Glorious Barsteds - Cosmic Psychos (Missing Link)
What's the difference between Cosmic Psychos and your grandad's dick? They've both done lots of miles but Cosmic Psychos still have lead in their pencil. "Glorius Barsteds" (who said spelling was their strong point?) finds the Psychos in fairly lethal form. There's still nothing pretty or all that surprising about what they do, but something would be seriously awry if there was.
Band members might come and go but Ross Knight remains, the last man standing at 4.30am at a footy club social. His Mack truck fuzz bass and cast-iron, fuck-you songs are at the heart of the band. Unbending, unchanging.
Having said that, there are a few moments of unorthodoxy. Knight's 60-second, a-cappella intro to "Battlewitch" makes you think he's drunk himself to an early emo grave before the familiar grinding attack kicks in. The chanting in "Hate, Drunkenness, Vandalism, Demolition" sounds like an end-of-term wrecking party at a English-As-a-Second-Language school in Germany, and "Tossing The Kaber" works bagpipes into a fairly rote punk rock tune.
This line-up is as good as any Knight has had. John "Mad Macka" McKeering did his Yob Rock apprenticeship in The Onyas and wipes fuzz and wah-wah all over the album like a kid smearing Vegemite on a sandwich. Hoss drummer Dean Muller has been with the Psychos for two albums and his powerhouse rolls suit to a tee.
These are a bunch of terrific songs but the album drifts a little towards the end. "Nude Sheilas On Motorbikes Drinking Beer" is a great title but the tune's a throwaway.
Opener "Nice Day To Go To The Pub" is the classic here: Dumb as dogshit lyrics about going to the pub (what else?) and having a schnitzel, riding a hugely beery singalong wave, with grenades lobbed in along the way that contain stinging guitar. "Hoon" is as deep as the sociological observations go but it's unclear whether the Psychos come to praise or bury them. You might die thinking. If you're insulted by the political incorrectness of "Enmore Backender" and "Please Sir (Can I Have Some More)" you probably need to harden the fuck up, but the last one also feels like it's trying too hard.
If you haven't been near a Cosmic Psychos album since the heyday of "Blokes You Can Trust", the kicker might be the bonus 15-song disc reprising the first two-thirds of the history of the band. A mini greatest hits effort that parallels if not reproduces "15 Years, A Million Beers", it's full of gold-plated stuff like "Lost Cause","Pub" and "Dead Roo."
Suck this up. It's good for you.