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.
Iconic punks The Damned are returning to Australia and New Zealand for a series of highly anticipated shows in June.
Forged in the hot fire of first wave, The Damnedare the greatest surviving British punk band, still firing on all cylinders. They are often regarded alongside The Clash and Sex Pistols as a seminal force in driving the genre’s popularity.
Drop Out With The Barracudas Deluxe Edition – Barracudas (Lemon Records)
Increasingly, the recording companies attempt to milk the last of the boomer dollars before retirement homes steal the last of our bank accounts. They’ve already worked out that there's bugger all money in new recordings. Even dependable old cash cows like KISS and TheWho have made public statements to that end.
So record companies have learnt to spew out deluxe editions of the familiar, the obscure and the criminally ignored. And, if someone is going to put out a multi disc collection of every taped concert on Sunset Strip, well oops. My finger slipped on the buy button before I read about the goddamn postage.
So what is it? "You're Not What I'm Looking For" is classic tough power pop with a dead-set groove you can light a fire with.
So. I know nothing about Flowers from Jayne except the name and the members have "form", as The Truth newspaper used to say of "colourful racing identities". Lead guitarist Jayne Murphy played in the Lime Spiders (presumably there are one or two similarly "colourful" stories to be told there), bass player Bill Gibson is a familiar figure from The Eastern Dark, and drummer Jess Ciampa can boast being in the Jeff Duff Band and Monsieur Camembert.
John Kennedy and the New Originals - John Kennedy and the New Originals (Foghorn/MGM)
Brisbane-raised English expatriate John Kennedy patented the Urban and Western genre after he transplanted himself to Sydney 40-something years ago and found underground success. It’s been a long (and winding) road since.
There’s been a decade living overseas in Los Angeles, Berlin, London, Holland and Hong Kong. Kennedy on paper’s had what appears to be a revolving cast of backing bands - J.F.K. And The Cuban Crisis, John Kennedy And The Honeymooners, John Kennedy's '68 Comeback Special and John Kennedy's Love Gone Wrong.
Reality is that there’s been an intermingling of players in those bands and the line-up’s been stable in recent years, but perseverance has been a by-word.
Memento Mori - Hugo Race and Josh Lord (independent)
You shouldn't put “Memento Mori” on as background music while you do the dusting or writing funny memes. I mean, you can, of course. But it's a lovely slow-paced creature, and it will snare you.
You'll find yourself slouched on the couch, wanting sleep and comfort but ... despite all the gorgeous sounds, it's damned unsettling. You'll wake with a stiff neck and your limbs out of joint, I promise. No, skip to the end for how to fully appreciate this.
But first, I must apologise unreservedly to both Josh Lord and Hugo Race. I was unable to do this review quickly enough.