The Art of Noizz

art noizz cvrArt 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.

Enough history, what're they like?

You think they're psycho don't you, Momma?

beginners guideA 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.

Your room is ready

cheap motelsCheap Motels After Midnight – Dave Favours and the Roadside Ashes (Stanley Records)

Forget the “alt.country” tag. It might be a comfortable peg on which to hang an urban cowboy’s hat but after 15 years, Sydneysider Dave Favours surely occupies his own musical niche.

Maybe the tag should be “Ditch Country” – the twang is there, but like mid-70s Neil, he’s skirting a course along the gutter because it’s more interesting place to travel.

These hills are alive with the sound of Doom Trash Blues

beat man and the undergroundIt’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.

They Will Persuade You: Huxton Creepers return to home town

creepers 80sHuxton Creepers in their '80s heyday.

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.

Seven Mutants walk into a bar...

easily amused cvrCurse 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.

World Premiere: Turn on Datura4's "Black Speakers"

“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.

Packed lunch

real goneReal Gone – The Naked Lunch (self released)

Hello Barflies. The Farmhouse has been rocking these past few weeks as I’ve been kindly gifted an advance copy of The Naked Lunch’s album “Real Gone” and it’s full of surf-punk-pop tunes.

The album is a couple of covers as well as the single, also called “Real Gone” which I reviewed a few weeks back here at the Bar, so I was very excited when this landed.

Summoning rock and roll's spirit

ricky rat ghosts cvrGhosts of Isolation – Ricky Rat (I-94 Recordings)

First song bangs straight into a Ricky Rat signature, garagey, Romantics or Plimsouls-style powerpop song, with an ‘80s feel. If you are hip to Ricky's discography, this is his thing, exactly.

"We're still shining, we're still shining" he croons. I suspect it was most likely written during the COVID clampdown, to try to rouse his old cohorts outta those dark and depressing pandemic blues. 

"Glow Of Gabriels" reminded me instantly of "Child Of The Moon". Again, this is pretty much, your quintessential Ricky Rat. A Rolling Stones-influenced song with Nicky Hopkins type piano courtesy of Jimmy Bones and a Bobby Keyes style horn solo. They really put some ace production on to this one. Jimmy Bones, the dude who's tickling the ivories does a real good job.

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