pub rock - The I-94 Bar

Glory Days of Aussie Pub Rock Vol 2 - Various Artists (Festival)

glory days vol 2Another 90 Oz Rock songs for 20 bucks. Can’t go wrong, eh?

This is Festival’s second “Glory Days” offering and it’s inevitably subject to some “mainstreaming”. There’s more chart action and a sprinkling of what might be regarded as lesser-known tracks or rarities, although you could argue they’re skewed from a Melbourne perspective. It's the lesser-known cuts that make this collection tolerable. 

King Hit - Sons of Jaguar (Conquest of Noise)

king hitWoolgoolga is a town on the New South Wales North Coast, and Sons of Jaguar have been making quite a noise around the pubs of that wonderful part of Australia for the past year or so. "King Hit" is their debut album  recorded in two days and laden with some fine twin turbo guitar riffs, wonderful bass playing and drumming. 

This is one fine album.

So, I-94 Bar users and abusers, things kick off with a sonic fuzz blast in the guitar riff of "Park Beach" - and you just know things are about to get wild. "Dead Beat Dad" is a classic driving guitar song that is just awesome, and the break in the middle off this tune is just a groovy '60s sound. This song is worth the price of admission alone.

Strange bedfellows and guilty pleasures

glory daysIt’s not every day you see bands from Australian underground rock’s halcyon days (that’d be the ‘80s) rubbing shoulders with mainstream chart-toppers but that’s what’s looming.

“The Golden Days Of Aussie Pub Rock” is the first volume of a series through major label Festival/Warner that boasts four (count ‘em) CDs of Down Under backyard barbecue listening fodder.

Cool lesser lights like Sydney’s suburban pop-rockers The Lonely Hearts (“The Spell”), the unstoppable X (“Dream Baby”), The Numbers (“The Modern Song”), The Hitmen (“I Don’t Mind”), Huxton Creepers (“I Will Persuade You”) and the Screaming Tribesmen (“A Date With a Vampyre”) sit alongside heavyweights like Jimmy Barnes, Mental As Anything, The Angels, Cold Chisel and (gulp) Boom Crash Opera.

But wait, there's more. Boys Next Door, Sunnyboys, The Elks, The Boys and XL Capris fly the flag for independent bands. Stevie Wright, Finch, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs and Angy Anderson (no, not “Suddenly”, thank fuck) represent the old guard. 

The 91-song package includes comprehensive liner notes, with a track-by-track commentary and essay by key ‘70s Australian RAM magazine founding editor Anthony O’Grady. It’s out on April 1.