There’s a case to be made for this being the best Australian 45 of all time so Canadian label Ugly Pop has done the world a great service by re-issuing it. Here are the young Masters in their early incarnation, their essence wrapped up in two succinct but telling garage punk punches.
Gloriously raw and an inspiration to countless bands that have followed (Radio Birdman and the Saints among them), “Undecided” explodes with the snarl of over-driven guitars and the young Jim Keays’ unrestrained vocal.Taken from the Aztec Records re-master, it has translated perfectly to vinyl with a crunching bottom end and punchy mid-range.
If you believe the schtick about expat-Canadian vocalist-saxophonist Spencer Evoy meeting bassist Bret Bolton on a pigrimage to Joe Meek’s former flat and recording studio, you’ll swallow the line that the band was named after a takeaway shop Boulton was living above. And that the pair met when Evoy was busking outside. Every band needs a back story. and it beats Mick and Keef telling record collection stories to each other on a train platform.
(The word is that it's all true. So there. )
Anyway, these tracks are from the soundtrack for a forthcoming horror flick about bears. Which makes a change from the band's usual lyrics about chicken. The A is a greasy R & B mover (meaning Rhythm & Blues - before the term was denuded by atrocious pap) that’s dominated by a feel with swing and Evoy’s rich sax and vocal.
The flip is a horny instro that’s nearly as good and would have gone down a storm in a late ‘50s dance hall full of liquored-up teens. I’ve no idea what it all means in the film’s context but that’s probably not a game breaker. This shit is top-shelf.
MFC Chicken on the Web at Dirty Water Records
Multinational London-based band MFC Chicken aptly describe their music as the stuff “the Sonics listened to”, and if you’re remotely interested in sax-flavoured ‘50s greaser grooves you’ll take this 45 like a rocker to a free vat of hair gel.
The A side is an infectious ode to misguided DJ requests that gets an extra half-point for dissing both Elton John and Rhiannon. Saxophonist-vocalist Spencer Evoy puts it over in the same spirit as big booming Barrence Whitfield. It’s hard to believe this is a band named after a greasy chicken shop. But it is.
The flipside has the band reverting to type - that is, singing a song with a lyric about chicken - and it’s a rocking and rootsy rumble that’s crunchier than a bucket of its namesake’s original recipe. All meat and no feathers.
MFC Chicken at Dirty Water Records
Warning: Some non-rock 'n' roll content ahead with lots of laddish, British crime and action 1960s films relevance.
"Blow the Bloody Doors Off" is a triumph of ingenuity, intelligence, organisation, talent and sheer bloody guts.
Once or twice I reflect how damn lucky Adelaide is. "Blow the Bloody Doors" off isn’t touring the rest of Australia, though it should, and soon.
Its star is Terry Edwards (pictured right) with guests including Zephyr Quartet, Seamus Beaghen, Rosie Westbrook, James Johnston, Trevor Nichols … you get the picture. It’s an all-star cast.
Bluesy rock with its feet nailed to the floor in a smoky bar somewhere in the ‘70s, Vikunder kick out righteous rock with a lashing of soul on this single, a taster for their second album, “Oracles and Prophets”.
“Gone With The Dawn” motors on the same melodic fuel that’s powered The Sewergrooves for the best part of a decade. Is it any surprise they, too, hail from Sweden? In Vidunker’s case, one guitar and an organ fill out the sound with Martin Prim’s tuneful vocal pushed slightly back in the mix.
Spain's premier portable party band, Los Chicos, is heading to Australia for another tour, travelling on the back of last year's album on the Off The Hip and Dirty Water labels, "In The Age of Stupidity". Here's their promo video and the dates.
2 – The Espy, St Kilda, VIC
3 – The Tote, Collingwood, VIC
4 – Boogie! Festival, Tallarook, VIC
5 – HOLA!, Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
8 – Newtown Social Club, NSW
10 – Wollongong Uni Bar, NSW
11 – Retreat Hotel, Brunswick, VIC
Their “On The Quiet” remains the best example of the “unplugged” concept we’ve ever heard so it’s a penny-dropping moment to hear Sydney’s iconic Celibate Rifles are heading north to Brisbane perform an acoustic set on April 23.
O'Malley's Irish Pub in Queens Street, Brisbane, hosts a fortnightly, mid-week live music club called ‘The Bunker’ and that’s where the Rifles will strip things back to showcase tunes spanning their impressive 35-year career.
The one-off show promises to be a rare treat and the Cellies wil be joined by local support acts, Weezal and Thirteen Seventy, also in rare acoustic mode.
A very limited number of pre-show tickets go on sale midday Wednesday 11th March for $20 +BF here or from The Bunker
Some tickets will be available at the door but numbers will be extremely limited to keep the event intimate. The Bunker is proudly presented by O'Malley's Irish Pub, and community radio 4ZZZ 102.1FM Brisbane.
STOP PRESS: Two more amplified Rifles shows announced
French one-man band King Automatic now has four albums on Voodoo Rhythm and still can’t make up his mind what musical genre we should put him in. Amen to that. This record is his most cosmopolitan so far.
“Lorraine Exotica” bounces from exotic organ-drenched garage to fuzz-soaked blues to Jamaican rock steady, with maracas, Russian folk music and trash exotica thrown in along the way. It jumps around like a tenderfoot tourist in Fiji lingering too long on hot coals. King Automatic has toured everywhere from Eastern Europe to South America and this album sounds like he’s sending a musical postcard from every stop.
Melbourne’s Arctic Circles might be a relative blip on the continuum of the Australian underground scene of the 1980s with a recorded legacy totalling just a rash of compilation appearances, a single and an EP, but those who saw them or have their records swear by them. This cracker of a 45 adds another desirable entry to the discography.
Issued to pay tribute to late drummer Anders Nielsen who passed away in August 2014 at age 50, it was recorded live at the band’s first show (by its original line-up, naturally enough) at the legendary Seaview Balltoom in St Kilda in 1984 and bristles with roughshod beat-pop brilliance.