5th from the sun cvr5th From The Sun – Jupiter 5 (I-94 Bar Records)

They say, in space, no-one can hear you scream.  Jupiter 5, whose press release comes loaded with an array of retro astro puns, do their level best to mock this adage.  They scream and yell, defying age.  They do not wish to go quietly into that good night.

Like football hooligans after a surprise drunken victory, they swing from lamp posts and frighten the neighbours.  I salute you, polyester-clad space warriors.  Long may you laugh in the face of the void.

But they also miss the golden opportunity to claim they'll shake Uranus, which I feel is a considerable oversight.  The bar is set neither too low nor too high.  The bar simply is something to yell at and pummel with guitar riffs.  Admittedly, the bar didn't know what hit it.  The bar is suitably pummelled.

Now here's the rub.  Space is huge and cold and empty.  Pushing fresh art out into the void is both a desperate and heroic act.  And it really doesn't matter how good or bad that art is.  The victory is in the battle.  Jupiter V are up for the good fight.

All the players in this band have done their job commendably.  These are seasoned professionals playing at the top of their game.  Everything musical rumbles on nicely.  It's fair to say this is probably the best Garage (or perhaps more accurately Frat) Rock album of the year.  It is ruthlessly efficient.  It has read the rules, checked the boxes and it passes inspection with flying colours.

I have no doubt it will grace many I-94 Bar Top Ten lists at the end of the year.  It pretty slickly takes aim at its audience's expectations, shoots and kills.

It smartly blends it's influences.  Even when it tips its hat to dreaded heavy metal, it lays into the pop metal of the ‘70s.  Shades of Deep Purple's "Hush" rather than the steaming drivel of, say, "Smoke on the Water". 

They happily bend a riff from the Monkees so it's just beyond copyright infringement and then throw in a little Johnny Thunders special sauce to cover their tracks.  Vince Cuscuna excels at bending that g string to that sweet spot.

And all this musical mish mashing is perfectly acceptable.  It is pop's job to eat itself.  To rearrange the pieces in a manner that is both nostalgic and surprising.  I cannot fault their process.

If, however, I had to think of a single record that this set most clearly reminds me of, it is probably something by the Dickies.

Now, is that a bad thing?  I've enjoyed seeing the Dickies perform live in the way back when.  It was pure simple dumb fun.

One banana, two banana, three banana, four.  Oh, how we pogoed. 

But they never had that ironic dumbness that the Ramones feigned and blessed us with and, thus, I never bought a Dickies record.  Not even the singles.  The joke doesn't warrant repeat plays.

Now others did like them.  Others enjoyed headbanging to helium mouthed splatter punk and the vocals here tilt heavily into the helium.  For many, this screams good times and beer.  I commend them for their enthusiasm.  But is that all there is?

I cannot deny Jupiter 5 master this kind of hedonistic frenzy.  And they deliver on what they promise.  The Dickies probably wish they had Pete Ross on bass because he plays it tight and thunderous.  If this is your bag, this may well earn its way into your all-time list of favourite albums.

But the lyrics aren't great.  They'd be fine if they'd been written by a 15-year-old Japanese girl with English as a third language.  They are, however, written by grown arse men who should have learned something about life but who refuse to acknowledge any human feeling.

And garage rock is about screaming out feelings no matter how naive.  You're gonna miss me.  Come on Sweet Young Thing.  I love that dirty water.  Don't look back.  Too many people.  Good guys don't wear white.

I know some of you are unconcerned about the stringing together of words in any kind of meaningful pattern.  I know some of you find metaphor an alien concept. Many of you even think Taylor Swift cannot write songs.  Everyone has opinions.

The Cramps got away with meaningless lyrics by being bat shit crazy.  This disc is just not bat shit crazy enough. 

Still, this is a pretty good god damn record. I'm giving it four-and-a-half bottles.  It loses that half bottle for failing to exceed its expectations.

You may be looking for a record with deeper or wittier lyrics.  Maybe you're  looking for some kind of emotional connection with the material.  If so, this might not be for you. 

Most others will bang their heads triumphantly. - Bob Short


Buy it 

Well. A few familiar faces here. One wearing a wrestler's mask (perhaps he's from Adelaide).

Superb cover design constructed by the drummer, James McQuade. He's taken the May 1953 cover of science fiction magazine “If” by Kenneth S. Fagg, which features the Arthur C. Clarke story, ‘Jupiter 5'’ Fagg only lasted a couple of years doing sci fi covers for “If”, but each one is utterly classic. 

Doesn't matter where it comes from, really. Superb choice and delivery: the cover gets you in, straight in. You should know what you're in for. Science friction pre-50’s fockin' rockin' garage with space weevil sandwiches from 1960s vintage cookery books? 

Well, sort of. And sort of ... not. Not at all.

No? Well ... take “garage rock”… surely that's just another shitty term with in-built dismissal. “Garage” surely means “not good enough for everyone else”. 

Maybe that meaning has changed by now. Does it, today, imply a free-er, less restrained rock ‘n' roll? a greater emphasis on directness, with humour and self-awareness? Possibly ...

Like you, I loved the “Nuggets” LP when it was repressed in 1976. The “Nuggets” series were a window to do-it-yourself: other like-minded fools had gone there before and created magic. And “The History of Northwest Rock Volume 1”, that was wild. And more compilations came scrambling out as folks didn't want those unique, diverse gems to be lost.

Terminology, pigeon-holing, the practice unjustly freezes a moment, or series of moments, as if “that's all there is” to the people who put it together, unbuttoned their creativity and worked to make something real to them. 

We humans. We're bums. We like simplicity, we like to absorb, not to think, we want Johnny Rotten to be what we want him to be, forever a cartoon like his friend Sid, both of them living in a fucking cardboard-box tent under a highway, pointlessly spitting and squawking at the cars whizzing by. We like cliches, they're comforting.

By now you may have guessed I cannot stand terms like “proto” or “post”' anything. Utterly absurd and downright ugly. These smug conclusions are usually irrelevant to the musicians, and pigeon-holing I think always traps whatever the outfit were like a dragonfly in amber. 

Cockney Rejects were a terrace lad band, got called punk, then “went metal” and “fans” deserted ... the band were the same as before, just changing. You know. That's what you do as you grow up.

The Monks, for example, are defined as “proto-punk” but their immediate and most significant influence was upon the emerging rebellious, hedonistic underground in Germany, referred to as “krautrock” (could a genre term be more insulting, limiting and dismissive?). The more we try to define boundaries of genre, the more we confine ourselves. Listen to “Tone Float” or “Kluster”, then Can's “Monster Movie” or something by Tangerine Dream ... then “Faust IV” ... there's no real similarity, so we construct a constrictive hole to tie everything into one forgettable bundle: “not western rock'n'roll”: krautrock.

Where was I? Oh. Jupiter 5... did you think they were a garage band? 

Serve you right, gullible. Personally, the only way I'd describe a band as a “garage” band is if they 1) never played live except in their folks' garage, and 2) they only managed to get one single out, and split up and went to college. But that's me. 

Anyway. All that said, “5th From The Sun” does resemble a ‘60s teen sensation band, with bags of big guitar courtesy Sydney stalwarts Vince Cuscuna and Angelo Antodormi. Jupiter 5 shove, barge and bury the opposition (quite a bit of that down to Peter “Rössy” Ross on bass and James McQuade on drums (art and drums... that's a hell of a mixture).

A lot of folks have been looking forward to this LP.

So, every song is distinct, which is always a plus. The rock'n'rawl buzzes and crackles like the phone bets on a pub cage fight.  

.Jay Younie's vocals are the most distinctive I've heard in years. If there's a reason to get the LP, in fact, it's Jay's struttin', outraged teen vox. His lemons have been given a hefty squeeze and the juice is mussing his trews.

Yeah, I do keep coming back to the term “teen”, don't I? Well, that's what the band sounds like, youf discovering this rawk thing for the first time; I mean, yeah, if you were a goose you could name assorted riffs and where they're from, or structures even (there are surely moments of Dead Boys in there, and the Easybeats, and Motorhead, not that that's really relevant). “Outta My Way” and “The Golden Mile” are standout testicle-crushers, and as for the rest...

“5th From The Sun” has thirteen songs, only two over four minutes, and five others over three minutes. You get the idea? The songs have been crafted, not chucked together. There's a lot going on, and by time the second song starts up, you want to catch the band live.

One thing I absolutely love about Younie's vocals is that half the time I have no fucking idea what he's singing, so brilliantly are the words mangled. I love this technique. S'cuse me while I kiss this guy. “Mockinbird Mosh” and “Elephant Finger”? What?! I mean, we're not talking The Kingsmen here, but ... look, (grasping desperately at straws) if you recall Pinky & Perky, the squeaky-voiced puppets from the ‘60s, then imagine if they got into stuff they couldn't handle as they became stars, the survivor returning with a nicotine-drenched voice; Younie is a rock star who makes Stevie Wright...alright, I've ranted enough, but that might give you an idea.

Possibly the wrong idea, but that's only me trying to explain that you should be listening by now. Jupiter 5 should be stars, “5th From The Sun” should be on every kid's turntable or streaming like liquid butter ... 

But the world is a shitty hole of a place, and while our western civilisation descends into localised bickering while the entire balance of peace is gradually tipping over into big-hat/ little-dick, I guess you could argue that the fortunes or otherwise of a Sydney band are pretty small beer.

On the other hand, we need a reason to live, and persevere. A reminder of what fun is, a reminder of what peace and prosperity is, and a reminder of good life. 

If there were any justice or sense in the world, Russia would be denuded of all weapons of any sort whatsoever and banished from trading with anyone for a hundred and fifty years, Israel and Palestine would be similarly denuded and told, “sort it out”; no imports or exports until you're done. And don't get me started on China, India, Brazil...

Nah, humanity, we gonna do what we're gonna do, we got brains but we don't use 'em.

Fuck it, get “Fifth from the Sun”, play it loud, and lurch around the room. That'll remind the neighbours why you're a grumpy, crusty old fart who scares the postman, teenagers and possums.

Get the  CD here. Go to the launch on Friday 3 May 2024, with support from Simon Chainsaw and the Liberators, and Primo Mofo. - Robert Brokenmouth


Hello, I-94 Barflies.  The question famously posed in a song by The Dictators was “Who Will Save Rock n Roll?” Sydney band Jupiter 5’s debut album “5 From The Sun” is so good – and I mean it’s really fucking good – that it must be the answer. And if not, it comes so bloody close.

Jupiter 5 is Jay Younie on vocals, Angelo Antidormi and Vince Cuscuna on guitar, Peter Ross on bass and James McQuade on drums. They have recorded an album full of rock-pop, punk, surf and metal. They’ve wrapped their own Sydney indie sound around each track and stamped them with screaming guitars, from start to finish.

“All Aboard:” and “Gotta Fascination” have a Dead Boys feel with some great vocals. “Mockingbird Mosh” jumped out of the speakers here at The Farmhouse. It had me asking “Where’s the Whiskey?” because this is a real drinking album.

“Elephant Finger” is like a punch in the face.

“Outta My Way” is pure rock ‘n’ roll as is “Supersonic Hero”. Both are terrific tunes. “Ain’t No Shade In Hades” slows the pace with a nice, bluesy feel.  

Then it’s back to blistering speed with “Out Of The Shadows” and “The Golden Mile” which are just pure headbanging gold.  

Peter “Rossy”: Ross drives “H-Bomb” with some great bass playing and it features a some wonderful vocal by Jay Younie. “Ali Eli” and “Hell Train” finishes this masterpiece’ of all that’s great about Australian rock and roll. We rock. No doubt about it.

Jupiter 5 has recorded what I think is the album of the year so far . It will take some beating to be knocked off for number one in my Top Ten of 2024.

Buy it here from I-94 Bar Records. You won’t regret it. It has no filler, folks. - Ronald Brown

 fiveone and two shots please, Barman.

Jupiter 5 will launch "5th From The Sun" at Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney with Simon Chainsaw & The Liberators and Primo Mofo on May 3. Tickets are here.