One of the most important people to come out of Perth's music scene since the 1970s is Dave Faulkner. Whether he’s playing punk, pop or electro music, he's always trying to create something new and exciting. The Hoodoo Gurus’ latest single “Hung Out To Dry” is a perfect example.
Faulkner picks a target in the current US President, someone who has been a punching bag for many people, and sticks it to him in a fresh and personal manner.
As well as the new Gurus single, Faulker's reconstituted former band The Victims had their first release in many moons this year. It was a physical EP featuring recordings of four songs (“Charlie”, “Horror Smash”, “I Wanna Be With You” and “Everynite”) that were written, but never recorded, when the legendary band formed in Perth in the 1970s.
The re-born Victims reunites Dave with original member James Baker and new recruit, the great Ray Ahn of the Hard Ons, who give a slightly modern touch to some classic tunes that were birthed at the dawn of punk rock.
Dave spoke to me via Zoom in Sydney where he tells me he is fresh from mastering the next Gurus single.
45th Anniversary - Live In London - Blue Oyster Cult (Frontiers Music Srl)
To fully appreciate the epiphany that the cognoscenti (and especially the unwitting) experienced on their first listen of the debut album by Blue Öyster Cult, one has to remember the turgid and bleak musical landscape of 1972.
The top artists of that year are Roberta Flack, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Don McLean, Nilsson, and Sammy Davis Jr. Sure, Chuck Berry is in the charts, but that’s with “My Ding-a-Ling”. (If you bought the single, you haven’t listened to it since then.)
Vibrations, yours and mine - Johnny Casino (La Vila Nova/Beluga Records/Golden Robot)
With the world turning to shit in every sense of the term, what's a poor boy to do other than play in a rock and roll band? The answer, in strange times of social distancing, is to record an album solo and pare the songs right back to resemble what they were like when first written.
Plenty will testify that going naked in front of a microphone is harder than it sounds - even with very few people watching. Johnny Casino's "Vibrations, yours and mine" was recorded in a modest Spanish studio in four hours, with some pedal steel and backing vocals overdubbed later courtesy of Hendrik Rover (Los Deltonos).
It was done pre-COVID but serves as a good template for how to go about things - which is with loads of emotional investment, a good deal of spontaneity and, importantly, heart.
The original Stooges.
Ben Blackwell is one of the most important figures to come out of the Detroit music scene in the past 30 years. Whether it be his drumming with the Dirtbombs, his work crewing for and archiving The White Stripes or his running of Third Man Records, Ben is yet another in a long line of significant musical names to have come from the Motor City.
Third Man Records has just dropped the Stooges album “Live at Goose Lake”. Recorded back in August 1970, the show it documents is a seminal and infamous moment in the band’s history. It was the last gig the band played with bassist Dave Alexander.
Favourite expatrate Sydney son Johnny Casino (Asteroid B612, Johnny Casino & The Secrets, The Egos) has a new album out on August 21. "Vibrations, yours and mine" is a stripped back and expansive sounding record, recorded live in the studio in his adopted home of Spain over four hours, with additonal pedal steel from collaborator Hendrik Rover (Los Deltonos).
It's a mix of trademark heartfelt Johnny Casino originals and intruiging covers, including versions of Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown", the New Christs' "Dropping Like Flies" and The Saints' "Ghost Ships".
"Vibrations, tours and mine" will be on LP through Beluga Records in Sweden and La Vila Nova Recordings in Spain and on CD and digital out through Golden Robot Records in Australia.
Bungalow Rock - Ronny Dap (self released)
Listen up I-94 Barflies - there's a new era of music taking hold in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. It combines dirty rock 'n' roll mixed with old school English punk rock, sung and played by an Australian with no regards to what anyone thinks...
Expiain? Well, it's called Bungalow Rock. A brilliant name, if I do say so myself, and this music was recorded - in isolation - in a suburban bungalow-cum-recording studio and in a rented home's backyard.
Our man Ronny Dap from Melbourne has released this, his second album in 12 months, as the follow-up to the glorious "Root Shoot or Electrocute". If the name is ringing bells, Ronny Dap was the brains behind the punk band The Dope Smoking Morons as well as many others over the past 30 years. He plays everything on "Bungalow Rock".
Live at Goose Lake: August 8th 1970 - The Stooges (Third Man)
Are you kidding me? This is conniption material. A high-quality soundboard recording of the original Stooges, plus saxophonist Steve Mackay, at a time when they were at the primal peak of their considerable powers? It’s proof-positive - not that it’s needed - that the Stooges of 1970 were indeed America’s Most Dangerous Band.
The Stooges were a few months fresh from recording the epochal “Fun House” album and in a mind to confront Middle America on the sort of scale that could only be achieved off the back of substantial record sales.
Seance - Professor and The Madman (Fullertone Records)
Old punks don’t die. They just learn how to play their instruments and make concept albums. Stop right there. Don’t run screaming from the room. Professor and The Madman’s “Seance” is an album completely bereft of excess fat and self indulgence.
This trans-Atlantic band is American singer-guitarists Alfie Agnew (Adolescents, DI) and Sean Elliott (DI, Mind Over Four) joined by Brits Paul Gray (bass) and Rat Scabies, who respectively are current and former members of The Damned. While that's a punk pedigree worth bottline, “Seance” is one diverse pop trip.
Blues-punk legends Kim Salmon & The Surrealists are announcing their new album “Rantings From The Book Of Swamp’”, set for release on September 4. “Rantings From The Book Of Swamp” will be the band's eighth studio album but the modus operandi remains the same - deconstruction and salvage.
It’s being preceeded by a single, “Burn Down The Plantation”, the proceeds of which will go to Stop Black Deaths In Custody.