Unless the Barman wishes to alter my remunerative package (i.e. I don’t get to wipe the glasses), I don’t tend to investigate the background of a performer. I prefer to let the songs speak. “Big Hearted Lovin’ Man” is a four-star CD, and if the music were more to my taste I’d be saying more.
Short review: Glistening golden guitar married to Dan Brodie’s transcendent voice is a match in heaven. Even better, Dan can write fine lyrics. Some leap out a little more than others; “Prescription Chemicals’”and “Lower Me Down” are particular favourites.
Brian James hasn’t done a lot of looking back since parting ways with The Damned after writing and playing on their first two albums.
Sure, there’s been the odd reunion tour with Vanian and Co and he’s reprised some of his own songs from back then, but it’s his spells with The Lords of the New Church and a string of other projects - including separate bands with the MC5’s Wayne Kramer, Iggy Pop and Rat Scabies, plus his own Brian James Gang - that have kept him busy. This solo album continues the trend.
This album’s title is apt. Its 10 tracks reek of stinging, searing guitar. As a member of the stillborn-in-rehearsals London SS, James took his lead from the MC5 and the “Raw Power” Stooges and it shows. You can still make a case for him as playing one of the angriest guitars since James Williamson.
Japanese guitarist Kawaguchi Masami has a reputation for heavy riffage and dreamy soundscapes in his long string of bands, but in solo mode he leans heavily towards the latter. “The Mad Guitar Sings” bears more than a reference in name only to Syd Barrett’s post-Floyd stuff but is perhaps even darker in its tone.
Masami has been in bands like Miminokoto, New Rock Syndicate, Los Doroncos (with Doronco of Les Rallizes Denudes), Aihiyo (with Keiji Haino), LSD March and Broomdusters, all of which are just names to me but well regarded by those grounded in Japanese heavy rock and psych.
Emmy Etie photograph
He's been dubbed The Godfather of Australian Stoner Rock for his work with ultra-heavy '70s band Buffalo and Dave Tice is re-visiting his revered outfit's legacy with a series of select shows.
Tice has assembled a new line-up under the banner Buffalo Revisited to focus on the earliest of the original band's five albums.
Buffalo Revisited is presenting the music of Buffalo at the Bald Faced Stag Hotel in Leichhardt on Saturday, November 27 with supports Arrowhead and Bitter Sweethearts. Pre-sale tickets are on sale here.
Karina Astrup photo
A lot of bands say they're unique but Six Ft Hick’s claim is real. A two-headed mutant from deepest Queensland in Australia’s sub-tropical north, the Hick has been trashing stages around their home country, and further afield in Japan and Europe, for two decades.
Over four studio albums and a live long-player since 2000, Six Ft Hick have carved out a space for themselves somewhere between amped-up (vaguely) rockabilly and full-steam ahead trash rock, but it’s as a stage entity that they’ve made their most lasting mark.
With vocalist-brothers Geoff and Ben Corbett running off each other like crazed wingmen at a testosterone party, they’re an irresistible and confronting beast that’s impossible to ignore. Smashed glasses (mainly on their own heads), broken furniture, casualty ward visits and ringing ears are de riguer.
Feedback songstress Penny Ikinger is pulling together an all-star band for a special one-off show in Sydney on October 17 with special guest Masami Kawaguchi from Japan.
Billed as a “psychedelic machine gun guitarist” by Wire magazine, Tokyo-based Kawaguchi will open the show at Marrickville’s The Factory Floor with a solo spot before joining Penny’s headlining line-up comprising Deniz Tek and Jim Dickson (Radio Birdman) and drummer John Fenton (Crow.)
Kawaguchi has played with Japanese bands Miminokoto, LSD March and Broomdusters and is said to be a master of Blue Cheer-meets-Nuggets fuzz zone. He played guitar on Penny’s new album, recorded in Tokyo. He is touring Australia to promote the release of his own solo album: “The Mad Guitar Sings” on Black Petal Records.
Main support will be The Maladies whose notoriously wild live shows swing erratically from tender croon to demented howl. Expect to see something intense and abrasive!
This is a one-off, never-to-be-repeated event and tickets are on here.
Heavyweights The Mark Of Cain return to Australian stages with a national tour in November and December, including a two-night stand in hometown Adelaide to raise money for a cancer charity.
“Having lost family members, friends and work colleagues to cancer in the past, I thought it was time to personally do something about cancer - not only to raise awareness, but also to do something directly to help fund cancer research,” TMOC singer-songwriter John Scott said. “As everyone knows, cancer doesn’t discriminate and we are all potentially only a doctor’s appointment away from hearing those life changing words."
It’s said there’s nothing new in rock and roll but sometimes it doesn’t matter a damn. Welsh trash punkers The Sick Livers do Turbonegro better than Turbonegro on their newest album, “Mid Liver Crisis”.
The Welsh are famous for their coal mines and given appropriate volume, the 10 tracks here would kill a canary quicker than a mineshaft full of methane. The Sick Livers sing anthems about drinking, fucking and staring into the abyss with a large chaser of dark humour.
There are no massed male choirs on “Mid Liver Crisis”, only the odd “woo-ooh” chorus rising behind buzzbomb guitars and the nagging vocal of frontman Ginge. If the last album, “Motors, Women, Drugs, Booze & Killing”, was in your face then “Mid Liver…” ups the ante in terms of violation of personal space. The engine rooim kicks harder than a pint glass full of port the morning after a seriously pissy Saturday night.
Steve Mackay - saxophonist for Iggy & the Stooges, Snakefinger's Blues Band, Commander Cody and Violent Femmes, among others - is critiically ill in hospital in San Francisco following complications from surgery.
Friends say he went into Seton Medical Centre in Daly City a few days ago with sepsis, a life threatening condition that can lead to inflammation and organ shutdown.
Close friends and family are understood to be at his bedside.
Mackay is best known for his contribution to the second Stooges album, “Fun House”, and was recruited by the band from Ann Arbor avant garde band Carnal Kitchen.
Mackay toured with the group throughout 1970 but parted company late that year.
He came back into the fold for both lives of the reformed band and continued to tour heavily with them until their recent hiatus. He played on both “The Weirdness” and “Ready To Die” and toured with his own band in the 2000s.
Heather Harris photo