Outta Ammo - VeeBees (Ocker Records)
This album stinks so much of stale beer that you’ll wonder if you hit your head on the footpath on a late-night bender and woke up in a homeless shelter It reeks of hops - and i don’t mean that nancy boy craft shit either. This is your stock standard, public bar piss. So fuck off if you want a cocktail.
Which should all be no surprise. It’s the fourth studio album in 15 years for the VeeBees and “Outta Ammo” is no great departure, sonically speaking, from its predecessors. It’s crude and dirty with a nod to Moorhead, the Tatts, Powder Monkeys and the Psychos. When you’re on a good thing, why not stick to it?
Aussie Yob Rock has been around since Thorpey plugged in and killed that tankful of fish to the sound of punters yelling “Suck more piss.” VeeBees bypass boogie and play it with an edge that betrays listening to lots of hardcore, especially Black Flag.
Lyrically, titles like “Meet My Middle Finger” (the single), “Dickheads Anonymous” and “Wife School” (that’d be the B side) give the game away. As the band cautions: “Listeners in search of intellectual stimulation may be disappointed.”
VeeBees revel in a world of bogan backyard barbecues as muich as laugh at it. They don’t take anything - especially themselves - seriously but, jeez, they go alright when they fire up the plate and get a few coldies in them. In other words, they can play.
How many bands have a “lead bass player”? Glenno imparts a bottom end that’s bigger than your sister’s and that anchors the band like free piss keeps your Uncle Trev chained to the kitchen fridge at a party. There’s a lot to like about the (also “lead”) guitar work of the singularly-named Davo, especially on a cut like “I Got Nuthin’”. Norro howls (on “lead” vocals) like a fully-hammered Chris Bailey without his Irish lilt. Neilo stays upright on his stool and plays precious few solos (none, actually) for a “lead” drummer.
I know what you’re thinking. How can they sustain one joke over four albums (five if you count “Live at Summernats”)? Look, I don’t know, but they just do. Do you ask why the hair of the dog makes you feel better after a huge night that ended in you punishing the porcelain and calling out for someone called Ralph? Of course you don’t, so drink up. It's good for you.