French one-man band King Automatic now has four albums on Voodoo Rhythm and still can’t make up his mind what musical genre we should put him in. Amen to that. This record is his most cosmopolitan so far.
“Lorraine Exotica” bounces from exotic organ-drenched garage to fuzz-soaked blues to Jamaican rock steady, with maracas, Russian folk music and trash exotica thrown in along the way. It jumps around like a tenderfoot tourist in Fiji lingering too long on hot coals. King Automatic has toured everywhere from Eastern Europe to South America and this album sounds like he’s sending a musical postcard from every stop.
Melbourne’s Arctic Circles might be a relative blip on the continuum of the Australian underground scene of the 1980s with a recorded legacy totalling just a rash of compilation appearances, a single and an EP, but those who saw them or have their records swear by them. This cracker of a 45 adds another desirable entry to the discography.
Issued to pay tribute to late drummer Anders Nielsen who passed away in August 2014 at age 50, it was recorded live at the band’s first show (by its original line-up, naturally enough) at the legendary Seaview Balltoom in St Kilda in 1984 and bristles with roughshod beat-pop brilliance.
Shifting Sands are partly comprised of members of SixFtHick and Gentle Ben, whom you may have heard of … and quite a number of Shifting Sands’ songs are ludicrously radio-friendly.
No, I mean FM radio cross-over, cover of Cosmo friendly; "Boyfriend" and "Other Girls" are the tracks suggested; but that’s not where the band always hang. My favourites include "New Flame", "Dead Memory" and "Airway", the latter being a rather clever inversion of your expectation. In fact, the majors should be sniffing around right now.
Supports Simon Barker and Brian Ritchie were on first. Barker had me enthralled, utilising his kit like it was a series of implements to make specific sounds. The musical pieces he and Ritchie made were enthralling. Ritchie (the, er, violent femmes among you may recognise the name) played a succession of rather out-sized flutes.
Now, given that we were in the Freemason's Hall, a very macho, secretive kinda place, and that Ritchie was wearing a sort of rubber cape (with a zip), what looked like Indian love beads and wielded those protuberent, suggestive flutes... well. And there was a dancer, who worked hard but I didn't really enjoy. I was just transfixed by the music. Beautiful, sometimes crushing ... and rather lewd ... hmmm.
Here’s a single with a reason for living. Like all great 45s, it’s succinct and to the point. It belongs to feedtime, who were be the 1980s Australian underground’s most underrated band.
Revived on the back of a 2012 box set by Sub Pop after 20 years of inactivity, feedtime emerge from suburban Sydney anonymity whenever they feel like it. Obligingly, Sub Pop has released their this, their first recording in two decades.
There’s only one thing to do with this album: Play it. Loud. Over and over, Recorded in an analogue Italian studio in two days by a German duo, it’s soaked in whiskey, boogie and blues.
You can bitch about bands that go out of their way to sound vintage and to some extent you’d be right most of the time, but there’s no faking this stuff when it’s played correctly and in the right spirit.
“Bogies Pimps” is not self-consciously retro - it actually sounds contemporary but without the affectations you might expect, or a clean-up. It’s stripped back Chicago blues and The Juke Joint Pimps could be playing in your lounge room. Only on the closing “Mister Vegan” do the Pimps allow themselves a brief surrender to a looped electronic rhythm track.
They’re four girls with guitars and this is their debut album. It twangs a lot and is laced with reverb in all the right places. It rocks like my vintage mono jukebox and the songs are ace. That’s it in a nutshell, but of course you want more…
Being an all-female band is fraught with dangers, not the least of which is that a certain percentage of sneering (probably male) arseholes won’t take you seriously. Don’t make that mistake. The Villenettes play this ‘60s garage psychobilly hellcats thing with skill and feeling.
Still on a high from their sell-out hometown launch, Adelaide’s all-girl outfit The Villenettes will keep celebrating the release of their first full-length album, “Lady Luck”, with a mini-tour of neighbouring state Victoria.
They’ll re-launch their record at The Luwow in Fitzroy in Melbourne on Friday the 13th of March.The mayhem will continue the following evening when The Villenettes stop over at The Karova Lounge, in up-country Ballarat, with locals The Yard Apes.
Supporting The Villenettes at The Luwow will be ‘60s garage girl gang The Reprobettes and The Luwow’s GoGo Goddesses and DJs.
Recorded at Melbourne’s Head Gap Studio (Adalita, Magic Dirt, Paul Kelly, Violent Soho) with Neil Thomason and Mick Baty, the album is released through local garage label Off The Hip Records. It follows their first release, the “V for Villendetta” EP, that sat at #1 on Adelaide radio station Three D for four consecutive weeks.
“Lady Luck” will be Feature Album on PBS 106.7FM on the week commencing 23 February, having also had this honour on Three D and Radio Adelaide.
Died Pretty guitarist Brett Myers has re-surfaced in Sydney band Joeys Coop, whose debut seven-inch single is due out soon on Citadel. Joeys Coop is Mark Roxburgh (Decline of the Reptiles), Andy Newman (Deniz Tek Group, Decline of The Reptiles), Matt Galvin (Eva Trout, Perry Keyes, Loose Pills), Lloyd Gyi (Perry Keyes, Dave Warner) and Myers.
We at the I-94 Bar are fans of the members' bands but we're especially keen on that distinctive Myers jangle-and-soar so you can guess what we think of the song. Joeys Coop will launch “Take Me Away” at Petersham Bowling Club on Sunday March 22 with supports Knievel, Buddy Glass and Matt Shacallis. More gig details here.