Get Off My Wah Wah…And Suck This – Bored! (Bang! Records)
Issued as a cassette in 1988 in a limited run of 300, these are the first recordings of Bored! Expect no studio wankery or sonic polishing, other than the obvious mastering from cassette to vinyl. This is how the band sounded when they were a bunch of pups from Geelong, playing on the floor of their local record store.
Bang! Records is run by a couple of Basque Country rock and roll fanatics who have championed Beasts of Bourbon and various spin-offs, a host of scuzzy Downtown Manhattan noise-makers and the so-called Geetroit Sound. This recycled gem is on LP only and follows 2016’s “Piggyback” compilation of lost recordings on the same label.
While chowing down on early Stooges songs might be ho-hum in these Post Pop Reunion times, Bored! was really pushing envelopes in post-punk Melbourne and its environs. That explains the three-in-a-row inclusion of “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, “No Fun” and “TV Eye”. “No Fun” especially has intuitively weaving guitar fireworks from Dave Thomas and John Nolan that should make your jaw gape.
The incongruity of a hairy adolescent male singing “Cherry Bomb” leaves it a little flat to these ears but there’s no mistaking the ragged desperation in “Thirsty and Miserable” or the distorted pleasure the band has in ripping through Dead Boys' “Flamethrower Love”.
You don’t need to know “The Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill” is a Husker Du cover to notice the similarity in both bands’ sounds in their formative years. It bursts out of the speakers in all its scuzzbag glory off the back of a brief lo-fi instrumental “Dynomete”, which was probably a throwaway top-of-the-set icebreaker so their front-of-house operator could set levels.
“You Better Run” sounds like a work in progress but you really can’t complain much. This is like being a fly on the wall at an early Black Flag gig in a Huntington Beach garage.
It’s just 10 songs long and there’s more than enough of a hint of the greatness to come to make this a worthwhile investment for fans. Newcomers might want to explore the studio stuff first. Get it while it lasts. Which probably won’t be long.