Curse of the Easily Amused – The Mutants (Liberation Hall)
The Art Punk genre is a mixed bag. Throw in a New Wave descriptor and the name can refer to anything, really. So if you’re confused approaching this retrospective collection by a late ‘70s San Francisco band, be not alone.
At last count there were enough bands using the name The Mutants to fill a large tour bus. As well as Art Lyzak's‘70s Hamtramck, Detroit, outfit with Bootsey X, there was a Pink Fairies-inspired Merseyside, UK, combo and a 2000s supergroup featuring Rat Scabies. There’s even an instrumental Finnish band, so there’s been a whole lotta mutating goin’ on.
These West Coast Mutants sprang from the same diverse scene that had already spawned Flipper, the Nuns and the Avengers but took a more artful approach inspired by the trash films of John Waters and the vibe of Andy Warhol’s Factory crew. Which doesn’t mean they sound anything like the Velvets.
“Black Speakers”, the new single for Perth’s retro rocking and extremely potent Datura4, the current vehicle for The Stems leader Dom Mariani, is making its world debut here, and the new album is not far away.
“Black Speakers” was preceded by the dark and heavy blues-based thumper "Secret Society" and "Going Back To Hoonsville" (the non-LP version of which features Perth blues Legend Dave Hole on slide guitar) and "Open The Line".
"Open The Line" was chosen as "The Coolest Song in the World" by Stevie Van Zandt aka Little Steven on his influential and much-loved rock'n'roll radio channel on SiriusXM, “The Underground Garage”. Dom, who is a long-time favourite of Stevie's, was also interviewed on the channel on their weekly "Coolest Conversations" spot.
The "Neanderthal Jam" album is the band's fifth long-player and will be out on US label Alive/ Records on August 26. It will be distributed in Australia by MGM. You can pre-order splatter vinyl from the US here.
First song bangs straight into a Ricky Rat signature, garagey, Romantics or Plimsouls-style powerpop song, with an ‘80s feel. If you are hip to Ricky's discography, this is his thing, exactly.
"We're still shining, we're still shining" he croons. I suspect it was most likely written during the COVID clampdown, to try to rouse his old cohorts outta those dark and depressing pandemic blues.
"Glow Of Gabriels" reminded me instantly of "Child Of The Moon". Again, this is pretty much, your quintessential Ricky Rat. A Rolling Stones-influenced song with Nicky Hopkins type piano courtesy of Jimmy Bones and a Bobby Keyes style horn solo. They really put some ace production on to this one. Jimmy Bones, the dude who's tickling the ivories does a real good job.
It is with deep regret and many apologies that Sunnyboys announce they are unable to perform this weekend's shows in Byron Bay and Brisbane.This Australian ‘flu season is one of the worst on record and unfortunately it has struck the band, leaving one member bed ridden. However, the boys have been able to reschedule quickly.
The new and remaining dates are:
Sat August 13: Melbourne, Corner Hotel (limited tickets available) with Underground Lovers & Little Murders (tickets from July 9 valid for this date) Fri August 19: Byron Bay, The Northern (limited tickets available) with Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers (tickets from July 15tand August 5 valid for this date) Sat August 20: Brisbane, Princess Theatre (limited tickets available) with Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers (tickets from July 16 and August 14 valid for this date)
Ocean County, New Jersey, is a 40-minute drive from the Ashbury Park foreshore of Bruce Springsteen and a million miles from his $5000 concert tickets. The same goes for the music of O.C. Rippers, whose 16-song “Wasteland Blues” album is a million times more exciting.
It’s the vinyl version of the 2021 debut CD and if you hang around the I-94 Bar you’ll know the modus operandi: Equal parts Dead Boys, Stooges and Candy Snatchers (especially) with songs that mostly last less than two minutes and are spat out at breakneck pace (for the most part) with venom.
Waiting For The Last Gasp Of My Generation – Nasty S and The Ghost Chasers (Twenty Something Records)
French journeyman Nasty Samy has been on the European underground touring circuit as long as anyone can remember, playing with the likes of Second Rate, Hawaii Samurai, The Black Zombie Procession, Demon Vendetta, Cab Drivers Stories, Teenage Renegade and a bunch of other bands you’ve possibly never heard of.
He’s a lifer.
He’s also a magazine writer of some repute.
“Waiting For the Last Gasp…” is a cover album, with Nasty S playing most of the stringed instruments on a selection of ‘80s and ‘90s punkish and powerpop songs that he digs, and with a rotating cast of guest vocalists.
Before we start ... it's always about the songs. And "Gold" is magnificent.
But wait, there's more...like the pattern of a walnut...
Every now and then something quite special arrives at my Internet cabin in the woods. As you may or may not know, I've edited a couple of Australian Bomber Command books - first-hand accounts by two then-young men who answered the call and flew the missions.
Those books have brought me into contact with other people, and some of their stories (such as the the wish-he'd-been-a LRP Ranger) ... and they also raised the eyebrows of a chap called Ashley Davies.
Indie Sounds From The Harbour City (1983-87) – Various Artists (Vi-Nil Records)
The Vi-Nil label lurched into life in 1983 with The Klerks and spawned more notable offspring such as the Hard-Ons and the Psychotic Turnbuckles before winding down at the end of the decade. This collection marks the label’s re-birth, and features a representative selection of its first era stable.
There are 20 tracks and it’s a diverse output, ranging from power-pop to acid punk and back to new wave and garage rock. Vi-Nil’s release of “Sockman” by the Lipstick Killers was my introduction to the label and to these ears it still epitomises the frenzied attack of the first era line-up.