Do You Remember - The Lincolns (Trater Records)
Howlin' Threads - Howlin' Threads (Meinschaft Records)
Astral Flight - Astral Flight (Iceage Productions)
Nervous Breakdown - Destination Lonely (Voodoo Rhythm)
I've invented a new meaning for a word! Surely, with all the incredibly stupid behaviour rotating about COVID-19, surely there is actually a state of being "covid": "to behave in an irrational, impatient and/or rude manner in response to something not understood'.
You can have "coviddery", too, and "covidacious", if you like; "covidacious" would have to mean that the coviddery behaviour also indicates that they are a Grade A, thick-as-pigshit, fuckstick. But, what if the behaviour isn't quite dreadful enough to be called "covid"? Well, you might call their carry-on "SARSpicious".
Alright, I might have blown it with that last one. Still, these jerks should wear identifying caps, or badges, or something.
So, are we all fed to the back teeth with drongos who don't comprehend that they're not being told or asked to wear masks to protect their own selfish, worthless hides, but other people's? These buffoons who do not comprehend how they could be the equivalent of Typhoid Mary...Guts don't enter into it - though stupidity does. But wait, there's more here and here.
This can, of course, be laid at the government's feet. Principally our woeful, sagging standard in education for both our own citizens and those who come here hoping to improve their lot from overseas. Allowing people to "dumb down" ... what on earth were they thinking? No-one likes (much less trusts) the govvinmint, and certainly we can criticise it, especially when we feel we know a better way, but out there in the land where people dislike the govvinmint to the point where they seek different answers in all the wrong places: Social Media, YouTube, Donald Trump and cab-drivers. They know they're right because they've "done their research".
You know the sort of thing, 'research' which wouldn't stand up in the hallway (never mind the lab) of any decent pharmaceutical company in any country, but why let that get in their way? They're prejudiced and proud - except somehow it's everyone else who is blind, prejudiced and stupid. In fact, some chunks of this daft undercircuitry are more like your average zealot; you know, like Hezbollah, Mossad, ISIS, Sinn Fein and Joh Bjelke-shitterson. Don't drink that bleach all at once.
Ah, prejudice, a wonderful mindset. I wouldn't want you to think I'm not prejudiced, either: the other day I was in the stupormarket when a horrid song from my youth came on and I got the shakes, I was that offended. (Since you ask, by a band called Pilot, a totally pointless exercise in harmonic gewgaws). Also, anything with liver in it, I will
But have you noticed those posters on walls and light-poles? Usually they accompany a poster about a Marxist meeting or something. No Tolerance, they say, with a list of their own angry prejudices. No Homophobia. No Racism. No Sexism. And so on. Zealots who can't interact normally with people.
Surely most people have an inbuilt wariness of all that's different - that would be a sort of primal self-defence at work. Our intellect should then take over, estimating the threat and, after examining things, realise that there's no threat really. That said, we all have to be careful when we're out in the street - funnily enough, it seems that young white men seem to be the ones causing most of the problems )they certainly make up the majority of those in jail). But the truth is that zealots see things in a sort of binary way, it's either THIS or it's THAT, with no areas of grey. I got news, folks, if you look at the way people really are, there's an awful lot of grey. Good folks can do really bad things without their essential nature changing, and the reverse is true too. And people don't wear signs on their heads, with a list so the zealots can recognise an unbeliever when they see one.
Similarly, we're all still somewhat in the dark about the stupidvirus - Vietnam and South Korea are countries which seemed to have the stupidvirus buttoned-up, but it looks like it has at least one person either still infectious, or newly infectious, or some baggage loader who's spread the damn thing.
And that's part of the trouble, we don't quite know if the damn thing can come back, antibodies or not - cross your fingers for that bloke in HK. HK? Hong Kong, where freedom is being eradicated.
That said, there's some good news (not a vaccine), which somehow seems to have evaded the mainstream press.
I reflect on my school days, and realise that, while I was far from the brightest spark, there were those whom everyone was quite surprised to see the next year, having apparently passed. I think it's those folk, all growed up, and having been regarded as the intellectual equivalent of blue mould for decades, are now, with their zealotty heads held high, able to feel superior and stuff by telling us "smart" people that it's all a conspiraky, and that 5G is a globbal netwirk of milkybits, and that the "smart" folk are the 'real sheeple' and they are sovvrin citisense. On social media, that glorious narcissistic echo-chamber, people think that whatever they want to believe is real, because they say so: "This is my truth".
Of course, none of these fuckers ever look up what "sovereign" actually means, nor its origin. If they're sovereign citizens, I assume this means they don't ever pay taxes, or receive govvinmint payments, or use govvinmint-funded roads, doctors, skules etc etc. If they do any of these things, any berk boinking on about how sovvrin they are should have their govvinmint payments stopped, be billed for an average cost of all the government-funded services and networks and, if they can't or won't pay, they should be deported. Preferably to that idyllic resort Christmas Island; or perhaps they could earn their keep by becoming "research assistants" in winter in Antarctica.
We need essential data on how long someone can survive in winter in Antarctica without shelter, for example. They'd have to pay for their own woolly mittens, of course. They have these narcissistic fuckers in the UK too, only they're all growed up. And they reckon this stupid shit will continue - over, and over and over again...
Yeah, well. Young kids today. Face it, nobody likes grandpa. And as for grandma, well screw her too. We're young and fucking bulletproof.
I've seen that irrational prejudice against the aged by the young so often over the last few years (the Big Day Out was riddled with these daft fucks) I find it quite incredible that people complain, and so loudly in the Twatterverse, about assorted slights and wrongs that they overlook some fundamental problems. Prejudice has that effect, rather like a horse wearing blinkers (sorry, look them up if you're not familiar with the term "horse blinkers"). Try this one.
For example, toward the end of last year, our Dear Leader, that Hawaii guy, Scotty, was in tremendous denial that Australia was enduring a depression. Businesses were floundering for lack of water (sorry, liquidity) - and sure, some should have closed their doors long ago. Make no mistake, it is always in the hands of our beloved leaders to make that liquidity happen - without the historical myth of Labor opening the sluice-gates and drowning everyone from swaggies to Palmers (god, isn't that man repellant? How many states should ban the bugger from entering, just on principle).
But from where I sat, Scotty's Hawaiian 2020 surplus was pointless. We had huge savings in our collective superannuation funds, we retained an excellent international credit rating ... and people were - and are - skipping meals and/or turning to charity for food. Scotty's Hawaiian prejudice is to feel superior while poorer people struggle.
You don't have to believe me - and I'm sure he'd disagree, vigorously - however, this is the berk ultimately responsible for "Robodebt", where "income averaging" caused incorrect debts to be raised, to great Misery and Woe (granted some M&W was caused to scumbags, but the percentage of scumbags is greatly overestimated), mostly to common folk like you and me. To quickly explain - Centrelink are bound by law to pay people the correct amount. Not more, not less. The same principle applies when sorting out a debt - and every low-rung CL worker who's ever calculated a debt knows this. (Sure, there are a large number of utter scum out there who richly deserve not to ever have anything other than that pointless chip on their shoulder ... but that's not, by any stretch, most people.)
In fact, I suspect the most common reason a CL debt is raised is under-reporting; usually when the worker reports what they get (their net), rather than their gross pay. Which, in the case of a casual worker, means that the income needs to be sorted out exactly, per week, not over a period of time, which will inevitably lead to assumed over-payments. Certainly some people fudge their figures a bit, if not fib occasionally. Understandable, too. No, it's not the right thing to do, but when you're struggling week to week, sometimes with large unexpected bills, and you have the option of fibbing and paying the gas bill, or not being able to pay it because you're telling the truth, then people are going to be tempted - and this is understandable.
This doesn't quite explain why some folks got bills when they'd not been in receipt of Centrelink payments, or indeed after they'd died, but hey. Clearly it was the computer system at fault. Which rather argues that the programming was faulty, probably because the programmer's instructions were at odds with what the original network was supposed to do. Centrelink's computer system is incredibly complicated; after all, you gotta keep the lower middle class employed.
Perhaps Scotty also figured that people on the dole didn't actually need that second $650 payment after all because 1) the Great Superannuation Party would help the economy in the short term, and that 2) the Great Robodebt Payback would "stimulate the economy" as well, so fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. Weird how that first $650 payment was trumpeted to the ends of the earth, and that the second payment was stopped - but only to folks on the dole, and kept so nice and quiet that once more Centrelink staff are in the poo.
While we're on this prejudicial behaviour of our Dear Leader, I hope we all noticed that Jobkeeper was simply handed out, rather than means/income tested - like every other Centrelink payment. Jobseeker (those made newly unemployed by no fault of their own but nasty COVID-19) seems to have been split into the "old, useless unemployed" and the "new, shiny, halo-wearing unemployed". Well, ol' Hawaii-guy has form in the zealotry business. Amen.
The truth is that the job-seeking companies are often somewhat useless, and their method of operation bound to self-stated achievements - such as training people to do things employers don't really put first. Like simple spelling and arithmetic, in the case of shop-workers. So, instead of helping these people to help themselves (as it says in the bible), we've been helping people stay poor, and dumb, and beneath the holy Hawaiian zealot's contempt. Prejudice, hell, we all have it, I guess.
Remember Diana Lasu and Olivia Muranga sneaking into Queensland the other week - well, they seemed to be professional thieves, as well as thoughtless drongos, so I have no patience with them. There was an awful lot of unrelated prejudice aimed at them, though, chiefly for their appearance. Unlike the other two idjit teenagers who also snuck into Queensland the following week, to (mostly) rousing silence from the media. Funny how those two young women from SA who broke
quarantine in WA also found their piccies in the newsfeeds.
Which brings me back to my rant for the weekend. Prejudice. We're all prejudiced - usually in varying shades of grey, rather than an outright black or white.
Mmmm ... altering your appearance - often into something only relevant to you and your group, but which often freaks out the olds. Instead of being THIS or THAT, you gain freedom, a real identity away from those two bloody options. The whole notion of altering your appearance is linked to altering not just who you are, but the situation you're (stuck) in. Giving yourself the ability to be better, or different (if not anything different) than what you're dissatisfied with is surely one of the great benefits of freedom (actual freedom, by the way).
Being a sovvrin citisen is a short-cut to making a persons feel superior via a daft belief, rather than expending any effort (such as, I don't know, thinking...) on their part. Again, a bit like adherents of certain religions, who smirk knowingly at you because they know they're going to heaven and you're going to hell, you blaspheming masturbator, you. (Yes, you.)
On the other hand lot of folks realise that getting out of the area where they're experiencing the bullshit and moving somewhere else might alter the balance. Because, of course, it's not just black people who die in custody, or experience prejudice (though they're the ones currently incensed enough to be vocal about it). The olds, well. They tend to forget their earlier actual struggles, never mind noticing other people's. Age tends to make people smug, no doubt about it. Youth encourages action at the expense of consequences (that's why so many soldiers die young, and might explain lots of bad music).
Uh, old? yep, that's most of the readers of this here website. We're OLD, man. Hell, I bet some of you were greasers back in '56. Remember the original '50s rebels? That period is thought of as kind of cuddly and squishy these days (I saw a hairy old biker with FONZIE on the back of his denim jacket the other day, FFS). Fonzie, as everyone knew, was as anodyne a cliche of the real thing as you could get. His "cool" attitude, between titch-beefcake and smooth 'rock', may have sprung from an original font, but hey, pure springwater with own-brand green lime cordial is still the stuff children fall for, not the stuff to savour. Hell, when did you ever see a real car mechanic wearing a pure white t-shirt, for fuck's sake? The character enthralled me as a kid, but I'd not encountered the real thing, so the douche did the trick.
Weird, in retrospect, how Fonzie never got drunk or took drugs, too, but had giggling women falling off him, not one of which he seemed to really know (and I doubt anyone who regularly watched the show can recall any of Fonzie's girl's names). Reflected prejudice...
Fuck, can you imagine going out looking like that? The amount of money and care taken constructing that look? See that menace? Ever read S.E. Hinton's books? They make Fonzie look like what he really was: a toothless, anodyne, pristine construct. And we find it easier to believe in constructs, so we end up prejudiced against the real thing. Although, yeah, those rockers back then were total dicks.
Now, even though I looked nothing like any of these folks when I was a teenager, and in fact if truth be known I looked like a dork, I sometimes wonder how the hell I survived past my teens (never mind the next three decades) and then I realise, "Oh yeah, a large portion of luck and some half-reasonable genes".
That luck thing. You know, when I was a teen (I didn't want to be a teen, I thought they were all idiots - then I became one and ... I was an idiot as well), we thought that anyone wearing (say) '50s rock'n'roll gear (and they were pretty thin on the ground) was an absolute bozo. I mean, talk about old-fashioned. Anyone wearing punk gear today, or '80s gear, or ... you get the idea? Hey, it's 2020, and today's new looks are based on remodelling the face, as radical as you can go. Give Lasu and Muranga a kick in the teeth for their coviddery, and for being thieves if that's what they are, but NOT their appearance.
Which brings us (finally) to Adelaide band The Lincolns' new LP, "Do You Remember" (Trater Records) ... listen to it here or download it via a range of options, then pester the band for a pre-ordered CD.
You should own all The Lincolns records. First, they're great fun - '50s rock which sound like they all stepped out of an episode of the "Twilight Zone", yet they're almost all original songs, all jitterin' jive, syncopation, yips and twang and, as the first song asserts, "Boogiefried".
Second, they're great fun, and you'll play 'em loud, and Third, when this stupidvirus is over you'll want to get in to see them. And the joint will be heaving, jumping, packed and sweaty. That said, my favourites include "All the Tears She Cried" - apart from the wonderful guitar lick, the lyrics burn - and "Nightmare". Hell, I even like the way they're rewritten the lyrics to "Please Don't Touch", changing the song from the original, somewhat kooky freakadiddle (as so many 1950s templates required) to a straighter, more credible tale of ye olde lust and male handlessness.
Look, Johnny Cash, were he alive, would have all The Lincolns LPs, and would slide a couple of their songs into his live set every now and then. Five bottles, and you can't improve on this crew.
Speaking of bulletproof, if not actually fucking bulletproof, we come to the Howlin' Threads ("from Wollongong via Canberra", which sounds like a long drive). Three-piece, lots of r'n'r pounding, you'll like it. Bands like the Howlin' Threads are what rock'n'roll is (still) about: Strutting, hammering launchpads with the crowd one lone fart away from a riot. They say they play what they love, and it shows.
Bags of enthusiasm, soaring guitar (which reminds me a bit of Kent Steedman) backed with what sounds like a grouchy gorilla on drums and a cartoon Ramone on bass. My favourite? "Sky's Falling Down", but don't listen to me, I was supposed to be rearranging my boxes in the den and I managed to knock most of the sods over, so there's all sorts of slippery, breakable stuff all over the floor, so what do I know. Where's the mop?
The cover boasts a rather excellent caricature of a band straining to get off the cover and into your face. The CD plays over and over again and the den is wasted, but I think I may have found the cat we used to have a couple of years ago. Either that or... no, let's leave it there and All Hail the Howlin' Threads! Hell, who releases stuff during lockdown?! Four bottles, and power to them! Get it here
And now, on to a very different world: Astral Flight's self-titled debut. It's nothing short of magnificent, a proper eight-bottles out of five. I'd never have guessed from the cover, which shows a galaxy.
"Astral Flight" come from the extraordinary Iceage stable, which is steered (I believe) by the blandly-named Peter James. In case you wonder about this and other names and ponder if all the names are made up, Mr James says: "James A. Dean is from Constant Light, and Beast Bones; Evan Carr is from Siphonophore; Sam Filmer is from Scenic Recovery. We've played a few gigs with Scattered Order and Ash Wednesday."
Also, I've seen Mr James live (as Monolith) and bland he ain't. One of the wonderful things about his work is that he always has a precise direction worked out, and he follows it to its natural conclusion. Whether you like it or not. Astral Flight is no exception, being big, bastard big, flexible and mutated.
What's it like? Right, well, it's heavy. As in, tincture of doom. And huge. So PLAY LOUD. And humorous, as in tippy-toe pussy cat over the keys, so watch out for jarring inner-ear pitches. There are moments where you'll recognise something, only to have it slide away as the piece shivers and slithers. There are moments where you'd swear that was an extraordinary bit of feedback guitar ... but no ... Oh, and there's no hairy-chested, pesky show-off vocalist to ruin the atmos. The music does all that, huge, rackety and dread; pert, crisp and pure; mobile, plastique and juddery.
"Astral Flight" is right up there with the greats, from Gary Oldman to Tangerine Dream by way of (inevitably) ... K*******k. And I don't say this lightly, as I'm a whopping Kraftwerk fan.
Yeah, I s'pose you could call it electronica but I wouldn't. "Astral Flight" is seriously tough. "Germanium" is a constantly shifting rhythmic beast; "Sirius A/B" is, essentially two related pieces which cannot separate although they try; "Constellation" is a punctuative clash and pulse; "Seti" is ... while 'Olympus' is bloody huge as
Now, you can either listen to it and let it take you where you've never been and probably don't belong, or you can try to work meaning and significance between the titles and pieces - this may or may not be a mistake.
Elemental germanium is used as a semiconductor in transistors and suchlike tech. Current major end-uses are fibre-optic systems, infrared optics, solar cell applications, and light-emitting diodes. Germanium compounds are also used for polymerization catalysts and producing nanowires: germanium is considered a technology-critical element.
Sirius A is the brightest star in the night sky; Sirius B is one of the most massive white dwarfs knownHere's SETI. Olympus was where the Greek gods hung out, and Olympus Mons is the largest volcano in the solar system - it's on Mars, and reaches into the stratosphere.
If those descriptions don't get you in or tweak your imagination, you've lost interest in life as well as music, and you shouldn't be here. Either way, I love this CD to bits. Dig it here. And while you're at it, tell them to get it out on vinyl.
You need to get Destination Lonely's "Nervous Breakdown".
Speaking of prejudice, of 'knowing' about something without knowing what it is, when the header of the press release reads, '"ar Out Over the Edge Filthy Desperate Fuzz", you could be forgiven for thinking you were about to open a rather sleazy porno.
However, the header continues on the next line, "Noise Garage Rock'n'Roll Trash from France", you breathe a sigh of relief: no overly augmented naked people writhing about in simulated bizarre emotions shouting gibberish in a furrin lingo, then.
Well...that's not to say that didn't occur during the recording of Destination Lonely's third LP, "Nervous Breakdown" (Voodoo Rhythm). The press release continues; "In 2019 the Band was overwhelmed and shameless creative because of too Many Shows and crazy things happening on this planet, so they booked the Studio for 2 weeks and recorded 17 Songs..."
So, yes, "Nervous Breakdown" is essentially a double LP, and, as the frothing press release (I always enjoy Beat-Man Zeller's press releases, they positively squawk and strut) continues, "This is Raw super Filthy Garage Noise Trash Rock'n'Roll in its best Tradition, and for all GUITAR WANKERS there is a 13 Minute Guitar Orgasm on it as well".
Mind you, a 13 Minute Guitar Orgasm sounds quite painful. There's also an excellent version of the Stooges' "Ann", which should get the Barman curious (ED: Yes! Also reviewed here) , and a version of The Troggs' "I Want You"; the rest are originals.
Yet the mdi release's author, Reverend Beat-Man, does Destination Lonely a disservice. Not all the songs are wigged-out yowling mayhem. What Destination Lonely (one huge-sounding three-piece) do is to corral sounds and styles, mush them together with distinct purpose, and let fly. Sometimes this results in songs which match the frantic prose of the press release, but most times you're stopped in your tracks, awed by yet another direction the band are dragstering in, with apparent precision and a rich, fruity stench of molten rubber. No, this is anything but a loose outfit, although they sound positively bebop on occasion.
"Lovin'" starts off and it's thunderous, ripping, and with a savage guitar solo straight outta the early Stooges; the nature of DL's influences is such that you could imagine this as a wigged-out MC5 out-take (perhaps) or something the Jim Jones forgot they did, or ... get the picture? "I Want You" follows, with that heavy, echoey sound The Troggs did so well ... but via the Sonics... and then they do "Ann"...
"Follia" is a sheer cliff of 1950s reverb-soaked ballad, broken into by the kind of fuzz which borders on savage drone. Magnificent. The title track, "Nervous Breakdown" follows, and it's all those things the good Reverend (above) says... brutal nunchukka guitar surfing over the boulder-strewn uplands of the rhythm section. 'Blind Man' deserves special mention for its abrupt, compelling shift in feel and emotion, knowing, pert and cynical, leading us to the (initially) pulsing dream of "Je m'en Vais". "Sentier Mental" might be a lounge take on The Cramps - it's bloody brilliant.
Nicked from Voodoo Rhythm's website:
"They have like zero perspective in a bright future neather enjoyed a happy childhood, they got heart broken like weekly at least once and along with that comes a tremendous fascination in drinking alcohol, the first of the 3 is Marco Fatal who plays the guitar and sings and formed the Legendary NOISE singing-group THE FATALS (as well in: Kung Fu Escelators, Mighty Gogo Players, Complications) in 2001 together with Wlad on the Drums (as well in: the Beach Bitches, Blew up). well the 3rd in the band is Lo Spider of the Jerry Spider Gang (as well in : the Space Beatnicks, Dividers) and Destroys his Guitar and has his own Recording Studio, Swampland where he records Destination Lonely and Countless French and International Acts."
There's no need for me to go on. You either get it or you don't. The "big band" version of 'Nervous Breakdown' is ... let's just say it's well worth waiting for (you'll need a change of undies) and leave it at that.
Destination Lonely's songs ram each other, one after another, like railcars at a switchback. The pace alters, the nature of the songs twist from bombast to tragedy, the guitar (the main hero here) is neatly inserted, never overdone - even where you think it will be, these cats are actually restrained, and resonate power like no others.
These songs are sculpted, structured (and you'll recognise a few tropes) and maintain your attention from the first second to the last. When the last notes of the last song fade, you are disappointed. And you return to the beginning.
I can only emphasise: "Nervous Breakdown" is a brilliant double LP, and there's half a dozen songs here which will make your next party mixtape. Get it here.
- The Lincolns
- Howlin' Threads
- Astral Flight
- Destination Lonely