Ben Gel's new take on punk's old traditions

ben gel sarcasmIs That Sarcasm You Taste On My Breath? - Ben Gel (Self-released)

Ben Gel's bands have a habit of punching the listener in the face numerous times before taking a shit on your dick. There's bags of intensity here, layered within this huge, battering rock'n'roll assault.

My last two reviews of Ben Gel for this site have been enthusiastic to say the least, and I'm afraid this review is no different. You need Ben Gel in your collection.

The last time I told you about Ben Gel, I commented that “there are a lot of notable underground rockers here in Adelaide who really should be household names - and Ben Gel is one ... Truth is this is another raucous, hammering EP which launches itself at your facemask and stuffs its virus down your gullet and drags you off to the racetrack.”

Get yourself some Therapy from Sonny Vincent


Here's your first taste of the new album "Snake Pit Therapy" from old school New York City punk Sonny Vincent, out September 19 on Svart. Pre-orders are open here and you can read a rewview of his book by the same name here.
 

Kicking them out, Sydney-style

fkoFlippin’ Kick Outs – Flippin’ Kick Outs (self released)

Down a band member but with songs to play, Sydney’s Flipped Out Kicks became the Flippin’ Kick Outs in 2019 and broadened their musical palette.

Which is to say they still played garage punk but they markedly blurred the stylistic edges, tossing in some rockabilly and hard rock for good measure. This digital album is the fruit of their recent recording labours since COVID and it’s a pretty spiffin’ dose of the sort of street-level rock and roll that used to be par for the course in their hometown.

Hard-Ons premiere new song with Tim Rogers

 

In case you missed it - Sydney's Hard-Ons, who have been cranking out their own brand of punk rock for nearly 40 years now) have announced the addition of a new frontman/singer in Tim Rogers from You Am I. And today they've released the first single and video with Tim on board, a tearaway punk-pop number called 'Hold Tight".

Tim is a long-time fan of the band, having first seen them play in his teens. And while he of course remains with You Am I as well, he has already recorded an album with the Hard-Ons. A tour was all set to go before lockdowns ramped up, and will definitely happen at some point.  

The album  “I'm Sorry Sir, That Riff's Been Taken” is out on October 8, and currently available for pre-order and pre-saving. The album will be released on CD, digitally, and in a number of different colors of vinyl, each available in strictly limited quantities. Originally it was just black vinyl and a run on orange - with the orange vinyl having nearly sold out already on pre-orders the band has now added a short blue vinyl run.  Fans are suggested to go here to reserve their copies.

Go you good thing

she feels like a good thingShe Feels Like a Good Thing – Ricky Rat (I-94 Recordings)

Some of you might know Ricky Rat from his many various recorded collaborations and world tours with such rocknroll all-stars as Texas Terri, Kevin K, Bootsey X & The Lovemasters, or even the post-Stiv Dead Boys, but to many of us midwestern punk rockers, he'll always be fondly revered for his trailblazing Detroit glam gang, Trash Brats, who really helped to co-author the ‘80s punk-roll underground scene.

Trash Brats shows were special events when all the diverse rock ‘n’ roll tribes came outta the closet to rub shoulders and get wasted to their joyful, exuberant, power pop mayhem and merriment. All the spiky haired rocker kids knew the words back then. They filled that room with bedlam and we all sang along.

One way ticket to O'Blivion

hamtramckHamtramck Jukebox – Brian McCarty & The Jen-U-Wine Faux Diamond Band (I-94 Recordings)

Number-one on the charts in my bruised old heart! This is an instant classic from Detroit's favorite glam ‘n’ punk frontman, the legendary, Brian McCarty from the mighty Motor City’s Trash Brats. I've only heard the song maybe four times so far, but it's already just so deeply familiar to me, it kinda feels like I've always been listening to it, most all my life.It's just like an old Hanoi Rocks or New York Dolls song you love, it has that same feel.

I suppose you could say I lived through a little bit of it. First time I met that wascally wabbit, Brian O'Blivion, he was memorably wearing a naughty nurse outfit, and way too much Rocky Horror makeup, when that was not a common sight in Indiana Holiday Inn bars. They tore the bar up like Iggy and the Stooges - it was very inspiring and empowering to watch those guys just get down.

Pat Todd throws out his rearview mirror

 rankoutsiders Michael PassmanMichael Passman photo.

Pat Todd is one of the greats of American music in recent times. I say that not just because he has one hell of a set of pipes on him, and is an incredible songwriter, but because he’s also combined elements of garage, punk and country all into one mix. I can’t think of anyone that has done that as long as he has, or has done it so well.

Todd makes music that I find hard to believe anyone could dislike. He’s one of the great American songwriters. Todd formed his latest outfit The Rankoutsiders in the mid-2000s and they pick up where his legendary group the Lazy Cowgirls left off. Their latest release “…….there’s pretty things in Palookaville” is up there with his best work, but every LP he does is brilliant and it’s hard to pick a standout “classic”.Pat spoke to me from his Los Angeles homebase via Zoom, where Rankoutsiders guitarist Nick Alexander greets me before Pat comes on.

Sonic sounds from the heart

sonic garage space travelsSpace Travels – Sonic Garage (self released)

It’s a a couple of years since Circus Chaplains from Sydney’s Northern Beaches fell by the wayside after the passing of Luke Lovelock, but his bandmates Phil Van Rooyen (Dr Fruitworld, Panadolls, Chickenstones) and Peter Bourke aren’t ones for standing still.

They’ve gone on to a new band with ex-Mushroom Planet bassist Pete Trifunovic, drummer Ronny Welsh and pianist Russell Parkhouse (ex-Riptides).

Sonic Garage recorded their album at Zen Studios in Sydney in these odd COVID times and it’s a wonderful, ragged and righteous collection of songs that recalls familiar Harbour City high energy rock reference points.

Escape Act

The Escapes EPDefective World – The Escapes (Evil Tone)

The debut single for Sydney’s The Escapes has none of the sloppiness they make such a virtue of live. Guess it was a dry recording session. Not likely…

The title track is a garage snarler and a soild way to kick off. Sticksman Alan Hislop drives the other A side song, “Gonna Cry”, with a feel that’d peel paint. And who doesn’t love a drop-out and handclaps? Flip it over and “Electric Burden” doesn’t go anywhere fast, but closer “Don’t” sounds like The Monks on a VB bender, reduced to one-guitar minimalism.

It's a vinyl EP that was recorded by Jay Whalley at The Pet Food Factory in Marrickville so you know The Escapes will never sound better. Owen Foley’s cover art comes in two colours and is real enough to be scary. The only thing you need to take seriously here is putting your credit card or Paypal account on the line to make sure you get a copy before they sell out. 

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