There are reunions and there are reunions. The short story is that this DVD is well worth the fuss. One of Australia's best-loved bands of the 1980s, reconvening in full for the first time in 21 years in emotionally-charged circumstances, would be a good enough excuse to watch this show, just for curisoty's sake. That they nailed it with their original spirit, enthusiasm and energy intact is the icing on the proverbial baked product.
It's not often for me that a movie meets expectations so exactly but this is one. I should have known. Those ubiquitous T-shirts commemorating the place being worn in their millions (hey - I owned one in the '80s before it was cool) and that scary story, just after it closed, that the place was destined to be relocated to Las Vegas. Plus, there's Foo Fighter in it. Despite best intentions, "CBGB" is the "Waterworld" of punk rock biopics. It is a train crash. It tells the story of Hilly Krystal (played by Alan Rickman), the owner of the world's most renowned musical shit-hole, without any regard to historical facts, chronology, plot, character development or the possibility that its target audience might just have functioning brains. All good cretins go to heaven but sitting through this is hell.
Black Leather Soul - Angus Khan (Nickel and Dime Records)
Hello from the Farmhouse, Barflies. This is one from the archives, originally issued in 2009, but this most rocking album has been re-released in July and is already on all good music streaming services with a extra track, "Silver and Green" (acoustic.) I, for one, love this tune and the album.
Angus Khan was formed in the summer of 2006 by three Streetwalkin' Cheetahs and two B Movie Rats in sunny California. They were Frank Meyer and Bruce Duff on guitars, Dino Everrett on bass, Derek Christenson (vocals) and Andy Baker of the B Movie Rats on drums. What a cracking line-up.
That's some pedigree and they didn't disappoint. This is a hard rock album that just kicks from the first track, the wonderful "Midnight Moses".
These tunes are a must for any Barfly who loves Rock 'n' Roll played hard with witty lyrics. "Call Me Motherfucker", "Hot Pants", "Bop City", "Chainsaw Betty" and "Scene Bitch" are perfect examples of what I love in a rock band: Don't take yourself too seriously and have some fun. Angus Khan most certainly does both in abundance.
"Black Leather Soul" takes listeners on a journey of stomping riffs. Oh, those guitars just blast out of the speakers. No bullshit here. It's a must have album.
I was lucky enough yesterday to have a conversation with Frank Myer about why he decided to branch out from the Cheatahs and form Angus Khan. Just quickly before I let Frank loose on the public, you should know that they derived their name from Angus of AC/DC and Genghis Khan, leader of the Mongol Empire. So name alone, you know this album ain't for pussies.
So I'll let Frank explain the origins of the band and I'm most grateful for the time he took to speak to a dirt farmer from Dimboola, Victoria
When the Cheetahs and the Rats both broke up, Derek and I had been plotting on doing a heavier band for some time. We wanted to do something kinda like Zodiac Mindwarp meets Turbonegro - a really dirty sleazy biker metal music with dashes of punk and glam.
At the time I was also writing for Cherie Currie of the Runaways on a solo album that would return her to her Runaways roots. Unfortunately that album never ended up getting done so a bunch of the songs like "Scene Bitch" and "Big Balls" we just took and continued that direction, making it more extreme and as we continued writing new songs.
When we were writing songs for Angus Khan we where listening to a lot of music like Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Nashville Pussy, ZZ Top and even Megadeth and Metallica. We wanted a sound to be steeped in '70s hard rock but with a metal twist.
There's a lot of fun and cheap humour in the lyrics; We wanted the music to be fun and funny, with lyrics that were cool yet ridiculously over the top.
Each member of the band had a character. I dressed like a Army guy and went by the name Sgt Rock. Our biker singer went by Dirty D, our bass player was Droogie from the movie "Clockwork Orange', the drummer was Tarzan and the other guitarist was a '70s rock god. We all dressed the part and kept the whole thing as over the top as possible.
So Barflies, this is a must for lovers of hard-riffing, good time, over-the-top rock 'n' roll. Download or stream this most wonderful album on Spotify, Apple or Amazon music, and if you're not familiar with The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs, give them a listen also. They just kick fucking arse.
Six Beers Please Barman AND keep them coming
From The Farmhouse, enjoy your week and don't run out of bog rolls.
Divine Rites – New Christs (Citadel Records)
Not so much an album as a compilation of singles, “Divine Rites” stands the test of time. Just 45 minutes long and spanning a dozen songs, it was released in Australia in 1988 as a mini-album and CD – a holding action while the newest line-up of the band worked up its debut full-length album, the stunning “Distemper”.
The New Christs materialised after Rob Younger took a lengthy lay-off from performing. The Other Side, his first post-Radio Birdman group, had disintegrated without committing anything to vinyl. Pity. The Other Side live were brutal, founded on a plundering of the ‘60s punk and early ‘70s Alice Cooper vaults and fueled by the take-no-prisoners guitar of Charlie Georgees. The band (Younger, Georgees, Clyde Bramley on bass and Mark Kingsmill/Ron Keeley on drums) worked up some fantastic originals, some of which would be played by the New Christs.