Sunn0))) holds court: Tomway Armie photo
It’s one of the last couple of nights of the Festival and Fringe; Womad is grooving away in Botanic Park, hipsters are growing beards, diners are admiring themselves and magician James Hessler is befuddling everyone else. Crowds are flocking like pigeons in one of Godspeed (etc)’s fillums.
Over at Thebarton, we pick up the tickets and plunk ourselves outside the door. The beefy bouncers all wear yellow shirts and clutch industrial strength earmuffs. After about 40 minutes we scurry in, straight to the interior entrance, for another 30 minute wait, and a $12 plastic cup of cider (our last, at that price).
Brattish as fuck and more highly-strung than a cosmetically-enhanced girlfriend’s bra strap, “Bite Your Tongue” proves lightning strikes at least twice. This second offering from this Melbourne band is a case of “second album, just like the first”, sonically-speaking, and that’s no bad thing.
Spacejunk operates in that hard-to-pigeonhole musical space that’s vaguely described as “psychedelic punk rock”. It equates to loud, fuzzy guitars, left-field sonic touches and a barely-controlled energy. Mark E. Moon’s lerry, acid-flecked vocal is the crowning touch.
It’s bloody festival time here in Adelaide; the week has been a hot one and between stepping around benighted tourists we’ve been taking extra-long detours around the city in order to get anywhere, cheerfully accepting the extra time and travel because the V8 car race is also on.
Then the weather bureau decided that there would only be a 30 percent chance of any rain. Parking the car the heavens opened in what is a sort of minor subtropical hissy fit, and I get drenched.
Dead Moon drummer Andrew Loomis has passed away after illness, according to the band’s Facebook fan page. Loomis had to stand down from the band on the sporadic shows it has played of late. This statement was posted a couple of hours ago:
“He took a sudden and sharp, unexpected turn for worse a couple of weeks ago and has been in the hospital since February 25. Tests determined he had a series of mini strokes at home, then developed respiratory problems over this past weekend. This morning he was put on a morphine drip (and) passed peacefully.”
Loomis was originally diagnosed with cancer but was free of the disease when he passed away.
In news just to hand, Radio Birdman is releasing two previously unheard tracks on 7' vinyl - the Master's Apprentices "Buried and Dead", and Alice Cooper's "The Ballad of Dwight Fry".
Both cover versions were originally recorded in 2004 at Hothouse Studio in Melbourne, and recently remixed and mastered. The single will be a Record Store Day special so make enquiries with your local emporium of vinyl.
There are two reviews already here, each definitive in their own right. Beaten to the punch with little to argue about, all I can offer are some additional observations.
A quote in a pre-release interview has led many to believe that this is Iggy’s recording swansong. The neat closure of the record’s final song “Paraguay” supports the proposition…and don’t writers love that sort of shit. If “Post Pop Depression” is Iggy’s “LA Woman” - and a shambolic Jim Morrison performance with the Doors in Detroit had a big impact on Teenage Jim – then it’s a shutting of the creative loop.
This is surely the disc which will finally break Heath Cullen in Australia, and the hearts of women everywhere. Hugely talented (Cullen produced the disc, and it sounds just lush and fine and crisp), the man has a knack of gathering like-minded musicians who just happen to share his dark and mystical streak.
Comparisons abound; a friend who is a big Cullen fan spots a Hugo Race-like similarity. I doubt that’s intended; more like Cullen and Race have visited the same horse races…
It never ceases to surprise me, the myriad ways in which a classic rock outfit can develop a style and method of expression which reaches out effortlessly into our lives, to help and spark our moods.
Even so, on first listen, although I could hear great talent here, it wasn’t getting to me. Until I reached what I suppose is Side Two, where things take a sudden left turn and … when the first side rolled again to play, the entire band made far, far more sense. And it’s been on repeat in the car to my great joy and the bane of the local cats and one rather irritated daddy possum.
Steve Lucas at the Newtown Social Club. Murray Bennett photo
X is a Sydney band.
I can’t think any other outfit that personified the street-level, brutal and at times minimalistic music of Sin City Sydney of the late ‘70s like X. Theirs' was a world of squats with a city awash with Terrence Clark's cheap smack, the odour of brown bags of dirty money and nightly beatings at Darlo police station.
It was a world of corrupt pollies and police in the post-Askin Sydney. X captured that harsh, nihilistic inner-city world. One that has long since been gentrified.