Let's not get into discussions about how many times this notable, nay historic, 1969 Toronto gig from the nascent Alice Cooper band has been released.Ladies and germs, this is the definitive, speed-corrected version, with correct song titles, spunky pink artwork and a second gig from San Francisco appended, for good measure. Plus, a couple of feathers inserted, if you're lucky.
Toronto 1969 was the notorious Chicken Show where Alice (the man, not the band) threw a live bird into the crowd only to have it tossed back at him...in pieces. Leaving aside the animal rights aspects of this on both sides - being out of your mind on booze is no excuse for throwing a flightless fowl into a crowd of excitable Hoser stoners – you might wonder what the fuss was all about, musically speaking.
It is true that Alice Cooper was the most despised band in L.A. at this stage; soaking in the discordant skronk, seemingly random rhythmic shifts and walls of feedback, it's often easy to hear why.
"Hipster beware! Time to be free; rock 'n' roll is primeval beat."
Lindsay Hutton, founder of the “Next Big Thing” fanzine and “The Legion of the Cramped” Cramps Fan Club, knows a thing or two about great rock 'n’ roll. His liner notes to the “On The Red Eye” anthology of early Primevals material succinctly summarised the appeal of the Glaswegian garage veterans: "Their Gun Club meets Radio Birdman take on Detroit rock 'n' soul preachin' blues was much more direct than practically anything that has ever come outta Glasgow.“
Formed by Michael Rooney in Glasgow, Scotland in 1983, The Primevals were the compete antithesis of everything that was fashionable at the time. Right up to the present day, the group has always been roundly ignored by mainstream media both in Glasgow and at a national level, aside from a handful of free thinking journalists who have championed them through thick and thin.
There’s a time machine where I work. The size of an average bathroom, it can spin rock samples at 16 times gravity, replicating a century’s worth of gas and water movements throughout aquitards in a couple of days, or a millenium’s worth in a week. Impressive!
The two discs of the “(When TheSsun Sets Over) Carlton” compilation may not spin quite that fast (or if they do, either they or my CD player have truly greater construction and sound quality than I realized!), but they equally constitute a time machine, taking the listener back to an era which technologically, politically and socially is so different to the present, it’s hard to believe it’s 40 - and not 140 - years ago!
Just take some time to consider Australian daily life as lived from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, an era when the musicians on “Carlton” were growing up, forming groups and writing the songs which on playing still sound so amazingly fresh so many years later. If you are old enough to remember, read on and be reminded how things have changed. If you aren’t, read on and be amazed!
Even if writing about music really is like dancing about architecture, applying descriptors is still a necessary evil. You could probably tag Brisbane’s Prog Psych. Americans would probably call them a Jam Band. Both would be correct.
Dreamtime hails from the depths of Brisbane’s underground scene and its music is as exploratory as it gets these days. Both feet are planted firmly in the late-‘60s scene of the US West Coast with a bit of Syd’s Floyd thrown in for good measure. These are meandering, weighty jams built on guitars and a nimble but minimalist engine room. “Sun” pulls in influences like Eastern ragas and percussive touches like chimes.
Sometimes I think I’m a bastard instead of being just somewhat scatterbrained. See, I put this order in to Easy Action and they sent a couple of other CDs as well. Generous of them. And I never thanked them.
Alright, I’d had a couple of man-flu health ishoos, and there were other inconveniences. But I never fucking thanked them. And they’re a generous, intelligent company. I feel like a small limp dick confessing this. But you should know some of the circumstances.
Comeback kings the Sunnyboys have announced a full-blown Aussie summer tour, along with deluxe releases of their second and third studio albums.
The 2015 tour will include shows in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide plus a slot at the Perth International Arts Festival, just the second Sunnyboys appearance in the W.A. capital since 1984.
Brisbane and Sydney will be treated to appearances by their former sparring partners, the Riptides. Other guests on the February tour include The New Christs (Melbourne and Sydney) young punks Bad // Dreems (Adelaide) and Dom Mariani's post-Stems vehicle DM3, in Perth.
Fifteen years after it was recorded, this superb piece of Nomads ramalama sees the light of day as a split single with psychedelic collective Donovan’s Brain.
Recorded in Montana while they were sweeping through the nooks and crannies of North America, Sweden’s finest manage to lay waste to this rippling instrumental (written by studio owner and Brain ringmaster Ron Sanchez) like it was one of their own. This is desert driving music, simple as that. A big, fat fuzz bassline and tumbleweed guitars from the severely underrated pairing of Hans Ostlnd and Nick Vahlberg - supplemented by Sanchez and bandmate Richard Teece - make this something special.
Donovan’s Brain plays a whole different ball-game to the Nomads but the flipside keeps up the pyrotechnics levels. “Bread Man” is a Sanchez vocal-led heavy psych rocker fleshed out by Deniz Tek lead guitar. It’s over too soon. “Snow in Miami” eschews vocals and goes for a roughed up surf sound. It dates from 1998 with then-Brain guitarist Richard in place, adding some tasty skronk.
1/4 - The Nomads
- Donovan's Brain
Career Records on the Web
Tuned-down, thuggish riffage played by a Birmingham power trio of veterans, “Crazy” is the sort of song best played at stun volume. Dave Twist’s heavily propulsive drumming recalls Rock Action on the A side. Paint-stripper guitar and a fuck you vocal make “Crazy” glow with more menace menace than a short-changed back-street mugger after chiucking out time.
These guys have doubled as Walter Lure’s UK backing band and although “Crazy” is more Sabbath than “Going Steady,” you can appreciate that Waldo’s foot soldiers are tarred with a similar brush. The B side is even better than the A. Alan Byron locks onto a riff and doesn’t let go. Darren Birch’s simple bass-line throbs away under a ragged vocal. An album of this stuff would go down well.
The band has issued this on their own label but it’s being distributed via Easy Action. Go here for the goods or risk a good thumping.
Chuck Trend photo
For the first time in their 21-year existence, Memphis garage rock legends The Oblivians are touring Australia.
As well as the Golden Plains Festival near Meredith in Victoria, The Oblivians will play headline dates at Newtown Social Club in Sydney (March 4), Brisbane Hotel in Hobart (March 5), Barwon Club in Geelong (March 9), Wooly Mammoth in Brisbane (March 14) and a special three-night residency at Melbourne's iconic The Tote on March 11, 12 and 13.