Live album is a fitting testament to Les Thugs

les thugs parisLive Paris 1999 – Les Thugs (Nineteen Something)

The first overseas signing for soon-to-be famous label Sub Pop, championed by Jello Biafra and Greg Shaw, and one of the few French bands to tour relentlessly around the USA, Les Thugs deserved to be more than a blip on the world’s music radar. 

You could go broke collecting the back catalogue of Les Thugs. It’s all out of print and the rarest of it fetches biggish money on eBay. The band lasted from 1983-99 and bounced around on various labels. This album is their 10th and  documents a show on their farewell tour of their homeland.

The sound of Les Thugs – named for the 12th Century Indian brotherhood of the ThuggeeThuggee who used to kill the rich for their money, not your standard bovver boys - is a few steps removed from their punk rock beginnings when they were formed, DIY-style, by brothers Eric and Christophe Sourice. It’s dense and intense, two guitars with enveloping harmonics and textured bass-lines.

Stick a fork in it, I'm done

bbq haqueBBQ Haque - BBQ Haque (Spooky Records)

There’s a term we’ve been debating at home recently: Disassociative. Apparently it describes a state of existence where consciousness is disassociated from physical and ordinary psychological presence.

Some drugs are disassociatives; not sure what the others are (associatives?). According to a friend, if you have a series of late nights, coupled with a day job, you can become disassociated. I thought that was just being over tired, but never let critical assessment get in the way of a specious pseudo-medical term.

I’d describe Melbourne instrumental-psych-garage band BBQ Haque as transcendental; maybe they’re disassociative. Either way, you can get lost in BBQ Haque. But you’re not really lost, you’re just on a different plane. It’s a plane with a dusty spaghetti western edge ("Chilangos de los Chios’" and mesmerising beats and psychedelic chants. You’re dragged in, wide-eyed, devoted to the cause, if only you knew what it all meant.

Sonny Vincent teams with Pentagram, ex-Stooges member for new album

 
Eternal punk rock outsider Sonny Vincent is re-emerging after years off to manage the fall-out of a family tragedy with a new group, The Limit, comprising members of the Stooges, Pentagram and infamous Portugese metal band Dawnrider,  Their album "Caveman Logic", comprising Vincent-penned songs, will be released via Finnish label Svart Records on April 9 and can be pre-ordeered here.
 
For the unitiated, Sonny Vincent is a proflific solo artist and played with culy CBGB and Max's Kansas City band Testors as well as people like Scott and Ron Asheton, Bobby Stinson, Spencer P Jones and Mo Tucker.  Vincent is joined by Pentagram singer Bobby Liebling, singer and main-man of Pentagram, Jimmy Recca (the Stooges, and New Order), guitarist Hugo Conim on Guitar and João Pedro Ventura on dums
 
 

Your Gray matter knows it makes sense

sensible gray cells

Long term denizens of this scurvy establishment will need no introduction to the names Captain Sensible (nee Ray Burns) and Paul Gray.  If there was such a thing as punk rock royalty (and I’m against it on general principle), these guys would at least be Grand Dukes or Princes or some such.   

For those of you who are slumming it, Captain Sensible is the more fluorescent face of The Damned.  His beret and toilet mat jumper has besmirched the covers of a good many picture covers of hit singles, including a surprise run as a solo star. 

Paul Gray came to the world’s attention with fellow graduates of the class of ’76 Eddie and the HotRods.  Paul has also had three runs as bass player in the Damned and the kind of resume that would have you blushing with jealousy. He played on Johnny Thunders’ “So Alone” so don’t you go comparing resumes.  He’s Paul Gray and you’re not. 

Chesshire's new Dive Bombs clip is Right On

One of our favourite Aussie rock and roll cartoonists, Rick Chesshire, is a man of many talents - as this filmclip for "Right On" by Melbourne three-piece The Dive Bombs shows. The Dive Bombs are a new-ish band whose members have a solid pedigree and their releases so far have all been digital and are on Bandcamp. Check them out on Facebook and hit up Rick here for your cartooning, artwork and filmclip needs. 

Richard Duguay's sonic magnificence evokes rock and roll's real spirit

badjujuBad Juju – Richard Duguay (self released)

"My empire lay in ruins..."

"You don't know if you're lost or found.."

Oh, my stars and garters! Richard Duguay is amazing! I don't get around much, anymore, ya know, I'd seen some pictures of the dude online here and there where he looked like a distant relative of Andy McCoy and Willie Deville, but I'd never heard his music until very recently and I'm a diehard fan, already.

An ex-member of Canadian band Personality Crisis and now based in Los Angeles, Duguay makes exactly the kinda music my friends and I loved growing up, when I worked at a hick record store in the middle of a midwestern cornfield and our vintage turntables and ghetto blasters were always spinnin' Dogs D'Amour, the NY Dolls, Hanoi Rocks, Bowie, Iggy, Cooper, ancient Aerosmith, all that kinda stuff.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Donat Tahiraj

donat 2020DONAT TAHIRAJ
Owner of Phase 4 Records and Cassettes store and the LCMR Records label
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 

There’s no need to explain what a slightly weird year 2020 was. Sadly and for my back pocket’s sake, Phase 4 Records had to close for most of Autumn which meant I wasn’t as often held captive by some stinky guy banging on about the greatness of some rockist act they read about in "The Wire" at the top of their voice scaring our innocent customers away while I desperately needed to go to the toilet.

Our record label LCMR managed to squeeze out only three 7” EPs for the year – one by a hopelessly obscure Toowoomba punk group, Brian, and two by Xiro, the Brisbane band of the early post-punk era who should’ve gone on to have a great international career but decided not to for the sake of art; or something.

It was a great pleasure putting them all together for those who were all too familiar and the ones who were brave enough to try some music that was completely unknown to them.

These Glycereens shine brightest on their D4 cover

neon city lightsNeon City Lights b/w Get Loose – The Glycereens (Evil Tone)

‘Tis a taster for the forthcoming album from this well-credentialled Brisbane unit with past members of Boondall Boys, Mad Macka and Happy Times. You don’t expect bands to lead with their best track so the assumption is that it's is a flag for what’s to come with the top shelf stuff held in reserve. “Neon City Lights” isn’t bad but drags a tad and doesn’t really go anywhere, and falls short of the poppier songs that dotted the first album, “Hangin’ On”.

There’s major love, however, for the B side “Get Loose”, a cover of a rune from the late New Zealand band The D4, where The Glycereens' brand of fuzzed-out, bubblegum punk really shines. Vocalist Heli Puhakka brings an appealing vocal blend of snot and cool to the party and her and Sol M Robinson’s guitars create a block of buzzing fuzz that’s fit to singe ears. The engine room sounds brutal on this, too. There are still copies on black vinyl here. 

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Take me to the river

sleight of hand Sleight of Hand – River of Snakes (self released)

The fuzz pedal is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century - and Melbourne’s River of Snakes sound like they have shares in it. Let’s hope that canny investment buys the three members a mansion each in the exotic locations of their choice.

The band has been around for a decade. The commercial music world may have moved in a wholly different direction since then, but their sound has stayed firmly rooted in the share-house, college radio universe of the ‘90s…a time when guitars were king and punk - or whatever you wanted to call it - briefly looked like it might drive a stake through the heart of blandness. Of course, that ridiculous but romantic notion was not to be…   

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