They were around for only a year and were well short of being a household name in Australia by the time they played their final note in 1967, but Steve & The Board left a handy collection of recordings in the wake. Legacy label Playback has applied love and diligence to this historical release and more power to them for preserving Australia’s musical past.
Steve & The Board played beat pop, pure and simple. Some of it carries the aroma of a stab at the charts, other songs shows broader love for the hard-edged R&B of the times. Most Australian bands in the mid-‘60s were in the thrall of the British Invasion that had hit the USA and Steve & The Board were no exception. Their recordings aren’t world beaters but have vibrancy and some occasional grit.
The reason these two sit together here is that there is a similarity.
Ever since Nick’s "Boatman’s Call" made it acceptable, musicians have been coming out of the woodwork with quiet, intense music. Some are, naturally, better than others. Some remain lost, lost without knowing why, but because they don’t share the same creative origin (or ‘muse’) which sparks Nick.
Still others are compared to Nick when they share only a few of his influences - but produce something which people think they recognise as being in Nick’s … carpark. Think Mark Steiner, Nikki Sudden, Henry Hugo, David Creese, Hugo Race, Michael Plater, … hell, think Louis Tillett, Mick Harvey even.
Yet, if you take the time to listen to these folk, you discover how completely different they are. And, more often than you’d know if you believed the critics… sometimes they’re a lot better.
With a guitar sound dirtier than a mud wrestler’s crotch after a dozen championship belt rounds and 10 short, sharp songs delivered in no-nonsense and rapid succession, the debut full-length album from Brisbane punk trio Shrewms hits the Rock Action bullseye with grim accuracy.
These are high-tensile tunes delivered with lashings of gutter rock charm and despite the clever wordplay in the title, you won’t find any Westboro Baptist Church choir numbers among them. Unless the congregation has taken to gargling with paint stripper instead of fundamentalist Kool-Aid.
There is some nasty ’n’ dirty, gravel-based blues-rock ’n’ roll coming out of Sydney and nobody is doing it better than The Hollerin Sluggers. This powerhouse trio from the Northern Beaches is fucking grooving. They have all the awesome songs and guitar riffs you'll need to have you jumping around.
“The Promised Land” is a must for blues and rock enthusiasts alike. It’s a “must have” if you like slide guitar, open tuning, gritty vocals and no over-production. That’s what they recorded and that’s what you get here and - fucking hell - I can’t stop playing this.
From the first track, it’s a throwback to the great early ‘70s guitar bands. “Come Over” is the opener and what a rocker! The band is Owen Mancell (guitar and vocals), powerhouse drummer Andy Thor and Tim Cramer on bass. They’ve only been together a couple of years and this is their first album.
We all know it’s an imperfect mainstream world especially where we’re talking music - or whatever passes for it in some circles. Danish songwriter Lorenzo Woodrose is fairly well-known on the European festival circuit and at home in Denmark, but his name recognition is close to zilch in most other places. In that perfect musical world for which we all should strive, his moniker would be up there in letters larger and better known than the iconic Hollywood sign.
Woodrose was a drummer for a band called On Trial when he took a ‘60s psych project called Baby Woodrose out of his Copenhagen bedroom with a debut album called “Blows Your Mind” in 2001. It did blow the minds of many critics and was a stunning piece of heavy psych-garage rock.
A long line of albums and band personnel have followed, most of the records on the indefatigable Bad Afro label. One long-player, “Love Comes Down”, cracked the mainstream. Baby Woodrose’s prodigious output ranges from ‘70s space rock to ‘60s-derived garage rock and pop and it’s uniformly excellent. The last full-length album was four years ago.
It’s perfect timing for a re-issue of this Oz psych-surf-prog classic. Tamam Shud is back playing the occasional show (one of which, in Sydney on September 9, we have an association with) and a new recording, “Eight Years Of Moonlight”, is in the LP racks.
“Evolution” came out in 1969 and was a milestone in the history of Australian recording. It’s hard to believe (cue: cultural cringe) but it was the first LP of all-original compositions to be released in this country.
The soundtrack to a Paul Wizig surf movie of the same name and the band played the songs they’d composed while the film was projected onto a studio wall. Where the new record really did take eight years (off-and-on) to record, “Evolution” was put to tape in less than three hours.
Dinosaur Jr have sold out their Melbourne show just 24 hours after the on-sale. Feel Presents are pleased as punch to announce a second Melbourne show for the original power-trio: Saturday, January 21 at the Croxton Hotel and it's on sale here.
Elsewhere Dinosaur Jr tickets have got off to a great start with the tour set to be a national sell-out well ahead of time. For all your Dinosaur Jr ticketing needs and up-to-date news check in at http://www.feelpresents.com/
Let me start by saying I have been a Black Diamond Heavies devotee since I first heard a bootleg recording of their first album ‘You’re Damn Right”’ way back in 2005. When the latest album by James Leg (aka John Wesley Myers), vocalist, keyboardist and one half of that band turned up for review, I already knew what I was about to hear.
This is without doubt some of the rawest soul/blues/punk rock ‘n’ roll and coolest Fender Rhodes electric piano playing you’ll ever hear, along with the dirtiest Whiskey-smoked growl that has ever been put to tape. Yes, folks, this album is a winner. It’s dirtier and louder than most other things, and just fucking awesome. It’s the future, the past and present, all rolled up into a tight joint, ready to smoke, get high and just rock the fuck out. There are no disappointments here.
Radio Birdman boss Deniz Tek's latest solo album, "Mean Old Twister", will be released by Citadel Records on September 30.
Stand-out tracks are said to include the straight-ahead, high-powered guitar rockers "Burned Black" and "Prison Mouse", "Comanche", a shimmering surf instrumental, the Stonesy ballad "Table For One" and "Free At Last", an all-acoustic diversion from the electric guitar attack.
"Mean Old Twister" was recorded with the same band which appeared on the last Tek album "Detroit". Drummer Ric Parnell is best known for his work in Spinal Tap and Atomic Rooster. Bassist Bob Brown has been working with Deniz since the 1992 Australian tour supporting Deniz's first solo album "Take It To The Vertical".
Lending a keen ear to the process, Radio Birdman bandmate and famed producer Rob Younger stepped in to supervise the mix.