Holler for a Marshall

tears of the minotaurTears of the Minotaur - The Christopher Marshall Predestination (self released)

I guess the starting point here will be 1980s noisy blues outfit Harem Scarem, formed by Charlie and Christopher Marshall. Until they found Chris Wilson, Christopher was lead vocalist. And I do wish for a few live tapes of that line-up. 

And, curious how things turn out. 

Like his fellow bandmate the late Chris Wilson, Marshall's voice is quite extraordinary, and you can pretty much pick your own favourite blues vocalist to compare him to. 

One disorder you need to catch

punk traumatic stress disorderPunk Traumatic Stress Disorder - Cull The Band (Tomorrow Records)

Sydney is known as a town which loves tough, punchy rock'n'roll. This fits the bill. It's also fairly short, clocking in at just over 26 and a half minutes. Which means that the impact is hard, fast, heavy as fuck and smacks you over the head with a deep sea tuna, and leaves.

They're gonna be supporting The Scientists, and Mudhoney, in Adelaide next year.

Yeah, you're gonna love this.

Stepping into punk's shoes

religious overdoseStrung Out On Heavens High, 1980-1982 - Religious Overdose (Optic Nerve Recordings/Glass Records)

Nope, never heard of Religious Overdose. So I put it on. And suddenly, that weird Adelaide time from about 1978 to 1981 was back.

Bands like Nuvo Bloc, Systems Go, The Lounge. You sort of knew some of their influences. And rather than be like so many other bands smitten with the underground music movement currently sweeping the globe, they'd deliberately avoided mimicry to produce something both damn strange and damn good. 

Talking in rock and roll tongues

speak evil 5Speek Evil: Illustrated Rock and Roll Periodical (The Art of Fox)

Reviewing what’s a visual feast served on paper pages is a challenge at the best of times but who doesn’t love a test? “Speek Evil” is neither a zine or a comic – call it a zomic if it makes you happy - because it combines the best of both, and it’s chock full of dark imagery and rock and roll attitude.

Which should come as no surprise, as it’s the product of the mind and pen of Mike Foxall, late of Nancy Vandal and more lately guitarist in The Neptune Power Federation. Foxall is one of the pre-eminent rock and roll graphic artists of the Sydney underground scene.

He’s a member of a club that boasts Ben Brown, Ray Ahn and Glenno Smith, and his imagery adorns the covers of his current band’s albums, plus posters and T-shirts for Crapulos Geegaw, King Parrot, Frenhal Rhomb and The Australian Beef Week Show. He’s also an animator.

“Speek Evil” is a lavish, full-colour 80-page production printed on high-quality matt paper and is produced quarterly. It plumbs similar cultural depths as “Unbelievably Bad” used to, but with Foxall’s own punk rock pre-occupations and peers in evidence. It’s up to five editions.

No need to be vague about how good they are

I've been watching that Tim Burton Addam's Family reboot, "Wednesday", and smiling when the young actress tears it up go-go zombie, old school death style to an old Cramps tune, also find myself gravitating to old Alien Sex Fiend and Peter Murphy videos in my tiny hours.

As an almost perpetually melancholy and new wave nostalgic, elderly goth antisocial glamarchist, bored to tears in a deadend desert, wind blown, graveyard town, I'm always complaining about how there is almost zero modern music with the coolness and style and abstract innovation of the ‘80s post-punk, goth, and synth-pop I grew up with.

But this dynamic band, Vague Scare, have all the chilly vintage atmosphere and evocative lyrical panache and gloomy, brooding vocals of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and I totally love them. If you came of age in the Bauhaus/Sisters Of Mercy/Skinny Puppy era and yearn to hear some new sounds that got that classic retro gothic vibe, you will love Vague Scare. They are almost too cool, remind me of every record I love.

New album out right now! I heard the recent Soft Cell/Pet Shop Boys duet and VAGUE SCARE is way better! Check out their Bandcamp here.

Folk off: Let's get hypnotised

the fallowingThe Fallowing - Adam Geoffrey Cole Cornish (Sunstone)
The Tracks of the Afterlander - Adam Geoffrey Cole (Ramble Records)

I don't have much taste for what gets defined as “folk”.. Which conjures up the same sorts of things for you as it does for me, really. Marxist Orstrilian dingbats dressed up in “traditional” Oirish garb, wittering out stuff which all sounds a bit too twee and cliched, while bunging on a nasally twinge and waxing lyrical about a lifestyle they're only really familiar with through reading about it (and possibly a holiday in the Auld Coontry when they were 11). Oh, and bags of make-believe wailing humility.

Shoot them all, I say, and be quick about it.

Chicks Who Rock and a Died Pretty special to close out Thursday Evening Gunk

The latest episode of Thursday Evening Gunk is here and the theme is "Chicks Who Rock". Guest host Heather Goodman talks to Jessamine Finlayson of Raising Ravens, The Missmade  and Nitrocris and Bianca Kotoulas of rising young Sydney band Euterpe.  

The episode in the season steams this Thursday at 8pm Sydney time and is a Died Pretty special. Guest host Danny Lau speaks to Brett Myers and Steve Clark from Died Pretty and Brett's bandmate Mark Roxburgh from his other band, Joeys Coop. Steve Clark's duo Nothing But Dust will play a live set. Follow this link to watch the stream live from the MoshPit Facebook page,  or pop into MoshPit Bar in St Peters, Sydney, at 8pm AEDST.

 

Floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee

honey beeHoney Bee b/w Ride The Iron Space Bird - The Neptune Power Federation (Speek Evil)

Combining live theatrics with high-energy and heaviness is just one facet of The Neptune Power Federation. The other is being able to twist on a stylistic dime and pivot into another direction. In case you don’t know, the Sydney band is populated by ex-members of Frenzal Rhomb and Nancy Vandal, and they bring all sorts of punk, metal and psych influences to the table.

The A side is sassy, bubblegum pop with Screaming Loz Sutch delivering a killer vocal. A nice edgy guitar solo from Troy Vod or Mike Foxall is the cream on top .Brilliant.

Get Filthy with The City Kids

filth city kidsFilth – The City Kids  (Very Fried Artists) 

“Filth” is one helluva punk-glam headbanging album that has to be heard and played loud. The City Kids are out of the UK (with a bit of Danish blood) and this is their second album.

Named after a Pink Fairies song (later covered by Motorhead), “Filth” has The City Kids poised to be heavy metal’s next big thing. Dave Sanders’ drumming, in particular, on this is fucking outstanding.

I was once told  by a very well-known Australian drummer  that every band is only as good as the drummer. Obnoxious prick that he was, he was spot-on. Sanders is 100 percent on the money.  Just WOW!

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