Written by Edwin Garland, Bob Short & Robert Brokenmouth on .
It’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.
These 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?
“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?
It 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.
The voice of The Runaways, Cherie Curie, is heading to Australia and New Zealand in May and June for her first Antipodean tour.
The Runaways burst onto the LA scene in 1975 with a 15-year-old Currie out front screaming the instant classic “Cherry Bomb!” The Runaways created a sensation wherever they appeared and quickly catapulted from playing small clubs to selling out major stadiums—headlining shows with opening acts like the Ramones, Van Halen, Cheap Trick and Blondie.
Adelaide is filled with musicians who are muso’s, musicians who have been around the block, and musicians who are scary and won’t go away. Ben Gel and Co, and The C-Bombs, are locals who are scary and won’t go away.
Talent squirts out of these discs like … er, I’d better not go there. These two CDs are four-and-a-half bottle discs. I’d give them more if I could; fuck though, it’s Adelaide, our water is crunchy.
Ben Gel has been building a following in neighbouring Melbourne; The C-Bombs formed from the ashes of Grudge and have created a bloody monster. Both outfits resemble outlaws; I mean, they’re serious underground legends here, and for damn good reasons. You don’t want to be sober in front of these blokes. I’ve reviewed them together because both bands fit on the same bill very, very well.
Pre-orders are open for "Brujita", the album for Chris Masuak and The Viveiro Wave Riders on our own I-94 Bar Records. It's CD and download only at this stage. Get in now and receive an early download of one track, "Birdbrain" (that's the tune you can hear via the button below).
Physical copies should be with us by early next week. It's a return to Chris' rock-pop roots with a good handful of anthems and (not unexpectedly) we reckon it's killer.
Bob Dylan once said: “I should have never been successful: I was a fluke” In other words: Music that I write and perform, historically speaking, has never had mass appeal, he explained.
I have to agree with that; art that is intelligent, at times challenging and thoughtful does not generally have mass appeal (with a few exceptions.) KISS, One Direction and The Eagles have all sold mega tonnes of albums. delivered in massive crates (along with packs of Cornflakes) to mega stores, and still play sold-out arenas.
Meanwhile, artists like Ed Kuepper are down the road performing in small clubs, releasing music on their own labels and playing in intimate settings to refined music geeks and fans who like to think about their music.
It was tiny clubs where you could go to see Coltrane, Mingus or, on another level, Dave Van Ronk. It is perfect that we can see Ed in these venues.
The Camelot Lounge is quite a special place. It is a decent live venue in Sydney. So much care and thought has placed into this venue, which also includes the downstairs Django Bar.
It’s like a well-manicured museum - right down to the camel obsession and the food announcements that mimic RSL clubland bingo calls.
“No 67 your pizza ready and that rhymes with heaven” is quaint, and annoying at the same time: that said the booze is a good price. Places like this are truly a godsend.