Spreading Fear and Loathing

super spreader cvrSuper Spreader - Fear and Loathing (EC Productions)

So, to Adelaide's Fear and Loathing, an outfit who described themselves as "punk" way back in 1981 (or whenever the hell it was) and who are still standing, and who are also still punks (I've seen their toilet, it's STILL revolting). Now, as guitarist and maestro Chris Wiley once explained to me, for a long time FAL were fun but not very good. But, because they kept going and no-one stopped them, they "accidentally" became good.

To see Fear and Loathing (especially in Adelaide) is to witness what the past should have been, and what the future might be. I've seen the band a number of times, and every now and then I spend an entire night hypnotised by one member - for example, Terry, whose complex drum style and ferocity has to be witnessed to be believed, is utterly captivating.

Not this time out, however. "Superspreader" is brilliant, feral and ferocious, all jagged fucked edges and scraping vocals, pounding rhythm section that resembles a couple of out-of-control road trains (Hermann Lauss and Terry Rowe) and everybody's favourite, a twin-guitar assault meted out by Chris Wylie and Sean Tilmouth.

The quality of mercy is not The Strains

the strains cvrThe Strains – The Strains (No Solution Records)

Rock and roll is usually at its best when kept simple and played hard. Detroit’s Euro-American outThe Strains know this well and deliver in spades.fit 

With a bloodline that includes membership of Dark Carnival, Euro punks Dumbell and The Nitwitz, Cult Heroes and backing bands for Andre Williams and Cub Koda, you should have more than an inkling that it’s going to be good. I’m happily here to tell you it’s much better than simply good.

Recorded live in the studio with minimal overdubs, ”The Strains” is a no-nonsense instant classic. This band’s powered by a twin cab, heavy-duty engine room and armed with sawtooth twin guitars and attitude. Paul Grace-Smith spits out a dozen songs full with an anthemic, street savvy edge. These are stories about the streets and their populace. No bullshit. 

Mind the gap, DangerMen are back

wrong train home cvrWrong Train Home b/w Quicksand – DangerMen (Swashbuckling Hobo)

Lovely and raw. You do know those two words go together? This return 45 by Brisbane’s DangerMen after a five-year absence is as ragged as Grandpa’s undies after an unfortunate late night accident on the way home from the pub, with a sound that’s more than a little Stooge-efied, thanks to some single-note piano and Dr Rock and Dover’s “Raw Power” guitars.

“Wrong Train Home” is about an ill-fated train trip while tripping, and sounds like what health professionals these days call “a lived experience”. Zoltane the Maniac’s wail is both wrong and just right. Flip him, Danno, and you’ll sing along to “Quicksand” which, it must be said, is more of the same. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Buy it as a download if you must but drop some cash on the seven-inch here and you’ll get something that’ll last almost as long as herpes.

martinirating   martinirating   martinirating   martinirating       

The Mark of Cain receives a mark of fame

tmoc 2022

The Mark Of Cain - the band dubbed least likely in their high school year book - return to Australian stages this August in celebration of being the South Australian Music Awards' most recent inductee into the SA Music Hall Of Fame. 
 
TMOC join previous recipients like Jim Keays, Masters Apprentices, Glenn Shorrock, Cold Chisel, Archie Roach, Bart Willoughby, Sarah McLeod and The Zoot
The band will accept the award at a simple ceremony on August 19 at The Gov in Adelaids prior to taking the stage for a full career spanning set.

The Mark Of Cain will also play shows in Sydney, Melbourne this August under the banner “A Different Kind Of Tension”, a nod to legendary UK proto-punks Buzzcocks and their influential third album of the same name:

Chow down! "Pistol" is no shit sandwich

pistol still

Pistol 
Directed by Danny Boyle (DisneyPlus)

Okay, I’ll be first to admit that the trailer looked like a cold turd in a lunch box.  I did, however, persevere and found that I enjoyed this six-episode series enormously. 

Not that everyone will.  Fans of a perfectly delivered chronology are going to be nit picking every scene and episode like bickering zealots at a secular conflict.  Anyone who watched the CBGB movie and complained about how such and such wasn’t in the audience the night so and so did this or that is going to be in for a particularly unpleasant viewing experience.  You know who you are. 

Fascinating dive into Oz music's hit factories and backyards

suburban songbookSuburban Songbook. Writing Hits in Post-War Pre-Countdown Australia
By Clinton Walker
(Goldentone)

Only got this one recently, but I'm damned glad I did.

Once upon a Big Day Out, an event I only occasionally attended, I was mildly shocked by the text messages winding their way across a big screen (people paid a small fee to have their inane twatter up in on a big screen - you know, 'Best summer evah!' and 'Totally awesome!') which dissed 'old people' in favour of 'us hip cool young folk'...

Now, I won't say I wasn't like that to some degree when I was a teenager (and even in my twenties). But I don't recall being quite that dismissive of music simply because it was 'old'. I was brought up on my dad's music, as so many of us are: big band stuff, Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, as well as Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole ... you get the idea. Proto-rock'n'roll, you could say.

So when I got interested in modern music at the age of 12 (courtesy my chum Paul's record collection) we both knew that it didn't matter how old something was ... as long as it wasn't boring. We investigated everything we could lay our hands on ... dismissed so much, revelled in long-lost jewels. It was our secret joy - no other bastard seemed interested.

Fast forward a few years and Clinton Walker's first book, “Inner City Sound' came out. (A revised edition has recently been published - get it here. Mick Middles wrote in “Record Collector'”: "A shockingly vast document ... the most striking aspect is the prevailing musical sophistication". Well, yeah. 

Marching out to Aussie pop's beat

marching out of time cvrMarching Out of Time – Various Artists (Popboomerang)

With 115 releases to its credit, Melbourne’s Popboomerang is as an amazing independent record label success story and a beacon for under-the-radar Australian pop. Presuming, of course, that success is measured in quality music and not sheep stations.

The labels been a long-time labour of love for owner Scott Thurling and that passion makes his decision to close it down, at least for now, all the more noteworthy. In his own words:

Being locked up can do funny things to you! I will admit to feeling a little frustrated on July 24, 2021, when I made the announcement to end Popboomerang Records. The news might have been a surprise to some, but it was one I had been contemplating for a while.

Covid-19 challenges to running a label were the tipping point after 18 months of cancelled live events and the gigantic increases in the price of international postage which was making exporting almost impossible.I had also recently established a new record label, Sound As Ever 90-99, focussing on Australian ’90’s indie music, which was taking off, and it felt impossible to do justice to both ventures at the same time.

WHAT'S LEFT OF THE LEFT? NOTHING WILL CHANGE SQUAD IS JUST FASCISM WITH PRETTY PILLOW-TALKERS...

dubbyaOh my God. It happened. I can't believe it really happened.

During a speech in Dallas at Southern Methodist University’s George W Bush Presidential Center this month, the man himself, George W Bush, did the best thing ever. I am pretty sure it is the single best thing that has ever happened. I do not believe I am exaggerating when I say that.

While criticizing Russia for having rigged elections and shutting out political opposition (which would already be hilarious coming from any American in general and Bush in particular), the 43rd President made the following comment:

“The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq. I mean, of Ukraine."

And then it got even better. After correcting himself with a nervous chuckle, Bush broke the tension in the empire-loyal crowd with the words, "Iraq too. Anyway." He then quipped that he is 75-years-old, leaning harder on his "Aw shucks gee willikers I'm such a goofball" persona than he ever has in his entire life.

Unrelenting feedtime and Examplehead satisfy a full-house

feedtime bowlo feedtime's Rick Johnson.

feedtime
Examplehead
Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney
Friday May 20, 2022

Having never seen either bands live back in the day, this was going to be an extra special night. The original gig was postponed from June 2021 and then January due to COVID and tonight it was going ahead. I have been a huge fan of feedtime for many years, owning their self titled album, “Shovel” and “Cooper S”, along with a couple of singles from back in the 80s.

It is not often that either band play gigs (Examplehead have a few coming up and are worth checking out) so this was a rare opportunity to see both bands.

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