The Jungle Noise Recordings - The Monsters (Voodoo Rhythm)

jungle sessionsIt’s a re-issue from the mid-‘90s but most of us missed it the first time around. The Monsters are from Switzerland and that put them at a serious disadvantage in places like the USA, where they did attempt to break only to find they were swimming against the tide, no tsunami, of grunge.

he Monsters are right up there with the likes of The Mummies, Thee Headcoats and a handful of others setting a benchmark for trashy lo-fi rock and roll. That’ll become obvious with even a cursory listen to “The Jungle Noise Recordings”, now in expanded form with extra tracks.This is perfect junkyard fodder.

New 45 recaptures the Groovies' glory

crazy macyAs the Flamin’ Groovies celebrate 50 years with a special gig in San Francisco this week, DAVE "DOG MEAT" LAING checks out their new single vinyl seven-inch, "Crazy Macy" b/w "Let Me Rock"...

Okay, so the Flamin’ Groovies have a new single out for Record Store Day, on the very cool Californian Burger Records label. This is exciting stuff – even more exciting than walking into my first Groovies show on the ’86 Australian tour, seeing they had a new single (“Way Over My Head’ b/w ’Shakin’’) for sale, and buying five copies of it because I never knew if I’d see it again.

That was what, maybe five or six years since their previous release, the “River Deep Mountain High” single? This one comes more than 25 years since we’ve heard anything new from the band – a long fucking time.

Of course the Groovies, with ’71-’80 lead singer Chris Wilson back in place, have been back in action since the second-last Dig It Up! Festival in Australia a few years back.

While we Down Under may have copped them a tad underdone (the Caravan Club show on Melbourne was sensational though), a look at more recent YouTube footage shows the band firing on all cylinders and sounding very much like they must’ve live in ’75 or so, on the cusp of releasing the landmark “Shake Some Action” LP.

Stiff Little Fingers live in Australia

jake burnsDuring these past few weeks there has been a stream of classic 1977 UK punks band bands floating through, or announced to play in, Sin City, aka Sydney.  Names like Buzzcocks and The Stranglers have been something of a call-to-arms. And now a band that has less of a profile locally, Stiff Little Fingers, is playing.

Stiff Little Fingers emerged out of Belfast in 1977 as a bunch of teenagers playing in a punk band in a city with its soul ripped apart. It was a hard place but one that still had heart. Anyone who looks at news footage at the time knows Belfast was a warzone.

I remember a great uncle telling me first-hand stories of how brutal the city really was. Daily body searches by the English soldiers, ruthless gangs that murdered you for your religion and children that were bashed within an inch of their lives after school for walking down the wrong street.  Entrenched generational anger and hatred ran deep on both sides.

Boil Your Blood & Aldecide EPs - Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind (self-released)

boil yer bloodTell me, was the Jim Jones Revue one of the highlights of the Big Day Out (2011) or fucking what? They were utterly on fire, all Jerry Lee and compressed brutality … I thought the majors would scoop them up and take them to war …

Well… almost. The band broke up after years of battle, but Jones, retaining Gavin Jay on bass, picked up Joe Glossop on keyboard, Phil Martini on drums and David Page on pedal steel and theremin … why?

aldecideWell, when the main songwriter is … I think “trangressing” might be appropriate here rather than “progressing”… from one place to another, it’s not fair on the band he’s gathered to try to shove them down a hole they don’t want to go. If you thought JJR were shit hot, wait’ll ya get a load of this stinky skanky beast.

Brujita - Chris Masuak & The Viveiro Wave Riders (I-94 Bar Records)

brujita smIt’s difficult to believe that Chris Masuak is only in the second half of his 50’s when you examine his output. It’s been a diverse and solid career, spanning almost four decades.

He was in his late teens when he joined Radio Birdman. He was half of the sound of the “twin-guitar attack” that assaulted Sydney with its array of proto-punk influences, to forever stake Birdman a claim as one of the most influential bands the city has produced.

Then there were the post-Birdman bands. The Hitmen never had the songs, in my opinion, but they always delivered as a live act. Masuak’s guitar playing was the stand-out.  Chris was still in his early 20’s and still forging his own style. It lay somewhere between the technical brilliance of Mountain and the pop-rock sensibility of The Dictators.

Gotta Get Away b/w Six Foot Dirty Looking Beast - The Strollers (Crusher Records)

strollers singleThese Swedish garage rockers really were The Shit back around the turn of the ‘90s but with just two albums to their name (“Falling Right Down!” and “Captain Of My Ship”) their legacy was too slight for a band of their quality. The good news is that they’re back with a single that’s just as great as their old material.

“Gotta Get Away” is the perfect blend of fuzz and Farfisa that’s ideal  to shake up any parry. Henrik Wind’s insistent organ and Mathias Lilja’s commanding vocal pushes the song into a singalong chorus on the back of an irresistible feel. “Six Foot Dirty Looking Beast” is a slower simmer of a song with lyrics straight out of the life playbook for misfits. Another great tune that soars. The band’s back for festivals in Europe this summer. Is it too much to hope for an album?

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Buy it on Crusher Records

The Lucky Girl - Julitha Ryan (Silver Ray Productions)

the lucky girl“The Lucky Girl” is a seven bottle CD. This is a brilliant, fabulous record (yes, she has vinyl as well) and if there was any justice in the world she’d be making a triumphant return to Australia after touring the stadia of the USA and Europe, coming home to pack the Rod Laver Arena four nights in a row. If this were only 25 years ago, the industry would be elbowing each other with intent to get ahold of a moneymaking talent on a par with Kate Bush.

That good? Well, don’t blame me, I didn’t make it. You need “The Lucky Girl” like you need your thumbs; not having “The Lucky Girl” is the equivalent of having paws. She’s currently recording a follow-up. But why seven bottles?

Won’t Give Up - Charlie Marshall and The Body Electric (Red Ted Entertainment)

charlie marshallIt seems every Australian city had its underground "punch-above-its-weight" scene in the ‘90s. Hell, all of Charlie Marshall’s Melbourne band members here had serious form. That said, just because there’s a track record doesn’t mean there’s always gonna be magic. There might be concrete. Or salad instead.

In Marshall’s case, it’s magic. If you recall Harem Scarem in the ‘80s, well alright. But this ain’t that, and now ain’t then. If you’re a Nick Cave or Kim Salmon completist, you’ll snaffle this anyway (the presence of Warren Ellis and Jim White of The Dirty Three should send warning bells, and surely Brian Henry Hooper needs no introduction.) Same applies if you’re investigating Hugo Race ditto (Bryan Colechin of The True Spirit) and Darren Seltmann of The Avalanches.

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