There was a pop band inside late ‘70s Melbourne punks News (aka Babeez) and it was desperately trying to break out - just like the creature in "Alien". Molly might not to have wanted to touch them with a barge pole, but here’s the irrefutable evidence of their pop tendencies, thanks to the inventive folks, Scotti and John, at Buttercup Records.
The A side is a melodic punker - a demo, no less - that motors along on two guitars and Gavin Quinn’s sing-song/singalong melody line. "Lemme Alone"could have easily stood up as a 45 in its own right back in the day, but of course Australian punk bands weren’t as prolific as today’s laptop musicians and YouTube heroes.
The flip is another demo - a piano version of the previously released Babeez track “Nobody Wants Me” revived from baked, quarter-inch tape. It’s a starkly bitter-sweet ode to finality that you can take any way you want - and it's distinctly “un-punk” in its delivery if you’re into cliches. Essential, really.
Go here before they run out. The 45 comes in the usual range of limited edition Buttercup variants.
Hello I-94 Bar abusers and users. Well, it's Friday afternoon and the Farmhouse has been rocking to the new EP by Melbourne band Wrong Turn. This rockabilly-garage rock three-piece have just released their wonderful record on Cobra Snake Neck-Tie Records.
Kicking off this mini masterpiece is the title track, a rolling, stomping, rocker that, well, just fucking rocks. Ian Wettenhall (guitar and vocals_ sounds like he is having one hell of a good time. Myles Gallagher pounds those skins (he’s one hard hitter) while Pipon (aka Duane Pipe) on bass keeps the tempo with coolness to burn. Great opening track.
Track two is my personal favorite; “Gimme More” is where Myles’s drumming really stands out. Thumping bass with a stand-out guitar riff. It don't get any better. Oh, and it features an awesome lead break. “Gimme More”? Yes please, gentlemen.
Another one from the archives and it’s not going to last long, with just 200 copies on offer. The three songs come from a New Year’s Eve 1978 show by proto-punks The Chosen Few at St Kilda’s Seaview Hotel (playing with Boys Next Door) and they're punchier than a front bar drunk at footy finals time.
“Get Nicked” is an original - a bare bones rock thumper in the vein of Johnny Dole and The Scabs or Rocks. Minimal chords and a maximised message, it’s catchier than a cold. The Sam and Dave cover features muscular guitar from Bruce Friday, who’s gnawing away on that signature riff like a dog with a marrow bone.
"Giant Lizards on High" b/w "Fresh Meat for Martyrs" - Blurt! (Sartorial)
"Insomnia" - Mark Steiner and his Problems b/w "Six Feet Under" - Mark Steiner and his Problems with Line Saus (Rabben Records)
"Urge" b/w "Milk and Metho"/"Crash"/"318" - The Nuclear Family (Urge Records/VS)
"Knife Edge" - The NJE b/w "Caesar" - Dear Thief (Sartorial)
Today I'm listening to a few singles (instead of cleaning the house for an inspection). Sorry, that's the small vinyls that play at 45rpm.
OK - "records" not “vinyls”.
Now, the beauty of singles is that they carry a stand-alone song, in a format which forces you to pay attention to that one song. For a low-level label or a low-level band - no matter what the rep, you're only as big as your last gig - the single is a signpost, a statement, a declaration of intent.
What a monster of a 45. Two songs of fuzzed-up,slamming ’60s goodness from Germany, wrapped up in a full and contemporary (although not overly so) sound.
Loveland is a vehicle for Lana Loveland, organist for the a lineup of The Music Machine and the now EU-based Fuzztones and the better half of that band’s Rudi Protudi, with whom she has recently birtheed a child. A prog rock lullaby this single is not.
“Stranger Charms” kicks off with a microsecond throb of Rudi Protudi's bass before a wall of crunching, insistent guitar from ex-Fuzztone Lenny Svilar arrives. The song sounds like a cross between the early versions of the Lime Spiders and The Stems. Lana Loveland’s clipped Germanic purr sits perfectly in the middle of the mix while Svilar’s guitar pans left and right.
The aptly-titled “Web of Sound” adds Lana’s pulsing keyboard to the mix and is a nasty slice of acidic punk. Protudi and drummer Oli Freidrich lock in and lay down a sonic bedrock for the other two to add colour. Ms Loveland has an agreeable and authoritative vocal. More serrated edge guitar takes the song out. Again, there are no surprises but so what when it's this great.
Get your mouse pointed at this link and order a copy. I'm off to find myself a copy of the Loveland album that pre-dates it.
It's double A-sided goodness from two of Australia’s best rock and roll bands, issued as a split-single to mark their shows together in Brisbane this weekend.
Melbourne’s Powerline Sneakers contribute “Miles of Love”, a harder-than-diamonds snarler from their “disasterpiece” long-player. Sly Faulkner’s soulful plea for his other half to come back is pitched against a background of his and John Nolan’s muscular guitars snaking in and out of each other’s pathways. Its lingering feedback outro is a signal to play it again.
Some Jerks have won a rep as Brisbane’s premier “surf garage rock” trio to see and “Star” is what you’d expect on the back of their “Strange Ways” LP. It sounds very ‘90s college radio (in a good way) without any false production veneer. It has an ethereal vocal and slinky bass-line from band-leader Vicki Watson and enough collective energy to light up the old Lang Park.
It’s the usual Buttercup deal (colour inserts, limited hand-numbered edition, this time just 300 copies.) Get it at the shows or drop the label a line.
Powerline Sneakers and Some Jerks play the Bearded Lady in Brisbane with Slumlawwd on Friday, August 31. Buy tickets here because Some Jerks shows there always sell out. Powerline Sneakers play an in-store at Sherpa Records in Brisbane on September 1.