FOX KEYTARTop 10 Things of 2023
as designated by Fox

This was an absolute banner year for Australian rock & roll which made me feel very proud of my country which was a nice change of pace from feeling ashamed by it, which also happened this year. Anyway, - here comes a list!!

Morons Morons - High Tension Situation LP
Before delving into our domestic successes let’s hear it for this demented Polish outfit and their barnburner of an album. It’s energetic pedal to the metal punk rock with a healthy dose of The Damned DNA. Puts it’s foot on your throat and does not let up. Glorious band name, logo and album cover too.

Stepmother - Planet Brutalicon LP
The latest project from U.S expat Graham Clise of Annihilation Time and Lecherous Gaze fame. I first saw him with the latter in Sydney about eight years ago and was blown away by his guitar playing. It was pure classic rock but played with an energy and intensity that felt like I was watching Leslie West or Mick Ronson after a quick trip in the old Time Machine.  Though I shouldn’t get hung up on ye olden days comparisons - It rules that this kinda music is being made in 2024 and it should be celebrated. This album is driving Detroit-flavoured pub rock and has been a constant on my turntable since it landed.

private function
Private Function  - Live at the Crowbar, Sydney 
I was super keen to see the new PF lineup for the first time after flogging the killer new album and they did not disappoint. They were totally on fire - a glorious mix of manic intensity, goofiness, sneaky virtuoso skill and their tongue in cheek party nihilism - but most of all the thing that comes across on record and in their live show is sheer joy. They are just a fun fucking band. Shout out also to the retro rocking stylings of Smooch - They were also bloody great and to my absolute delight belted out a cover of Slade’s “Gudbuy T’ Jane” prompting me to go up and punish them afterwards. Sorry guys.

The Unknowns LP - East Coast Low LP
More breezy, unfussy garage rock tunes from this amazing Brisbane outfit. I rate any band that can write stuff that sounds instantly familiar like these guys do. Great “just the right amount of “FI” production for my tastes.

ming city rockers 

Ming City Rockers - Lime LP
This is the third album by this UK band and I have adored every one. The MCR play loose punky pub rock with raggedy pop melodies but also veer off into other interesting directions, especially in this album. They have a knack of packing their songs with super simple hooks, which may come across as back handed compliment but is nothing of the sort (If anything its a forward handed compliment, otherwise known as a “high five”). They will be the first band booked when I launch my new rock festival (financing tbc).

NoBro - Set Your Pussy Free LP
The second album from these French Canadian ladies after their fantastic debut Live Your Truth Shred Some Gnar which was one of my faves from last year. Nobro belt out infectious, punky bubblegum singalong tunes with an irresistible energy. Again, I am a sucker for bands that play with this kind of joyousness - it’s an under-used mood in punk and underground music and I will continue to champion its use. As with all their stuff, the playing is excellent and there’s a bunch of fun, quirky ideas and arrangements to accompany the life affirming party punk.

alien nose job
Alien Nosejob - Live at the Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar, Melbourne
I was stoked when ANJ took up my offer of playing our Sick Fizz album launch and even stokeder when I got to witness them. They played a few songs from last year's incredible AC/DC love letter “Stained Glass”, along with some new wavey electro business, flat out hardcore and generally honouring their mantra of “no specific genre”. All four of them were great players but special mention goes to drummer Zoe who is a force of bloody nature. It was like watching Animal from Dr Teeth & The Electric Mayhem but if  he had developed a better sense of tempo and completed full songs. It was overall an incredible set highlighted by a cover of my fave Buzzcocks tune, “Boredom”, which absolutely knocked my socks off.  I’ve been on a bit of a bender with all of ANJ mastermind Jake Robertson’s various groups this year and must have listened to “New Planet” by The Ausmuteants a hundred times. He’s a talented dude and his bands all rule.

Pleasants - Girl Like You Bandcamp single
I know next to nothing about this band other than they are from Perth and this lofi high speed maximum fun take on the classic Troggs number has been burning a hole through my brain all year. They don’t have a hell of a lot else released but I am keeping my eye/ear out for them.

Killer Kin - st LP
I discovered this act via the incredible Facebook resource that is Djo GangKiller Kin hail from New and play a sleazy brand of dive bar rock and roll with what looks to be an awesome live show fronted by cool at axewoman Chloe and hyperactive Iggy disciple Matt. The album is a Relentless and energetic lowbrow masterpiece that can only be used as a soundtrack for forbidden non-family entertainment.

C.O.F.F.I.N - Australia Stops LP
How well are these boys doing?! After touring relentlessly throughout the world over the past few years COFFIN have put together their best album yet - a pure distillation of the sound and approach they have been refining. It’s classic beaches pub rock with some Rose Tattoo power and a splash of Turbonegro-sequels rock classicism courtesy of the extremely tasty lead guitar  work of AbijahBen’s guttural howl is probably the band's defining characteristic and when that combines with a lyric as good as “I got my cock on the table, a stiff one on my hand” I feel like Australian rock and roll is in a good place.

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