Wasteland Blues – O.C. Rippers (Ruined Records)
Ocean County, New Jersey, is a 40-minute drive from the Ashbury Park foreshore of Bruce Springsteen and a million miles from his $5000 concert tickets. The same goes for the music of O.C. Rippers, whose 16-song “Wasteland Blues” album is a million times more exciting.
It’s the vinyl version of the 2021 debut CD and if you hang around the I-94 Bar you’ll know the modus operandi: Equal parts Dead Boys, Stooges and Candy Snatchers (especially) with songs that mostly last less than two minutes and are spat out at breakneck pace (for the most part) with venom.
Waiting For The Last Gasp Of My Generation – Nasty S and The Ghost Chasers (Twenty Something Records)
French journeyman Nasty Samy has been on the European underground touring circuit as long as anyone can remember, playing with the likes of Second Rate, Hawaii Samurai, The Black Zombie Procession, Demon Vendetta, Cab Drivers Stories, Teenage Renegade and a bunch of other bands you’ve possibly never heard of.
He’s a lifer.
He’s also a magazine writer of some repute.
“Waiting For the Last Gasp…” is a cover album, with Nasty S playing most of the stringed instruments on a selection of ‘80s and ‘90s punkish and powerpop songs that he digs, and with a rotating cast of guest vocalists.
Gold - Ashley Davies (Strange Loop Recordings)
Before we start ... it's always about the songs. And "Gold" is magnificent.
But wait, there's more...like the pattern of a walnut...
Every now and then something quite special arrives at my Internet cabin in the woods. As you may or may not know, I've edited a couple of Australian Bomber Command books - first-hand accounts by two then-young men who answered the call and flew the missions.
Those books have brought me into contact with other people, and some of their stories (such as the the wish-he'd-been-a LRP Ranger) ... and they also raised the eyebrows of a chap called Ashley Davies.
Indie Sounds From The Harbour City (1983-87) – Various Artists (Vi-Nil Records)
The Vi-Nil label lurched into life in 1983 with The Klerks and spawned more notable offspring such as the Hard-Ons and the Psychotic Turnbuckles before winding down at the end of the decade. This collection marks the label’s re-birth, and features a representative selection of its first era stable.
There are 20 tracks and it’s a diverse output, ranging from power-pop to acid punk and back to new wave and garage rock. Vi-Nil’s release of “Sockman” by the Lipstick Killers was my introduction to the label and to these ears it still epitomises the frenzied attack of the first era line-up.
Alpha Beta Gamma Delta – The Godfathers (Cargo Records)
Whenever the one and only Peter Coyne switches up the roll call of the long loved Godfathers institution, the fans always fret momentarily and then the front doors get kicked in and here they come again, guns blazing, in full color and better than ever.
I did not know they could possibly be this good and do it again, but here they are still gigantic fucking towering monuments of Real Rock ‘n’ Roll, ya know ever since the Sid Presley days this lot has been as influenced by gorgeous, chiming, classic hit melodies from the golden age of pre-Pepper Beatles, as they have by the snarling rebel roar of the pissed-off Pistols, they still have all that in their sound, and they still write songs that are just unbelievably stick in your skull catchy, hand tailored for rock ‘n’ roll radios, if such a thing exists.
A Fire of Life – The Stooges (Easy Action)
Pertinent Question: Who else but Easy Action would have issued this and shown such a high degree of care? The Stooges are no more. Every listenable recording of the band during any of its phases surely has been exhumed and put into the marketplace by now.
“A Fire of Life” is the Pop-Asheton-Asheton-Watt-Mackay Stooges at the height of their reformation powers.
The first half combines broadcast quality sets from Sydney (2006) and New Orleans (2003) while the second act is audio of a pay-for-view, live-in-the-studio 2007 set, showcasing one song from “The Weirdness” with five re-recorded classics. It’s rounded off with an in-store appearance by Iggy, Rock and Ron at Newbury Comics in Minnesota in 2003.
Love is Calling - Mick Medew and Ursula (I-94 Bar Records)
Two years of lockdown were not wasted by Mick Medew and Ursula Collie-Medew. Besides getting married, they also managed to entertain every second Sunday with their live lockdown streaming gigs.
The streaming shows were wonderfully received, with Mick playing some classic songs from his back catalogue with the Screaming Tribesmen and others, plus new tunes, and Ursula sitting in on keyboards on a few. When words reached The Farmhouse that Mick and Ursula were releasing a new CD of songs written over lockdown, I for one was excited to hear how these tunes would sound with full production.
And it’s pure gold, folks.