Self-consciously retro rock and roll bands can be a real problem. There are ones that overplay their hand and fall back on gimmicks. They almost always have a name with “Thee” appended to the front. And then there are those that apply their three chords with genuine regard for where the music emanated.
Plastic Section is part of a loose Melbourne aggregation of bands in the latter category; their peers are The Breadmakers, The Vibrajets and The Cha Cha Chas. Each faithfully plunders the past while applying their own take.
You're gonna love this one. It’s kicking, rampaging, no-holds-barred, pounding rock'n'roll.
I've written about Ben Gel before. He's a no-nonsense, hammer-down-the-line bass player (currently playing in Perdition and Cull-The Band) and guitarist ... in his own outfit. On “My Circus! My Shitshow!!' he plays lead and rhythm guitars, bass and handles lead and backing vocals. Chris Charlton also handles lead and rhythm guitars, and Nick Hadley is on the kit.
Geez, I'd love to see this lot live. It looks like the drums were recorded in Camden Town, UK, and the rest in Rosewater, South Australia. How the fuck this ended up sounding so damn tight I have no idea. Loads of talent and patience, I assume.
Melbourne duo Velatine is now a constant in my life, in the same way that (say) disco was a constant in some people's lives every Friday and Saturday night, or punk was, or AFL every season, or cricket... you know?
I'm not alone, it seems - this week my local independent radio station, 3D in Adelaide, made it LP of the week. And it's not out till Friday.
However, I must be frank here. Velatine ain't for everyone. It ain't yer commercial radio fodder for sparkies and housewives. The independent radio stations should love "I Won't Be Civilised", but of course, you know. They have zero taste after being told for so long what's hip and cool by ... paint salesmen. Sorry, I mean “record executives”.
I confess my age: I missed John Cale’s Australian tour in 1975 (being 11 is no excuse, of course) but caught him at the Tivoli in Adelaide in ‘83, and again a few years later. Heard and have many of his albums, but confess that some are hit and miss, while others are (for me) spectacular.
I-94 Barflies will recall that Cale was one of two “foundation members” of the Velvet Underground (which didn't stop him from being booted when Lou Reed felt threatened) and, shortly after, he produced a record by a bunch of laid-back savages from Detroit. If you're not sure who I mean, ask The Barman, he'll fill you in.
Long story short: Spanish garage rock band that’s been on hiatus for 11 years resurfaces on an American label with a German office that sells records to the USA, Mexico and Japan as well as the EU. Sounds about right in today’s digital world, but it’s also proof that rock and roll still spans multiple cultural borders.
As a confirmed Monolingual, I know when I’m beaten. “Superioridad Moral” (“Moral Superiority”) is sung entirely in Spanish. I have no clue what Dr Explosion is singing about. But the songs sound strong with touches of psych rock and pop running prominently throughout.
"In a MistLY" - Dave Graney and Clare Moore (Cockaigne)
It's an astonishing thing, the passage of time. One minute we're slavering over the new LP by our superstar heroes and the next, it seems, we're old, fat and bald and fuck me sweetly, is this the 24th Dave Graney album?
Sorry, not counting his time with The Moodists, live LPs, compilation LPs and soundtracks...
How the fuck did that happen?
(Looks down at unacceptably fat tum, peers bewildered into mirror at fat bald git)
(Winces as recognises self)
Ah well, at least there's the Dave Graney and Clare Moore LP, “In a MistLY”.