Dog Songs - Jack Howard and the Long Lost Brothers (self-released)
This from the press release:
"'Dog Songs' is a 'best of' Jack's Dog's Bar residency with his mighty band of Long Lost Brothers - and sisters. It features some powerful new songs, like 'Reason to Believe', and 'Panic in the City', plus ripper versions of some of Jack's great older tunes like 'Let Me Live' and 'City Lights'. The band features some of Melbourne's finest in absolutely stellar form - Ed Bates on pedal steel guitar, Nick Del Rey on guitar, Cal McAlpine on drums, Rob Walker on bass, Fiona Lee Maynard on backing vocals and percussion, and Amy Valent Curtis on percussion. Production from Craig Harnath at Hothouse Audio captures the band's live energy and power without sacrificing the rich warmth and depth of a studio recording.'"
Well, you don't need me, really, do you?
Off you go and buy "Dog Songs".
No? Still here?
"Do some fucking work, Robert" ...?
Bastards, the lot of you.
Psychopharmacologist - Mick Medew (I-94 Bar Records)
Issued by this website's very own head honcho, The Barman, who is responsible for organising many, many gigs which you've all thoroughly enjoyed. The kind of punter who decides he wants to see bands, and figures you will, too, so he puts them on.
This LP rates 5 bottles, and that's not because I know Barman and he's slipped me a brown envelope behind the cistern at Central Station, but because “Psychopharmacologist” is bloody lovely, and you absolutely need it in your collection. The press release explains that this is “Mick Medew’s first true solo album and his most surprising musical adventure yet with its broad stylistic sweep and kaleidoscopic use of sound”, and that's a fair comment.
A Crack in the World - Brando Rising (Crankinhaus)
“A Crack in the World” is an utter cracker, and if any of you lot had recorded anything half as good as this you'd have heads as big as prize-winning pumpkins.
I mean to say, Jesus wept, lads. “A Crack in the World” gets your attention as surely as if someone has heaved a box of tinned tuna at your head.
Doesn't matter what mood you're in, put this in your slot (oo-er, missus, fnaar fnaar etc) and you'll feel like a character in a 1950s Warner Brothers cartoon who has rashly “just added water” to a mysterious sachet.
Ghosting - Van Walker (Green South Records)
The emerging artistic genre de jour of 2020 will be iso-art. Some of it will be insightful, philosophical and impressive; over in the bargain bins of artistic creation, there will be tedium, self-indulgence and vacuous expressionism. When the world shuts down, and even incidental social intercourse is legally and morally restricted, art follows.
Van Walker’s new album isn’t iso-art per se, but it’s an album that resonates in a world characterised by isolation. Van, aided and abetted by his equally hirsute brother Cal, have been fixtures on the Melbourne music scene for around 15 years, since making the trip from regional Tasmania (itself a place of relative geographical and demographic isolation).
10 Piece Feed - The Missile Studs/Thee Evil Twin (Evil Tone Records/Dirty Flair)
This is a marriage made in Fast Food Heaven. “10 Piece Feed” pits Adelaide scuzzballs The Missile Studs against Sydney’s recently dissolved punk trio Thee Evil Twin over a 10-song split LP, and it’s hotter than a fire in a chip shop grease trap.
Split albums can be disappointing but the contrasts and similarities in both bands work well here. The Studs are more of your traditional thrash-y punks while Thee Twin have a ‘60s garage undercurrent. Neither band is a slave of studio polish, and they possess equal amounts of humour and energy. Breast or Thigh? Plenty here to appease fans of either - or both.
Reptilian Overlord - The Casanovas (Rubber Records)
Melbourne's hard-rocking Casanovas have released their fourth album, “Reptilian Overlord”, and it does not disappoint. It just rocks from start to finish.
I must admit I've seen The Casanovas many times over the years with varying line-ups. The constant, however, is the guitar and vocals of the man who was always destined to be a rock star: Tommy Boyce. Honestly, see this man play live and tell me I’m wrong.