Second Winter - Ed Kuepper & Mark Dawson (Prince Melon Records)

second winter“Second Winter” feels almost like a concept album. Those are familiar with Kuepper’s work since his solo debut of “Electrical Storm” of 1985 will find it all like a passage between the past and the shadows of previous melodies and phrases. It's rather haunting.

Even the cover of the record has captured the ambience of the front of his first solo album (also made with long term collaborator, drummer Mark Dawson.) This shot shows four identified figures leaving an entrance of a stone building.

Leadfinger back in the saddle

leadfinger protoolsThey're one of Australia’s best bands, Leadfinger, have been working hard on a new album at Linear Studios in Sydney. The new long player's not long from finished but now it’s time to test the water with some of the new tunes and get some live rock action (otherwise known as beer and fun!!)

Along for the ride are their mates from Adelaide, The Pro Tools, whose ranks feature ex-members of The Exploding White Mice and the Bloodsucking Freaks.

The mini-tour's duybbed The Punk and The Rocker. Says "the rocker" Leadfinger leader Stew Cunningham: “These guys play an explosive mix of punk and hard-edged rock’n’roll with ("the punk") Pete ’The Stud' Howlett’s blistering guitar attack up front and loud.” That’s some recommendation.

Special guests on Thursday and Saturday night are some more Leadfinger buddies from Newcastle, The Delta Lions. Friday night’s guest at the Hammo Station Hotel in Newcastle are The Grounds.

Leadfinger + The Pro Tools
JULY
16 - Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice, Sydney + The Delta Lions
17 - Hamilton Station Hotel, Newycastle + The Grounds
18 - Dicey Riley’s Hotel, Wollongong + The Delta Lions

Girlschool live in Kansas City, USA

girlschool

It was with great interest to learn that Girlschool were doing a tour of the U.S.A. Evidently, they haven't toured the U.S.A. in over 20 years. When I discovered that they were playing a date in Kansas City, I decided to go.

Girlschool are touring with Crucified Barbara from Sweden. There were also two other acts as support.

Expat Masuak heads Aussie rock celebration

maz live in spainEurope might be getting a taste of a substantially reconfigured Radio Birdman this month but their former guitarist Chris Masuak isn’t standing still.

With a new album in the can (recorded with his band The Viveiro Wave Riders) the Spain-based Masuak is star attraction at a gig billed as “The Australian Rock Festival - The Legacy of Radio Birdman In Spain” on June 19.

Bar Flora Disco is the venue, in Masuak’s adopted home of Viveiro, and the gig will be shot for a forthcoming Birdman documentary by Australian filmmaker Jonathan Sequeira. Support will come from surf-punk outfit The Sonic Race.

Attack of the Cannibal Zombie Businessmen - The Higsons (Sartorial Records)

higsonsWhat a daft name for a band. Their Wikipedia page (trust it if you dare) asserts that they are a “funk-punk’ band ‘in the 1980s”. Formed in 1980, disbanded ‘by mutual consent’ (says Wikipedia) in 1986.

Charlie Higson - formerly of punk outfit The Right Hand Lovers (oo-er, missus, mine’s a large one) - David Cummings and Terry Edwards formed The Higsons. Charlie Higson is now described as an actor, author, writer, producer, comedian etc etc and he’s bloody well known around the UK, mostly from The Fast Show. If you can’t place him yet, it doesn’t matter.

Demon Blues – Datura4 (Alive-Naturalsound)

demon bluesIt’s a truism that most record labels take a few releases to find their feet and assert their character and Patrick Boissel’s LA-based Alive-Naturalsound is no different.

Starting life as the Bomp-associated imprint Alive-Total Energy in the early ’90s with a deep dive into Detroit Rock, it’s reached extensively into garage, soul and power-pop territories to be a home to The Black Keys, Swamp Dogg and Paul Collins, among others.

But it’s in the area of hard-edged, ‘70s style guitar rock that has Alive has most recently found a happy niche, with the likes of Americans Buffalo Killers (semi-pastoral crunch) and Radio Moscow (Hendrix-tinged psych jams) especially standing out. They’ve now been joined by Datura4 from Fremantle, Western Australia.

Bystander and Destroyer - The Vendettas (self released)

vendettasThe term Oz Rock is a catch-all phrase that’s scope is broader than a Queensland cow cocky’s accent but there’s something inherently recognisable about the music. The best of it is urgent and full of dynamics.

Once upon a time it was forged in year-long tours of a vast circuit of massive beer barns; nowadays it’s as much a creation of the odd gig in small-ish, grungy bars and digitally-assisted backshed studios.

Which brings us to Melbourne band The Vendettas and their second album. This isn’t a bad record but it’s very much music made with eyes on the prize. While that target isn’t going to be mainstream airplay in their home country, it could be a contract with a label in a bigger market. Many are called but few are chosen. The Vendettas might just do the business in Europe like Airborne or follow The Lazys to Canada.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion bring back the love

JSBX 2015
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is back with a brand new album and Australian tour in August 2015. “Freedom Tower - No Wave Dance Party 2015” is the album name and reputed to be a product of spontaneity.

Rehearsed and polished in a string of secret gigs and unannounced opening slots in New York City theatres, hotel bars, and dives (often under assumed names), and recorded at the legendary Daptone House Of Soul in Bushwick, “Freedom Tower” is described as “a document of New York City, a chronicle of grit and terror and love!”

The Empty Hearts – The Empty Hearts (429 Records)

empty heratsA while ago a mate gave me the thumbs up about Blondie Drummer Clem Burke's new band Empty Hearts. I figured anything Burke's involved in is gonna be top shelf stuff - and how right I was this time.

The Hearts formed in early 2014 as a supergroup of sorts, comprising Chesterfield Kings bassman  Andy Babuik, Elliott Easton (The Cars) on guitar, Burke and Wally Palmer (The Romantics) out front on vocals.

"90 Miles Down a Dead End Street" kicks things off at a frenetic pace with some focussed intent, lots of “na na na's added in. Easton's killer riff helps blast-off single "I Don't Want Your Love" off. A chorus you only dream about follows.

More Articles ...

I-94 Bar