babeez - The I-94 Bar
You have to hand it to the guys at Melbourne label Buttercup Records - they do vinyl re-issues right. Their latest effort, paying homage to seminal Melbourne 1977 punks Babeez, might be their most audacious yet.
An LP that encompasses all the band’s known studio recordings is one thing - producing it in limited editions with tailored covers is another.
If you were a member of a band who was about to drop off the twig and wanted somebody to preserve your contribution to music for posterity, you’d want the job done by Scotti and John from Buttercup Records.
The boutique vinyl-only label from Victoria, Australia, packages music like nobody else. The latest effort is a seven-inch re-issue of News, the Melbourne band formerly known as Babeez, who neatly straddled the punk rock and art camps of the late ‘70s. It pairs the 1978 “Dirty Lies” b/w “Chop Chop Chop” single with the previously unreleased “H Division Bash” and a scorching live “Mainline Honey” as a 33rpm EP.
Reissues of obscure 1970s and ‘80s worldwide punk rock are not uncommon. It seems that not a week goes by that some little-known band from the era getting a reissue of their rare $600+ single.
Sadly, IMHFO, most of the bands were pretty ordinary at the best of times…lacking guts, originality, style or any other characteristics that can make olde time punk so great. These two releases here are the minority. If you call yourself a punk grab these pronto.
The Babeez 7” is brought to by Melbourne label Buttercup Records who have also issued titles by The Meanies, The Chosen Few and Deathwish. The Babeez were one of those great Melbourne punk bands from 1977 whose three-song single “Nobody Wants Me” is right up there with Razor, Rocks and The Leftovers in the Aussie ‘70s punk gold stakes.
This three-song single includes two early versions of songs from the first 45 and to hear them in this even more stripped down sound is a treat. It sounds like a well-captured four-track recording. The guitars are not as prominent as the versions on the first 7” but it’s great to hear the vocals as clearly as this.
Do you have even the slightest interest in the early Australian punk scene? Are you looking for an excuse to your drop hard-earned on a lovingly-packaged, beautifully rendered piece of long-playing vinyl? Look no further.
Melbourne’s Babeez grew out of glam rock, parties, 5/4 rhythms and the arty Carlton music scene of the mid-1970s. Their epiphany came with hearing the Ramones’ first album. They never fit the punk mould - whatever that was in a confused Australia that absorbed “the real thing” by way of tabloid TV and sea mailed magazines that arrived months after trends had been and gone overseas.