A lot to love about this dog's life

dog songs jack howardDog Songs - Jack Howard and the Long Lost Brothers (self-released)

This from the press release:

"'Dog Songs' is a 'best of' Jack's Dog's Bar residency with his mighty band of Long Lost Brothers - and sisters. It features some powerful new songs, like 'Reason to Believe', and 'Panic in the City', plus ripper versions of some of Jack's great older tunes like 'Let Me Live' and 'City Lights'. The band features some of Melbourne's finest in absolutely stellar form - Ed Bates on pedal steel guitar, Nick Del Rey on guitar, Cal McAlpine on drums, Rob Walker on bass, Fiona Lee Maynard on backing vocals and percussion, and Amy Valent Curtis on percussion. Production from Craig Harnath at Hothouse Audio captures the band's live energy and power without sacrificing the rich warmth and depth of a studio recording.'"

Well, you don't need me, really, do you?

Off you go and buy "Dog Songs".

No? Still here?

What's that?

"Do some fucking work, Robert" ...?

Bastards, the lot of you.

Reeding between the lines

sunday reeds Bryan LynaghAdelaide band The Sunday Reeds' latest release, “Drive You Mad”, has been one of my favourite releases for 2020. A brilliant combination of Cramps-style ‘60s garage with elements of Riot Grrl, punk and shoegaze, it’s an amazing mix of genres spread over six tracks.

Core members, Romana Ashton and Drew Jones, have continued the band despite the two now living in different states. Singer-bass player Romana spoke to us via phone from her South Australian home base.

I-94 Bar: Before we kick off can I ask how have you been going in these odd times?

Romana: it’s been fine, the first few months I was ok, I prefer working from home and it suited me better. I’m alright on my own as I’m a fairly introverted person so I cope ok with that. But even now I’m a bit sick of the walls, seeing the same thing. I have a cat to keep me entertained and to kept me sane, taking up some time and entertaining myself. But I’m itching to see a few things now, kind of over it (laughs).

I-94 Bar: I’ve had a cat around my place for a year and it is a good feeling saying, 'Sod the world I’m gonna hang out with the cat tonight'?

Grooves and guitars ensure "Psychopharmacologist" will capture hearts

psychopharmacologist smPsychopharmacologist - Mick Medew (I-94 Bar Records)

Issued by this website's very own head honcho, The Barman, who is responsible for organising many, many gigs which you've all thoroughly enjoyed. The kind of punter who decides he wants to see bands, and figures you will, too, so he puts them on. 

This LP rates 5 bottles, and that's not because I know Barman and he's slipped me a brown envelope behind the cistern at Central Station, but because “Psychopharmacologist” is bloody lovely, and you absolutely need it in your collection. The press release explains that this is “Mick Medew’s first true solo album and his most surprising musical adventure yet with its broad stylistic sweep and kaleidoscopic use of sound”, and that's a fair comment.

What it's cracked up to be

crack brandoA Crack in the World - Brando Rising (Crankinhaus)

“A Crack in the World” is an utter cracker, and if any of you lot had recorded anything half as good as this you'd have heads as big as prize-winning pumpkins.

I mean to say, Jesus wept, lads. “A Crack in the World” gets your attention as surely as if someone has heaved a box of tinned tuna at your head.

Doesn't matter what mood you're in, put this in your slot (oo-er, missus, fnaar fnaar etc) and you'll feel like a character in a 1950s Warner Brothers cartoon who has rashly “just added water” to a mysterious sachet.

From out of iso comes the ghost who Walkers

Ghosting van walkerGhosting - Van Walker (Green South Records)

The emerging artistic genre de jour of 2020 will be iso-art. Some of it will be insightful, philosophical and impressive; over in the bargain bins of artistic creation, there will be tedium, self-indulgence and vacuous expressionism. When the world shuts down, and even incidental social intercourse is legally and morally restricted, art follows.

Van Walker’s new album isn’t iso-art per se, but it’s an album that resonates in a world characterised by isolation. Van, aided and abetted by his equally hirsute brother Cal, have been fixtures on the Melbourne music scene for around 15 years, since making the trip from regional Tasmania (itself a place of relative geographical and demographic isolation).

Finger lickin' good

10 piece feed10 Piece Feed - The Missile Studs/Thee Evil Twin (Evil Tone Records/Dirty Flair)

This is a marriage made in Fast Food Heaven. “10 Piece Feed” pits Adelaide scuzzballs The Missile Studs against Sydney’s recently dissolved punk trio Thee Evil Twin over a 10-song split LP, and it’s hotter than a fire in a chip shop grease trap.

Split albums can be disappointing but the contrasts and similarities in both bands work well here. The Studs are more of your traditional thrash-y punks while Thee Twin have a ‘60s garage undercurrent. Neither band is a slave of studio polish, and they possess equal amounts of humour and energy. Breast or Thigh? Plenty here to appease fans of either - or both.

Mick Medew solo album looms

psychopharmacologist lgeI-94 Bar Records is proud to announce the impending arrival of “Psychopharmacologist”, Brisbane musician Mick Medew’s first true solo album and his most surprising musical adventure yet.

It will be out on CD and digital on October 2 and pre-orders here will receive an early release track, "When The Wood Is Brown (Full Return)", via download. 

Medew has shown with his current band, Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers, and past units, the Screaming Tribesmen and Mick Medew and the Rumours, that he's a master of guitar pop-rock. “Psychopharmacologist” puts him in a different place with nine songs that make optimum use of the studio and bring wildly varied influences to bear.

Doggone, bare-boned rock and roll that can't be collared

feed the dog“Feed The Dog” b/w “Coming Back” – Bored! (Fantastic Mess Records)

Before the recent passing of principal member Dave Thomas, Bored! had probably faded somewhat from the collective underground music consciousness. 

There was a collection of live material out on Spanish label Bang! that did address that but, being a mail order thing, it was probably only heard by diehard Australian fans. This posthumous, limited-edition single from committed boutique label Fantastic Mess rights this wrong and is a fine tribute to Dave.

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