This is Wire’s most across-the-board album. It’s lush, glorious, dirty, savage, sublime, clever in a street-smart way, jagged in a crying-jag way, it builds and grows and gathers you up and crushes and … and ‘Wire’ is just way, way too good for a band who’ve been touring and recording since 77. Five bottles. At least. So don’t bother reading any further, right, order it here. Then, when the bastard arrives, PLAY LOUD.
See, I come from an era where BOF meant Boring Old Fart, and that meant, not so much anyone over 30 (although that was often the case) but anyone shoving out lazy LPs, with maybe two or three half-decent songs on them. Ill-considered, slothful slush. If you can’t recall offenders from those days, I can bet you can name offenders from today.
“Wire” is way, way too good for old fuckers. If a band in their 20’s presented this to any major record company they’d be signed to a 20-year deal with the Fuck You Up and Rip You Off International label in no time flat.
Well, Boris in Adelaide on Sunday night were brilliant. Who are they?
Boris have been around since 1992, put out their first CD ‘single’ in ‘96, and have released 23 more LPs of their own songs (including three this year, and two last year) and 12 collaborative LPs, not including three collections of rarities and live material. They’re not huge in their home country of Japan, or indeed anywhere else, really. But those who know them cannot get enough and are total addicts.
I first heard them in 1996, when a mate, Paul, came back from Japan with “Absolutego”, put the bastard on and left it playing. After 45 minutes, and my third “Paul, which track is this..?” I got the same answer: “Oh, still the first one.” I demanded to see the disc. The song went for over an hour, and was (and is) fabulous. Lots of changes, altered states, tempo alterations…the lot. It’s like a long LP which keeps returning to its central theme which, not speaking Japanese, I have no idea of whatsoever. But you keep returning to it.
There should be a law against small record companies punching above their weight. And against brilliant rock’n’roll bands showing up all the mainstream slags as ugly, dull, leaden and tedious beyond belief. Why people listen to radio at all when they have bands like Movie Star Junkies to make their mixtapes steam like kids on the backseat.
Ten songs, 36 minutes. I like that. So I won’t spend too long here, other than to repeat what I’ve said before, Voodoo Rhythm do records and CDs which should fill your collection. And “Evil Moods” is another one you need to have.
As you may or may not know, I dislike, and am deeply suspicious of, political causes. Usually they’re poorly thought-out (with unforeseen consequences which should have been foreseen, if you know what I mean) or are laden with the usual ‘elect me’ agenda.
This one isn’t.
It started publicly with Facebook, as many things do these days, as we’ve lost our newspapers. A chap called Nathan May posted at 8.25pm on 11 May:
“So tonight I was supposed to receive an award from the University of Adelaide for my contribution within the Music Faculty but I rejected it. The reason why I rejected it is because the course I did for the last three years in risk of getting cut. If it wasn’t for CASM I would not be in the place I am today, CASM is family.”
Seems not so long ago (and in fact, it was the late 1980s) that the shadow of a still breathing, although not always fully-functioning, Johnny Thunders was almost everywhere you looked. His records filled the racks and every second person in a band wanted to look like, if not be, JT. As in buying the T-shirt with no need to tap a vein.
It was P.I. (Pre-Internet) so we didn’t have the same visual options that YouTube and Torrenting now offer, but you had to wonder how someone whose wasted pictures and sound defined the term “fucked-up” so convincingly could continue to make music.
Of course, way down in Australia we got our answer when an at least partially cleaned-up Johnny toured, with the ever-present legend Jerry Nolan on drums and a real live Sex Pistol, Glen Matlock, on bass. That had to be the year I was overseas, but by all reliable reports The Man and His Band were both lucid and great.
His music tends to be overshadowed by the fact that Thunders was a hardcore junkie for the second tw-thirds of his career, at first by choice and then, over the years, by necessity. You might argue that he also milked that reputation for all it was worth, to the point that it was a marketing tool as much as a cross to bear.
Four years after being diagnosed with terminal liver disease, Detroit musical elder statesman Scott Morgan is back making new music. A mountain of bills from medical treatment and ongoing living expenses, however, are making it tough going.
The former Rationals, Hydromatics and Sonic’s Rendezvous Band member was diagnosed with terminal liver cirrhosis and a stomach tumour that was swiftly and painfully ravaging his body. Against great odds, he survived thanks to the excellent medical staff at University of Michigan and St. Joseph Hospitals.
Scott spent two years in treatment and recovery, and a third year in physical therapy to regain his vocal strength.
The world’s greatest exponents of down and dirty, heart breaking, soul shaking rock ‘n’ roll,The BellRays, are about to hit Australian shores again in August. The re-scheduled dates follow the cancellation of their planned double-headed tour of Australia with Supersuckers.
The ROCKPOCALYPSE Make Up Tour takes in three states and the national capital and includes forays into regional centres.
I'm going to surprise you and tell you this isn't a great single. Well, not in the traditional sense. It's not what anyone calls a hit record. It barely finds a chorus. But is it fucking great? Oh yeah.
This is all kinds of thundering great hyper rock and roll madness. It's the sort of track that makes you want to jump into your Panzer Tank and overrun the nearest neighbouring country whilst swigging Wild Turkey and taking no prisoners. Guitars slash, scream and gurgle in electric squall. Bass pounds earthquakes. Drums thump the beat of zombie apocalypse (but the fast kind of modern zombie and not the shambling old school type). Tick off all the appropriate cliche rock and roll review boxes. Throw in words like blistering. Mention Detroit. It's not important. Just get the message out. This thing rocks like the proverbial motherfucker (even though I'm not sure how that visual is appropriate).
This Newport, Kentucky, band lived its first life deep in the American Midwest from 1983-87 and has reformed sporadically since. One of the “Killed By Death” outfits - so-called because a series of bootlegs using that title gave them and scores of others fleeting fame outside their own backyards - they’ve issued this three-tracker CD single as a precursor to a retrospective album.
On the strength of “Resuscitation” they could just as easily make it all-new material. This stuff burns like a clear-headed version of the Heartbreakers, although without the same swing. The licks make it obvious where guitarist Donny “Tex” Watson is coming from, even if his feet are planted on the ground, rather than skidding all over the stage like the late Johnny Genzales.