Men are from Mars and Rough Trade is from Venus

rough trade from venusRough Trade From Venus - The Secret Buttons (self released)

Their third release, on which the West Australian trio unleashes six songs of dirt-encrusted sonic goodness, each delivered with the subtly of a MyGov website crash.

Remember that lame concoction of a "band" called Wolfmother? Cooked up to ride the global wave of so-called New Rock in the early 2000’s, they were as dangerous as eating a soufflé in the shower. They gave trios a bad name. No wonder they were originally named While Feather. The Secret Buttons are nothing like them.

Rifferama that hits all the Buttons

son of the kingSon of The King b/w Elvis’s Lip - The Secret Buttons (Fancy Time Records)

This is an offering from a Perth trio that’s a couple of years old and came out a similar period after the very cool debut EP of 2016, “Some Buttons Should Never Be Pushed”. It’s a savage beast of a seven-incher, a two-headed behemoth that’s equal parts ragged and righteous. 

“Son of The King” rides a rollercoaster riff before an affirmation of superiority befitting someone who's lucky enough to drive a Chevrolet. There’s enough bravado in this one to rival, oh, the Psychotic Turnbuckles, even if it is tongue-in-cheek. Set against a grinding feel, the tough rifferama really lights it up. 

Never Mind The Butter

glen matlock 100 club

Glen Matlock Band
100 Club, London, UK
March 7, 2020

Glen Matlock is a member of a pretty select club, that of the (S)ex Pistols, and that tumultuous time of '76/77 has defined him and his musical output ever since.

"Good to Go", his most recent album, has been out for a while now, and while it’s no landmark release, it is a sturdy collection, and has reunited Matlock with ex-Bowie sideman Earl Slick for a short UK tour before a planned US jaunt (cut down now by coronavirus.) 

Vale Dave Thomas of Bored!

dave thomas rick chesshireRick Chesshire cartoon.

Australian underground rock and roll has suffered another loss with the passing of former Bored! leader Dave Thomas, aged 56. Thomas had been fighting cancer.

Thomas co-founded Bored! in Geelong a satellite city of Melbourne, in 1987. The band was an early blend of punk rock and metal, and spawned a scene dubbed "Geetroit" for its trademark power and high-energy.

Knuckle sandwich is on this menu

kebabAll I Wanted Was a Kebab - White Knuckle Fever (self released)

Strap yourself in. Or strap it on. It’s going to be that sort of ride.

White Knuckle Fever is Sydney duo Celia Curtis on vocals and Ross Johnston on guitar and everything else. Ross used to be 3kShort in Machine Gun Fellatio and Celia goes by the name Cruella, Lady of Steel, in macabre vaudeville act Circus Bizarre. So they should be easy to find if the cops issue a summons.

In live performance (remember that?) the duo supplements things with loops and the like. On recordings, they sound like a five-headed Hades houndog that's chewing on the scrotum of Satan. 

Fuzzed-up and French

nervous breakdown destination lonelyNervous Breakdown - Destination Lonely (Voodoo Rhythm)

There’s more fuzz on “Nervous Breakdown” than an ageing punnet of strawberries from the back of the fridge a month after their use-by date. The band responsible, Destination Lonely, is described as “three angry men from Toulouse”, and they sound more crankier than one of their countrymen at the end of a crash diet when they’re told by the baker that he's fresh out of baguettes.

Sometimes a large meal is best consumed in a couple of portions and that might be your best approach to “Nervous Breakdown”. It’s 17 tracks long and sometimes all that distortion and primal skronk becomes hard going - like on the 14-minute noise fest “Nervous Breakdown (big band)”. 

Who'll Bring the Rain? Endless Boogie.

endless boogie

The much-anticipated return of Endless Boogie and the Australian debut of Howlin’ Rain will happen, and has now been moved from April to late October and early November.

Both bands will be appearing at the rescheduled Boogie festival (October 30-November 1) in rural Victoria and at the same East Coast venues they were originally booked into. All existing tickets will be honoured. 

Endless Boogie & Howlin' Rain
OCT
29 - The Tote, Melbourne, Sydney
NOV
5 - Crowbar, Sydney
+ feedtime
Endless Boogie only
6 - Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
7 - Eltham Hotel, NSW

October date shift for Died Pretty

died pretty reschedule

The bad and unavoidable news is that Died Pretty has joined the ever growing list of bands impacted by Coronavirus. The good news is that the band has re-scheduled all but one of the four shows for later in the year. The Perth gig unfortunately cannot be re-booked due to member availability, so has been cancelled.

One re-issue that does justice to the legend

x aspirations 2020X-Aspirations - X (SL Express) 

The (mild) hype accompanying the 40th anniversary edition was deserved and - and then some. This is as essential an Australian “punk” album as the Radio Birdman and Saints debuts - even if comparatively few people noticed at the time. 

The reputation of “X-Aspirations” as the ultimate in primal, spontaneous and minimally brutal music fron this part of the world (Australia) has grown with every re-issue, and this re-mastered vinyl version is surely the last word. 

Sydney-reared and as street-level as a band could be, X had all but been destroyed by reputation and reality by the time they went into Trafalgar Studios in 1979. Venue owners despised them and the crowd they attracted. Gigs inevitably ended with a full house, physical damage, spilled blood and a warning for the band not to come back.

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