Film project shines a light on Aussie powerpop legends

One of Australia's finest power-pop bands, Melbourne's Little Murders, are the subject of a forthcoming documentary but the project needs an injection of fan funds to push it over the finishing line.

Director-producer Matt Wilson has been documenting the history of Little Murders and its founding and sole continual member Rob Griffiths. "Little Murders - 40 years on the smell of an oily rag" has a funding target of $6000 and is 40 percent of the way to the goal.

"In our ageist society it's rare that a musician in his 60's can maintain what is essentially a pop band and bring it to a level allowing a tour in Japan in 2019," Wilson writes.

Freshly baked and impossible to resist

the breadmakersThe Breadmakers - The Breadmakers (Soundflat Records)

The Breadmakers are a Melbourne institution in a town that has plenty of them. They’ve been peddling their authentic brand of rhythm and blues around the Victorian capital, its environs and various parts of the world since 1989, and their seventh album sounds as fresh as any of its six predecessors.

R&B. Everybody’s on the correct page regarding R&B, right? The term’s been appropriated by the global music machine in recent decades, and applied to bland, largely soul-less genre of soft pap that permeates the airwaves like an insidious virus.

Gimme some skin. The Bobby Lees are made for measure

skin suitSkin Suit - The Bobby Lees (Alive Naturalsound)

If you were on the cusp of releasing your first "real" record, had US and European tours booked and ran head-first into the current viral shit show, you'd feel like you'd been whacked around the head with the Unlucky Baseball Bat, wouldn't you? Such is the lot of a young band in The Age of The Phlegm Plague.

Upstate New Yorkers The Bobby Lees sound mightily pissed-off on "Skin Suit", but the album was recorded long before Covid-19 was kicking anybody's arse.

The Bobby Lees play snotty, raucous blues thrash with all the rough edges left intact. Little wonder that Jon Spencer produced "Skin Suit"  - the band's explosive blues sound is right up his alley.

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)”. 

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