Expat Aussie shows Who Dez Wins

Back in the ‘90s, Darren Smallman was immersed in the fertile Geelong-Melbourne punk rock scene in Australia as a player, label head and manager. These days, the ex-member of Toad, Warped, Thee Vinyl Creatures, The Wells Collective and The Sound Platform lives in the UK, working in the charity arts sector and producing his own music under the moniker Dez Dare.

Dez Dare and Melt Citizen (El Paso, USA) have unleashed a DIY fuzz EP , "Spl;itz", that they promise will “melt your brains and hearts”. It’s available through Bandcamp with a crowdsourcing campaign underway to get it out on vinyl.

In the pair’s words: “Hidden away in spare rooms and makeshift studios while in very different pockets of the earthly domain, there were two who worshipped at the altar of guitar pedals and heavily discounted recording plugins. This split EP digs deep into the cacophonous divide between reality and the two countries entrenched in denial, grasping to find a way out of the long grass. Back into the light.”

Thee Minks deliver that killer Philly garage sound

right now baby coverRight Now Baby – Thee Minks (self released)

Philadelphia is a place that’s always punched above its weight. Bill Haley, Todd Rundgren, Hall and Oates (yikes) and Pink are among musical offspring of the City of Brotherly Love. And for the fourth year in a row, Philly has more homicides than New York City, a place four times its size, and currently ranks second on the USA per capita Murder League Table.

So here’s a recommendation if you’re a fan of rough ‘n’ ready, no bullshit garage rock and roll: Look up Thee Minks. Hook into this album like there’s no next week. Go to their Bandcamp and plonk down your credit card number or Paypal handle. Do it right now, baby.  Thank you. You’ve been a great audience. I’ll grab my hat and coat.

Complete Hell ain't a bad place to be

Hell Destiny Street CompleteDestiny Street Complete – Richard Hell and the Voidoids (Omnivore)

Reports that “Destiny Street” had been re-recorded and was being pressed on vinyl in 2004 were alarming. The late Robert Quine was five years gone and his wired, highly-strung guitar-playing was an essential and revered element of just about anything the Voidoids did. This was surely an act of madness, if not sacrilege.

Its prime creator, Richard Hell, had never been happy with “Destiny Street”, the 1982 follow-up to “Blank Generation” that was recorded in troubled circumstances. Hell was debilitated by a drug habit and absent for much of the sessions. His penchant for intravenous coke to counter his reliance on smack had left him fried and unable to leave his apartment for long periods of time. His attempt to make his mark while largely AWOL was to summon up guitar overdub after overdub.

Voodoo Rhythm reprises Roy and the Devil's Motorcycle's noisy birth

good morning bluesGood Morning Blues – Roy and the Devil’s Motorcycle (Voodoo Rhythm)
 
In case you never noticed, this place often celebrates the weird and non-conformist end of the rock and roll spectrum, and it doesn’t come much stranger than Swiss band Roy and the Devil’s Motorcycle.

Resident on the Voodoo Rhythm label (“Music to Ruin Any Party”) since it first released this, their debut 10-inch mini-album, back in 1996, its mix of bass-less, guitar distort-skronk and megaphonic vocals sounded fucked up then and sounds fucked up today.

It’s worth adding context: “Good Morning Blues” was unleashed on a world full of techno and the Real Rock and Roll landscape was a wasteland. Major labels still roamed what a musical Jurassic Park, looking for underground bands from which they could extract blood and turn into mainstream melange. A dead dog’s scrotum had more chance of being signed than Roy and the Devil’s Motorcycle.

Don't adjust your TV. Normal programming will not be resumed soon

lockdown hoiidayLockdown Holiday – TV Smith (Easy Action)

Write about the things you know, the critics say. And when songwriters do, they run the risk of being taken down in a hail of journalistic bullets for crimes like inauthenticity, awkwardness or bandwagon jumping.

There’s no risk of TV Smith suffering that fate with his latest album, “Lockdown Holiday”, a stark and compelling take on his own experience with the dreaded COVID clusterfuck.

The ex-Adverts punk is still standing after 50 lives dates were cancelled - a fate shared by many in these fucked-up times. - but his own experience was enlivened, somewhat, by him and his partner being mowed down by The Plague.  following close contact with an infected roadhouse patron in the early stages of the pandemic.

The Casanovas get set to lord it over you live

Better late than never, Melbourne’s the Casanovas will get back to doing what they do best – rock ’n’’rolling under lights, on a stage, in front of an audience – when they launch their much-acclaimed fourth album “Reptillian Overlord” at Richmond’s Corner Hotel on March 6.

Released back in August 2020, Reptilian Overlord was the Casanovas’ first album in five years and arguably the best-reviewed album of their 20 year career.

Produced by iconic Oz Rock engineer/producer Mark Optiz (AC/DC, Angels, Chisel, Divinyls), and featuring singles “Hollywood Riot” (which was appropriately picked up by legendary LA DJ Rodney Bingenheimer) and “Lost and Lonely Dreams”, it attracted plenty of attention and thoroughly deserved a live launch. Our Man in Dimboola Ron Brown's review is here.

Chow down on some 12-bar bile

complaintsComplaints – Gravel Samwidge (Swashbuckling Hobo)

Remember in the 1990s when rock and roll was still vaguely dangerous and one of the eternal sources of fascination was seeing which underground act would be the next for the evil major labels to sink their fangs into and attempt to “cross them over” into the mainstream?

It was a grim game of Russian Roulette where you knew that whichever band succumbed was at short odds to either end up on a scrapheap with the creative life sucked out of its bones, or limp on as a cashed-up and pale shadow of its former self. 

Harmful Content: Remembering our rights - and L.A. rocker Taz Rudd

taz rudd"The idea that 'disinformation' is something that just happened during the last four years is absurd. How did the U.S. public become the most ill-informed, easily manipulated public on the planet if not as a result of systematic 'disinformation' from the rulers? Now these same rulers want to 'regulate' social media speech."Ajamu Baraka

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” - Mussolini

Ridiculously, I am suspended from social media, by fascist corporatists for posting this quote. How Zucked-up is that? I've been Zucked. You could be next.

All the left media sites are being censored, demonetized, or taken down, by corporatist Zuck-bots, and the gentrification shitlibs accept this, casually and completely, because their pyramid-scheme higher-up superiors have told them that censorship is okey-dokey, because social media is privately owned, and therefore, tech-lord billionaires have the right to censor any facts, opinions, quotes, or evidence that contradicts their corporatist agenda. More worryingly, attractive and beloved celebrity figureheads have, once again, been recruited to promote monopoly tech-lord control of information flow, by telling their followers to rat on any voices online that question or contradict official narratives, as spreading mis-information. This is exactly the cultish Blue MAGA equivalent of crazy Trump yelling "fake news".

Not to be sold short, The Not Nots make their mark

not notsThe Not Nots – The Not Nots (Outtspace)

Saw this Newcastle, NSW, band of older hands at a gig in their hometown and they impressed with their economic, garage-y tuneage after a shaky start hampered by minor sound problems. The venue shut down the headliners early thanks to a non-communicative dickhead from a booking agency but that's another story. It's fitting, therefore, that this EP crams six of songs onto a slice of seven-inch vinyl.

The Not Nots are a trio of Anthony Dean (guitar and vocals), Blake Doyle (drums) and Chris Ryan (bass and vocals) and (like the venue operatots that night) they are fans of brevity. 

“Hey Hey Hey” is a minor key opener that reeks of grunge. The staccato “Give It Away” throbs with energy and recalls the post-punk sounds of the UK when the first and second wave of punk had receded. Muffled guitar gives the Husker Du-like “What You Don’t Know” a strangled demo feel that works in spite of itself.  

Flip it over and “Default” sounds like Fugazi without that band’s tension. “Small Children (Are The Apocalypse)” surges along with grim chord-age leavened by a surprising “ooh-la-la-la” chorus. “The Little Time We Have” has a chord progression that sounds like it was swiped from Bob Mould when he got airplay. There’s not much of it but what there is sounds good before it runs out of runway. Another winner fromn the folks at Outtaspace.  

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