Stalwarts of the Sydney underground scene of the 1990s, The Crisps have reunited for a brief tour and the release of their self-titled EP.
The Crisps were regarded as something of a supergroup back in the day. Comprising Stu Wilson (New Christs), Graham “Hoody” Hood (The Johnnys), Dave Thomas (Doomfoxx) and Chris Nacard (Orange County), they punched out a memorable and melodic brand of garage rock. That’s reflected on the six-track EP they have released through Vi-Nil Records, available on pink vinyl only here.
The Crisps Reformation and EP Launches APRIL 5 – Newcastle, Hamilton Station Hotel + Drugs in Sport + Shacked 7 – Sydney, Marrickville Bowlo + Pocket Watch + The Hot Ness 8 – Newcastle, Hiss & Crackle Wallsend (instore) Woy Woy, Link n Pin + Meth Haul 9 – Sydney, Manly Boatshed + Sonic Garage + 4 Barrel Hemi 13 – Canberra, Smiths Alternative + Pilots of Baalbek + Undermines 14 – Bendigo 15 – Workman’s Club Melbourne, The Tote (upstairs) + The Dallas Terrors + Three Broads and a Gun
I'm not certain who first coined the memorable phrase Glamericana to describe Joe Normal's songs that are part power-pop, part glam rock, and part blue collar romance and workin' man auto-mythology, ala early E StreetBand, but it is indeed an apt description.
Joe Normal's visually stimulating, marketing-minded New Jersey glam gang, the Zeros, moved to L.A. in the 1980s and almost immediately made a big splash on the scene. They were recruited by Howard Stern to record his original radio show theme song and had an endorsement from a top name tennis shoe company. California kids were forming bands with multicolored hair in homage to their Zeros heroes.
The purple haired Zeros were kind of like the missing link between Poison and Green Day. Unless you lived in L.A. in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, it's hard to even remotely grasp how popular the Zeros really were with all the L.A. glam kids, back then, they used to pack 'em in at all the clubs, standing room only, lines around the block.
With an Australian tour underway in May and June, it would be criminal not to put on something for guitar geeks. So ex-Radio Birdman, Hitmen, Screaming Tribesmen, New Christs, Juke Savages and Raouls guitarist Chris Klondike Masuak will conduct a three-hour Masuak Guitar Masterclass at Petersham Bowling Club in Sydney on the afternoon of Saturday, May 20.
Pre-booking is esential as numbers will be capped, and participants will walk away with a T-shirt, signed book and a headfull of Masuak guitar secrets. Full details, bookings here.
Picture it: Rundle Mall, Adelaide, the height of Festival and Fringe, and your scurrying obedient scribe is trying to hustle through the attention-getting non-event nonsense “street shows”, the magic acts, all treating us to the incredibly naff idea that “an event means LOUD IMPERATIVE music”, on my way to the bottleshop and thence to the bus to arrive at a nine-year-old’s netball final.
Out of nowhere appear three Japanese musicians, one with a basket on his head clutching a sort of semi-acoustic six-stringed thing, another bloke with a curly mohawk hunched over what looks to be a child’s drum kit, and a woman with long red dreads, wearing a beaming smile and holding a bright red, headless bass.
Almost Dead In Hollywood b/w La Dolce Vita – The Fiction (Off The Hip)
The glam-punk “Almost Dead In Hollywood” has a momentum that belies a reality that The Fiction are superannuants who originally convened as a band in Meloburne way back in 1978. Rob Griffiths spits out a word salad about a huge and hazy night before leading us it into a gold-plated singalong chorus. High tension guitars from Rusty Teluk and Rob Wellington are barbs on the end of the hook. Bait taken.
The B side is an ode to a neighbourhood sexpot and if they remake the movie of the same name, it should be on the soundtrack. A nagging guitar line and a bubbling bass-line propel “La Dolce Vita” forward with a relentless but melodic punk urgency. The throaty guitar solo that punctuates the song towards the end of its two-minute lifespan is a cool touch.
Things Will Be Different: A Tribute To Little Murders – Various Artists (Twist Records)
Tribute records? They used to be all the rage but are they now just a bit naff? It depends on who they’re lauding.
Little Murders are Australian rock and roll’s – no! don’t say it! – Best Kept Secret. It’s a cliché, for sure, but don’t be afraid. It just means that cloth-eared and gormless cretins don’t know who they are. If you’re one of them, consider yourself admonished and start paying attention.
The long-awaited live album is out and so Died Pretty will perform a special run of theatre-only Australian shows in October.
Special guests are Melbourne's Underground Lovers, theARIA Award winning band that's been on the cutting edge of Australian independent music since 1989. With a sound built on infectious melodies, motoric rhythms and jagged guitars, their post punk aesthetic and dynamic stage performances have won them supports to the likes of The Cure, New Order, My Bloody Valentine and Primal Scream.
Died Pretty OCT 13 - Enmore Theatre - Sydney (Tix) 21 - Princess Theatre - Brisbane (Tix) 27 - National Theatre - Melbourne (Tix)
Live albums were things a band pulled out of its collective arse when members were short on ideas and had “contractual obligations” to a label. These days, they’re a quaint anachronism in a market that treats digital singles as a currency.
The only contractual obligation Died Pretty has these days is keeping their record label boss and manager, John Needham, in the lifestyle to which he is accustomed, so a live recording of a February 2008 performance of the cross-over album “Doughboy Hollow” at Melbourne’s Forum Theatre is probably of interest only to diehard fans.
Guilty as charged but thousands of others will take the same plea.