Reptile Brain b/w Reptile Sludge - Imperial State Electric (Bootleg Booze)

imperials state electric singleImperial State Electric being the current band (or more like a collective with rotating membership) for Helicopters main-man Nicke Andersson. That alone should tell you what to expect.

Imperial State Electric had passed me by before this but if the single is anything to go by, the sound and spirit of the ‘Copters is alive and kicking.

This single is the same song done twice ("City Slang" style) and it comes from the 2013 album, “Reptile Brain Music”. Neither side lets anyone down: It’s bristling with guitar riff Rock Action and an uncompromising drive in the bottom end. One of the people responsible for all that engine room power, Bassist Dolf de Borst (The Datsuns), does the honours on vocal. The flip is a dirtier version of the song with Nicke behind the microphone.

This is a second pressing which tells ironed-on Helicopters fans (and even casual ones like me) that it’s not too late to make sure they don’t miss out.

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Bootleg Booze Records on the Web

Leftovers and Rarities - The Dead Brothers (Future Folklore Records)

dead brothers frontFuture Folklore is very much a new label; "Leftovers and Rarities" bears the product number FFR001. It’s a vinyl record first; and limited at that, which means because the band are damned popular in Europe, if you’ve heard the Dead Brothers, you want it and you’re going to regret forking out for Prince last week or whenever it was.

The odds ’n’ sods of most bands don’t usually make for decent records, though, let’s face it. For every great KISS LP, there’s a wagon-load of stinkers. “Black Moose”was the last time I reviewed The Dead Brothers; so rather than be fair about this, I’m going to ignore all the trainspotterish notes other journos will jump on, and treat “Leftovers and Rarities” as a new, possibly “lost” album.

My Script - Kim Salmon (kimsalmon.com.au)

my scriptContrary bugger that he is, while this hasn’t quite been released, quite a few radio shows are playing tracks; this is probably because the DJs have all contributed to Kim’s crowdfunding site and have been snaffling the thing. And no wonder, because My Script is a ripper of a CD, all raucous yet bedroom-y, intimate and deafening by turns.

It’s also quite clear that this is Kim’s first "real" solo LP, allowing us to see the full gamut of his talent. Miles Mumford is in the production chair, in between contributing poignant soundscapes.

On the back cover, “All Rights Reserved” is followed by “All Wrongs Righted”. In a way that’s typical of the man Salmon; I mean, yeah, it’s bit of flung-out wordplay, but imagine setting out a task so hopelessly impossible to complete…

The Passing Parade - Jack Howard (Jack Howard) and False Idols - Hugo Race and the True Spirit (Glitterhouse)

false idolspassing paradeSeems that the long EP is the way to go. A CD single was always a bit naff, a CD EP was okay but seemed a little wasteful in terms of time; a full CD these days is the equivalent of a double vinyl LP back in the mists of time.

Speaking of going back, a decent 7” was a work of art, whether it be by the Clash or the Psycho Surgeons, the Cramps or The News (I’ll never forget the first and only time I’ve held a single-sided single in my hands - utterdelight and incomprehension all at once). An EP was harder to achieve but was still a work of art.

Get Cooped up with a bunch of underground rock stars

joeys coop portraitEmmy Etie photo.

It will be an all-supergroup affair when the eminently well-credentialed Joeys Coop (pictured) launch their debut album in Sydney on April 8 with help from an all-star supporting cast.

The On and Ons (featuring ex-Hoodoo Gurus, Screaming Tribesmen, Kings of the Sun and Stems members) and Cub Calloway and The Revolutionaries (featuring ex-New Christs, Saints and Died Pretty members) will join them at The Factory Floor in Marrickville.

“Service Station Flowers” is the forthcoming album on CD on the Citadel label.

Joeys Coop was formed by Mark Roxburgh (ex-Decline of the Reptiles) who co-wrote the album with bandmate and Died Pretty guitarist Brett Myers. It will be the first record with Myers credits in almost 10 years and the band includes past and present members of The Barbarellas, The Visitors, Deniz Tek Group and Loose Pills. You can score tickets here

Diamond In The Forehead - Garry Gray and The Sixth Circle (Off The Hip)

diamond foreheadNow I have to be upfront here. During the early '80s I was a huge Sacred Cowboys fan. I only saw them twice in Sydney but felt they were The Real Deal: a band in this territory of cool, alternative cowboy/Delta punk be that was coming from USA via people like The Gun Club and Wall of Voodoo, yet with a savage savage edge that was a nod to the "Blood River" period Scientists.

“Nothing Grows in Texas” simply was one best Australian singles of the '80s. Of courses Molly Meldrum slagged them off on TV on "Countdown". So we all knew they had so much going for them. At the centre was Garry Gray and his sneering vocals, somewhere between Alex Chilton and Jonathan Richman with a belly-full of hard, home brewed liquor.

Reel to Real – Love (High Moon)

ReeltorealcoverLet’s make the assumption that many people reading this will never have heard anything from Californian band Love’s substantial back catalogue and they’ll barely know the band’s singer and only constant member, the late Arthur Lee.

There might be a vague recollection of “My Little Red Book” (a Burt Bacharach-Hal David cover, for gawdsake) or the New Christs’ flint-hard version of “She Comes In Colours” (on the “Pedestal” EP). But that's it. 

On the road with the Godoys and Dr Tek

Four years ago, identical twins Art and Steve Godoy - ex-professional skateboarders, inventors, tattoo artists, patent holders, unicyclists and musicians - toured Europe as the rhythm section for Deniz Tek and The Golden Breed. Here's part one of a video diary of their time on the road. 

Art and Steve Godoy in: 'Deniz Tek and The Golden Breed USA/European tour through OUR eyes' from Godoy Twins on Vimeo.

Strange bedfellows and guilty pleasures

glory daysIt’s not every day you see bands from Australian underground rock’s halcyon days (that’d be the ‘80s) rubbing shoulders with mainstream chart-toppers but that’s what’s looming.

“The Golden Days Of Aussie Pub Rock” is the first volume of a series through major label Festival/Warner that boasts four (count ‘em) CDs of Down Under backyard barbecue listening fodder.

Cool lesser lights like Sydney’s suburban pop-rockers The Lonely Hearts (“The Spell”), the unstoppable X (“Dream Baby”), The Numbers (“The Modern Song”), The Hitmen (“I Don’t Mind”), Huxton Creepers (“I Will Persuade You”) and the Screaming Tribesmen (“A Date With a Vampyre”) sit alongside heavyweights like Jimmy Barnes, Mental As Anything, The Angels, Cold Chisel and (gulp) Boom Crash Opera.

But wait, there's more. Boys Next Door, Sunnyboys, The Elks, The Boys and XL Capris fly the flag for independent bands. Stevie Wright, Finch, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs and Angy Anderson (no, not “Suddenly”, thank fuck) represent the old guard. 

The 91-song package includes comprehensive liner notes, with a track-by-track commentary and essay by key ‘70s Australian RAM magazine founding editor Anthony O’Grady. It’s out on April 1.

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