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.
Self-consciously retro rock and roll bands can be a real problem. There are ones that overplay their hand and fall back on gimmicks. They almost always have a name with “Thee” appended to the front. And then there are those that apply their three chords with genuine regard for where the music emanated.
Plastic Section is part of a loose Melbourne aggregation of bands in the latter category; their peers are The Breadmakers, The Vibrajets and The Cha Cha Chas. Each faithfully plunders the past while applying their own take.
Following the release last month of the new EP "Periodical Fits" by his band LEECHES!, Rhinearts and ex-Screwtop Detonators member, Perth punk and powerpop everywhereman, Benny J Ward, has released his first solo single "Tell Me Tell Me" on Cheersquad Records
With a career that spans 20 years, half a dozen bands, a dozen albums, EPs, and singles; it would be safe to assume that Benny J Ward has scratched all his musical itches. No. Taking a sojourn into solo territory, Benny J hunkered down in the studio he built with his bare hands, and produced the first single ever released under his own name – the psychedelic garage pop belter "Tell Me Tell Me".
This is not the first time Benny J has gone solo. Back in the early 2000s he caught the attention of Triple J with his ginger pride-themed country-music alter-ego The Lone Ranga (subject matter that would later resurface in five-piece alternative outfit The Red Panthers).
"Tell Me Tell Me", however, is the first time Benny J has played every instrument on a track – from his native guitar to the bass and drums – as well as recording and mixing the tune himself.
The adorable icing on the cake; Benny J enlisted his 10-year-old son, Sonny J Ward to create the animation for the video clip to "Tell Me Tell Me" – following an inspired 2am New Year's Day kitchen brainstorming session.