Even saves the Queen (and her long weekend regime)

even saves the queenMelbourne’s royal rock’n’pop trio Even - who did include a stonking cover of the Sex Pistols’ "Pretty Vacant” on their recent “Down The Shops” covers collection - reckon that the Queen’s Birthday is worth celebrating. Indeed, they reckon it is their Antipodean duty to do so, especially given that Prince Philip is now no longer around to start the party.
 
But with four shows across the holiday weekend at great venues in the city’s inner north, south, east and west, "Even Saves The Queen’s Birthday Weekend” is not just a celebration of a fabulous public holiday, but of the great rock’n’roll city that is Melbourne.

Even’s Friday to Monday run is gonna provide some right royal rocking with four hand-selected support acts adding a unique flavor to each show.

New Cosmic Country queen Freya Josephine Hollick opens proceedings at the Gershwin Room on Friday, June 11. From then it's the tres glam Imperial Leather, featuring entities from both RRR and PBS-FM at the Westwood on Saturday the 12th; stranded Mississippi-based Canadian-Australian bluesy country singer-songwriter Meghan Maike on Sunday the 13th at the Leadbeater; and melancholy and melodious young trio of singer-songwriters the Folk Bitch Trio on Monday the 14th at the Northcote Social Club. 

Monday's show is a matinee and under-18's are allowed in if accompanied by an adult.

ESPY - GERSHWIN ROOM
Friday 11 June
With Freya Josephine Hollick
Tickets here

HOTEL WESTWOOD
Saturday 12 June
With Imperial Leather
Tickets here

THE LEADBEATER HOTEL
Sunday 13 June
With Meghan Maike
Tickets here

NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB
Monday 14 June (Afternoon)
With Folk Bitch Trio
Tickets here

Eighteen tracks of punk rock goodness

defiled smDefiled! A Heavy Medication Tribute to New Bomb Turks - Various Artists (Heavy Medication)

Can’t profess over familiarity with the back catalogue of New Bomb Turks. Nothing personal, mind you, it’s just that when they were at their busiest back in the ‘90s, there was so much else around. Their potency can’t be disputed.

These Ohio high-energy punks churned out nine (yes, nine!) studio albums until life got in the way and ushered them into semi-retirement, and this tribute record from Polish label Heavy Medication testifies to their take-no-prisoners reputation.

Rember when tribute albums were all the rage, back before the Interwebs became fully embedded in our heads via vaccine-encased 5G chips? They grouped bands of a common mindset and showcased sounds you might not have otherwise heard. Like Spotify without ridiculously microscopic royalties.

Here's a bomb you won't want to defuse

h bomb single smH-Bomb b/w Supersonic Hero - Jupiter 5 (I-94 Bar Records)

First up I confess I only know one of the members, Peter Ross the bass player, and love him and label head The Barman. Even so, I wouldn't say I liked a record just to please them. They know if I didn't like this, I'd (1) tell them, and (2) refuse to review it.

The Barman asked if I wanted to review this. Funny, when friends ask me to review stuff, the paid professional refuses, because if the disc is shit, how do you say it's shit without pooping on your friendship? Also, the Chief Editor or Drunk In Charge will squeak about conflicting interests. Well, for some people that's invariably the case. Our pollies have always had a talent for entertaining us with stories like “I didn't know”, “It was like that when I got here, honest” and “Look, define blackmail...”

You've all been in a similar situation, I'm sure. Perhaps not as a reviewer (nor, indeed, as a blackmailing fuckstick), but maybe rolling out on a Friday or Saturday to see your friend's band and, boy, did they suck the fat one. Thereafter, each weekend until the band thankfully collapses amid acrimony and blame, your excuses come thick and fast, from “her indoors is sick” to “I crashed the car” via “the dog ate my mobile” and “the police found my nightstick”... 

What does this teach us? Apart from the obvious: Get a dog, they're dead useful.

Well. Good thing this 7" is quite the cracker. No idea who these other folks in Jupiter 5 are. Their Facebook page says: “From exploring the outer reaches of the solar system, Jupiter 5 crash land on their home planet. Convened from trace elements of The Conspirators, Thurston Howlers and 69BC they extend their legacy with lashings of '60s and '70s rock.” 

Yeah, well. I'm not a Sydneyite, and I suspect I missed those ex-bands so there's only one thing left to do.Listen to it. 

Is it any good? Does it merit the I-94 Bar Records label hype?

“Supersonic Hero” is dead groovy, in a sort of manic, Rezillos-esque way. Grand-flourish guitars, driving rhythm, perfectly honed vocals, some of which sound like wet sandpaper dragged over glass on Hangover Day. Sounds like they've gone back to their childhood roots, the lot of them, Marvin the Martian vs. Daffy Duck via the MC5 and the Sonics. It's as if 'The Incredibles' never happened.

“Supersonic Hero” will get your heart-rate up and your fat butt waggling across the room in a grotesque parody of a sexual come-on while you stagger about on your gammy leg. The cat will stalk out of the room, tail twitching in disgust (you know that look cats sometimes have as they stomp out of a room? “I knew that deep down you were a childish dork”) while the knocked-about pot plants spray horrible black dirt everywhere. Wouldn't mind a lyric-sheet but that's me, I like lyrics. 

“H-Bomb”: Not many folks write songs with this as a motif anymore. Too scary, what with that population-starving ex-British public schoolboy up north armed and stupid. Sorry, I'm talking Kim Jong Fatbun, not Boris the Bungler of UK.

But the B-52s had the right idea, naming their outfit after a hairdo (in turn named for a nuclear bomber). You know what used to be said about the bomber? It will always get through. Maybe that's what Jupiter 5 are for. To take you from here with it's stupidity and misery and offer a different view through the FunLens. Is this a different vocalist? If not, whoever does the vocals here is super-talented. If so, I hope he looks like the mum in 'Lost in Space' (you know those baco-foil suits?). Yum.

Shout-out to Geoff Lee who recorded this at Sydney’s Zen Studios. All the instruments and vox exactly where they're s'posed to be, recorded loud to be played loud. Bloody clear, well-meshed, bordering on ferocious.

In a nutshell, all is right with the world. Jupiter 5 rock with all the carefully-mapped swish and snap of a flamenco dancer's skirts. Super little guitar solo pieces which dash out, chuck you under the chin before clattering away to briefly seduce some other poor punter. 

In conclusion? I really want to see this outfit - for the same reason we all used to want to see those extraordinary overseas outfits. We'd hear a great single, dash out and buy it, and if the band got to Australia they'd pack out.

If you haven't already got the Jupiter 5 single, if any of the above references resonated, you need to whip out your wallet. It's available for pre-order here.

Oh, and get a dog. They're dead useful and they welcome you home, whereas cats just insist on being fed before fucking off to their real home next door. - Robert Brokenmouth

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This limited edition CD EP rocks. Does anyone remember extended play vinyl seven-inch singles?  When you bought that classic song after hunting through the vinyl racks at Phantom Records or the Record Plant, you would rush home, slap on the A side and flip it over to devour two more tracks on the B side, one of them often a "bonus" not available on the forthcoming album. They'd be bellowing at you from your Realistic brand hi-fi that your parents bought, sometime in the '60s.

I’m sounding quite retro and nostalgic here, but that is the Jupiter 5 schtick. Think gamma rays, "Lost in Space" and B grade science fiction comics. I imagine Robbie The Robot will make an appearance one day. It's all done with a nod to pumping classic American proto-punk and garage rock, and it hits the mark. This is a CD version of the vinyl single, available only at shows with a bonus live track. The seven-inch should be out in June and is available for pre-order here.

The A side is “H-Bomb”. It opens with a bass-line from the tightest of rhythm sections, comprising Peter “The Rock” Ross, who sounds like Ian Rilen if he was playing with The Damned, and James McQuade on drums. James’ playing is hard hitting and has raw punk rock attitude. Together, Ross and McQuade are as solid as the concrete slab under which a Mafia corpse is buried.  The guitars kick in with the wall-to-wall power chording of Angelo Antidormi and tasteful lead guitar from Vince Cuscuma.  Vince is, without question, the Grand Wizard King of proto punk guitar slingers in Sydney. His sound is raw and melodic.

Frontman Jay Younie hits his classic rock vocal stride in the next track, “Supersonic Hero”. The song is punchy and classic three-minute punk that at this stage should have you jumping around the old Realistic stereo now cranked to nine. The CD includes a third song that gives one of their influences a nod. The live take on The Dictators’ “Minnesota Strip” leaves the original in the dust.

It’s a great production and with Geoffrey Lee twiddling the faders on the desk it’s obvious he “gets” the band. The drum sound certainly makes it one best of the sounding records I have heard from Zen Studios. It’s mighty

I know a lot has been made of this band having links to certain credible bands of the Sydney music scene. That shit never impresses me. I always judge a new band on its merits. This band delivers. it is a wild ride and has a freshness and urgency that only a new band can deliver. - Edwin Garland

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Ed's best will come in a box

ed boxFetishists alert! Ed Kuepper is on a vinyl re-issue spree so of course he has to have a limited edition box set. “Behold the Exploding Universe of Ed Kuepper” will contain:

  • 1 x Ed Kuepper Singles LP on green, yellow, blue or black vinyl
  • 1 x Laughing Clowns LP on clear vinyl.
  • 1 x The Aints! LP on red vinyl.
  • 1 x autographed 8” x 10” Laughing Clowns photo by Judi Dransfield Kuepper
  • 1 x high quality Exploding Universe of Ed Kuepper iron-on transfer
  • 1 x The Aints! vinyl sticker.
  • 3 x press releases printed in full colour on quality stock.

Naturally, it will be housed in a beautiful black lift-top box. The run is limited to 100 copies and ships from May 28. You can order exclusively here.

 

Crash-landing in Erskineville

j5 at the moshpitAngelo, Jay and The Celebrity Roadie front up for Jupiter 5.

Jupiter 5
+ 50LgE
The MoshPit, Erskineville
Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Moshpit is such a great venue. Located down the Sydney Park end of Newtown, this is the sort of establishment you would walk past during the day and not even be aware that it existed.

It is, virtually, a corridor with some lounges inside the entrance, a bar, some tables and chairs then the stage. Fantastic intimate vibe with a lot of band memorabilia lining the walls, craft beers on tap and friendly staff and clientele. The Moshpit is currently celebrating three years of operation with many great bands playing - so now you have an extra excuse to visit this iconic venue and check it out.

Fully sick, fully improvised

the plague year. smThe Plague Year – The Vomit of the Universe (self-issued)

Headbangers of the world alert! 

The Vomit of the Universe songs are: "The Plague Year", "Magna Hominum Dercependo", "Shiva Laughs and Smiles" and "Igne Natura Renovatur Integra". The 'A' listed here as playing guitar, bass guitar, drums & synthesizer is our old Adelaided chum Adam Blake, sometime sack-flasher at Hydrocephallus.

Vomit of the Universe, however, is an entirely alternate vehicle, a more directed mindset. Elements of grandiosity which make metal so appealing are used to maximum effect (without over-egging the omelette, as so very many bands do). Yet the approach, and rhythm, reminds me of some Krautrock, as well as opera, and quite a few classical pieces (Shostakovich springs to mind).

Shimmering malevolence

mutator cover smMutator - Alan Vega (Sacred Bones Records)

"Mutator" is Alan Vega's 12th solo album and also his first posthumous record of (apparently) several more to come on Sacred Bones Records.  Vega also released nine collaborative LPs in his lifetime, Suicide a total of five studio and five stand-alone live albums (not including a rather incredible box set). Not a bad innings at all. 

The I-94 Bar’s Bob Short once observed that most people don't get into much music past their 20s, and I agree; and Suicide are a classic example. Of the people who fell head over heels for this outfit when they first heard their first LP (I still remember where and when I heard it, and also when and where I heard a UK bootleg of the Clash support gigs) most seem to rave only about that first LP, but seem unaware of the second, or even the ROIR tape, or any of the band's later LPs.

Of Vega himself, only a handful seem aware of the extraordinary impact his first two (now unavailable) LPs had on the underground, and the overground impact his third, "Saturn Strip" had, particularly in Europe.

Primevals keep powering into their second life

new tripNew Trip – The Primevals (Triple Wide)

Four decades and 11 albums into this caper, Glasgow’s Primevals are doing the rough and ready rock and roll thing as well as anyone, and better than most.

Well into their second life after reformation, their consistency is astounding. “New Trip” was spawned in lockdown, recorded over two fraught months in late 2020 and hit the online racks, via the band's own imprint, early this year.

 

Saturday is blast-off for Jupiter 5

J5 single lgeThe latest release on our own I-94 Bar Records is on sale and it's a killer. It's the debut 45 for Sydney band Jupiter 5, "H-Bomb" b/w "Supersonic Hero" and it's unveiled at The MoshPit in Erskineville, Sydney, on Saturday night. 

Pre-sales of the vinyl are here and come with an instant download of both A sides and a live cover of the Dictators' "Minnesota Strip", which is on the limited edition CD exclusively on sale at gigs.

Jupiter 5 is a fuzz-laden garage-punk and hard rock five-piece with DNA extracted from Sheek the Shayk, Hitmen DTK, Thurston Howlers, 69BC and the Psychotic Turnbuckles. 

They'll be supported by 50LgE, a bulldozing trio from the NSW Far North Coast making their Sydney debut and comprised of former members of the Psychotic Turnbuckles and The Eastern Dark. Doors open at 8pm or you can buy a pass to stream the show here.

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