Back when Guns N Roses and L.A. Guns, Cinderella, and Faster Pussycat were all the rage among our mulleted, stonewashed, demon headed silver ringed, metalhead bros from way back, me and my chain-smoking black T-shirted Hanoi Rocks friends would take crazy road trips to see our biker rock heroes CIRCUS OF POWER every chance we could get.
The classic line-up were everybody's faves, but this is a rare example of how ONE DUDE really can hold up the black flag righteously for the followers, as ALEX MITCHELL has consistently located a series of totally qualified new accomapniets to carry on the proud tradition. I don't know if you have a copy of his epic comeback album, "Four", or the follow-up, "Process of Illumination" yet, but I heard some of his new tunes and am just thrilled he continues to get down like an ageless holy barbarian motherfucker.
Not that many bands from the USA! USA! land of the misinformed, cowardly and unfree, can still make real rock ’n‘roll with this much heart and soul. In Big Al's own words:". “Growing up is a process. Drugs, alcohol, arguments….I wish we could go back to those early days, to the songs on that first record. That was the best Circus of Power ever was.”
Beloved fuzzy noise makers The Scientists are finally heading off around Australia to promote their newest album, “Negativity”.
The record released in 2021 as their first full-length studio effort in 34 years, attracted some rave reviews including this pearler from our own Robert Brokenmouth. The five-state tour spans February and March, 2023.
Art Gray Noizz Quintet - Art Gray Noizz Quintet (Bang! Records)
Bliss., Mr Barman. No duff tracks, kids. Classic tuff rock'n'roll.
It's been a while since I last saw Stu Spasm on stage (in Adelaide). I used to see him in bands like The Bad Poets and The Brats - he lifted both s into another game entirely. These days Spasm lives in New York and has carved out a following in the USA. From rock ‘n’ roll outlaw - which he always was - to something like a terrifying troll beneath a bridge, Spasm's later work has come to the attention of most of you, and if it hasn't, it's time it did.
The outfit consists of Skeleton Boy (from Woman) on two-string bass; Andrea Sicco (Twin Guns) on gittar; Bloody Rich Hutchins (Live Skull) on drums, with further depredations by Nikki D'Agostino and Nicholas John Stevens. Recorded and mixed by Martin Bisi, Bloody Rich, the Quintet and Michael Jung.
A Beginners Guide to DISGRACEland – DISGRACEland (Vi-Nil Records)
DISGRACELand are the remnants of Sydney Northern Beaches band from the ‘90s, Orange County, MERGATROID and the group fronted by infamous ‘80s wastrel Johnny Teen, and have hooked up with re-animated label Vi-Nil to release a debut album. Sounds just what’s needed in these fraught times where live music is still staggering under the weight of a COVID hangover.
With pandemics being what they are, DISGRACELand hasn’t appeared live much, but the shows they have under their collective belt have attracted attention. One animated affair at the Link and Pin Café in Woy Woy, north of Sydney, impressed part-owner and Vi-Nil honcho Mark Fraser so much that he decided to put out the band's CD.
It’s a Matter of Time – Reverend Beat-Man and The Underground (Voodoo Rhythm)
And it’s a Matter of Taste whether you dig the Reverend. We at the Bar have a lot of time for the venerable High Priest of Trash Rock, whether it’s in his clerical guise or cloaked in his garage trash skronk identity as leader of The Monsters.
This long player (available as a CD or LP) re-visits some old songs and goes in a few new directions, but is unmistakably the work of Switzerland’s most cuckoo garage/trash rock original.
The back story goes a little like this: Beat-Man was coaxed to spend a week in a remote Swiss Alps chalet to record with a hand-picked line-up of people he’d long admired. He chose Milan Slick (keys), drummer Beatrice Graf (of Ester Poly) and local rockabilly guitarist Benjamin Claus. The material was played live. What you hear are complete takes. No overdubs.
Combining elements of powerpop, grunge, and the sort of hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll that only comes out of Melbourne, the Huxton Creepers were one of the of the best bands in Australia in the ‘80s. With three well received LPs and non-stop touring, the Creepers, while only round for five years, certainly made their mark on the scene in Melbourne but also all over the country, playing anywhere and everywhere.
The Creepers are back playing a rare show at the Corner Hotel on Saturday, 27 August, along with other ‘80s legends the Gas Babies and Intoxica.
Huxton Creepers lead singer Rob Craw was happy to reminisce on the bands original run, and also what keeps them coming back for more.
Curse of the Easily Amused – The Mutants (Liberation Hall)
The Art Punk genre is a mixed bag. Throw in a New Wave descriptor and the name can refer to anything, really. So if you’re confused approaching this retrospective collection by a late ‘70s San Francisco band, be not alone.
At last count there were enough bands using the name The Mutants to fill a large tour bus. As well as Art Lyzak's‘70s Hamtramck, Detroit, outfit with Bootsey X, there was a Pink Fairies-inspired Merseyside, UK, combo and a 2000s supergroup featuring Rat Scabies. There’s even an instrumental Finnish band, so there’s been a whole lotta mutating goin’ on.
These West Coast Mutants sprang from the same diverse scene that had already spawned Flipper, the Nuns and the Avengers but took a more artful approach inspired by the trash films of John Waters and the vibe of Andy Warhol’s Factory crew. Which doesn’t mean they sound anything like the Velvets.
“Black Speakers”, the new single for Perth’s retro rocking and extremely potent Datura4, the current vehicle for The Stems leader Dom Mariani, is making its world debut here, and the new album is not far away.
“Black Speakers” was preceded by the dark and heavy blues-based thumper "Secret Society" and "Going Back To Hoonsville" (the non-LP version of which features Perth blues Legend Dave Hole on slide guitar) and "Open The Line".
"Open The Line" was chosen as "The Coolest Song in the World" by Stevie Van Zandt aka Little Steven on his influential and much-loved rock'n'roll radio channel on SiriusXM, “The Underground Garage”. Dom, who is a long-time favourite of Stevie's, was also interviewed on the channel on their weekly "Coolest Conversations" spot.
The "Neanderthal Jam" album is the band's fifth long-player and will be out on US label Alive/ Records on August 26. It will be distributed in Australia by MGM. You can pre-order splatter vinyl from the US here.