although the included download card is a nod to modern technology, that’s a lot of vinyl to hold two songs and the run-out groove goes forever. 50LgE have their own DJ cranking garage rock tunes between sets, and also boast their own brand of beer. Now you’re talkin’…
First, the intros: This is a garage rock-influenced trio whose number includes ex-The Eastern Dark drummer Geoff Milne, bassist DB (ex-The Tellers - from Brisbane) and guitarist Tone Changer, whose own cv includes a spell in the Psychotic Turnbuckles back when he was a kid. So you know that two of them have had the good sense to get out of Dodge (aka Sydney) and make a tree change.
Laughing Up a Storm - Baby 8 b/w Boys In Town - Penny Ikinger (Fantastic Mess Records)
This is a double A sided single from two of the best female-fronted/dominated and/or comprised outfits in Melbourne town.
First to Baby 8 and “Laughing Up a Storm” which is brassy and bold, over-the-top pop. It’s immediately appealing with its rambunctious three-part harmonies with sax and trumpet parts kicking up a storm. A lick of synth casts an oddness into the soundscape that befits this vengeance song. There’s a sharp lyrical turn that’s like the twist of a knife and Kat Karamitros sells the vocal like she means it. Wonderful. Don't cross her.
The late Chrissy Amphlett was a mentor to Penny Ikinger and she brings plenty of conviction and feeling to her cover of Divynils’ “Boys in Town”. Three guitars give it more crunch than the radio-friendly original single, with Penny’s guitar howl leaking through the more conventional attack of Julian Heid and Sam Billinghurst-Walsh. Not content to sound just like the original, Penny and Co have bent the song out of shape, just so.
It’s the usual Fantastic Mess run of other clear-spattered or ruby red vinyl in a limited pressing. Grab it here.
1/2 - both