Why b/w Taxman - The Arctic Circles (Buttercup Records)
Melbourne’s Arctic Circles might be a relative blip on the continuum of the Australian underground scene of the 1980s with a recorded legacy totalling just a rash of compilation appearances, a single and an EP, but those who saw them or have their records swear by them. This cracker of a 45 adds another desirable entry to the discography.
Issued to pay tribute to late drummer Anders Nielsen who passed away in August 2014 at age 50, it was recorded live at the band’s first show (by its original line-up, naturally enough) at the legendary Seaview Balltoom in St Kilda in 1984 and bristles with roughshod beat-pop brilliance.
“Why” is a frantic R & B garage stomper with chunky chording and a fluid beat. The flip is the Mop Tops’ “Taxman” given a leather jacket makeover with Alex Plegt’s scarifying guitar breaks a stand-out. Sound quality is top-shelf and Mikey Young did the ace mastering job.
This is in a limited run of 300 (the first 100 on clear vinyl) on a little Aussie label so you’ll need to be quick to grab it. Hint: That thing under the Martini rating would be a link to the label website.