Australian trio the Cosmic Psychos is fast filling the yawning void of relentless punk rock consistency left vacant by the Ramones' departure. Which isn't to say they're a replacement for Da Bruddas, by any means, but If The Song Ramones the Same, then Psychos Never Sleep. Expect no quantum leaps with "Dung Australia", their first long player in a year, and you'll be happy as a pig in, er, dung.
You might call this a quickie. A furtive collaboration by a Southern Fried two-piece and a disaffected keyboard-playing boy who's well beyond salvation. In and out like a honeymooner's doodle. Cruder than oil. You could dismiss it as an off-beat project, dashed off without care. You'd also be wrong and missing the point.
The nature of Rock is that it sometimes comes seeping out of the most unlikely places. Sonic Assassin member Rauky leads the three-piece from southern France with the funny name. Southern France is a great place to visit but hasn’t been renowned for Rock Action since Keef and Co copped the eviction notice back in the early ‘70s. This disc makes us wonder if we’re getting out enough (air fares to Europe will be gratefully accepted).
One of France's finest trios of psych noisemakers go part of the way down an acoustic path for their newest record and it's hypnotically effective. Little Green Fairy don't leave the fuzzbox and wah wah pedal at home in their town of Sette but vary their textures enough to open up new vistas of light and shade.
Powerpop bliss is the stock-in-trade of The JAC aka Joe Algeri, Perth-based musical elder statesman who's best-known as the leader of '90s outfit Jack And The Beanstalk. After the more recent trans-global-over-the-Net collaboration of The Britannicas, he's back with this inspired long player.
If you're wondering how a Fairfisa-and-fuzz garage combo hails from a place like Wigan in darkest north-western England, you're not alone. Madchester, these guys are not. The Shook Ups sound more authentic than most of the '60s punkers from whom they derive their influences. In this case, that's a distinct plus.
Singers who even vaguely sound like Robert Plant shit me to tears but a large length of slack can be cut for The Bloody Hollies. A swag of catchy, brittle-edged songs, aggressive, the-blues-do-the-pogo playing and a large serving of irreverence get these Greater New Yorkers (now San Diegans) over the line.
You think you know me? I pick up the CD. Dumb band name. Dumb pun band name. Is there anything worse? God, I hope they are not whacky – or worse; zany. Pun band names often lead to zany. The scourge of Rock and Roll. I could always save the next 40 minutes of my life and just throw the thing away unplayed. The Barman said I could do that. Let me take a closer look.
For those of you with attention span issues here's the short version: All killer and no filler. While "D.F.F.D." (Dictators Forever Forever Dictators) is a perfect album title, they could just as easily called the record "You’re Lucky". The new Dictators album is a phenomenal combination of craft, power, and presentation. It puts together everything that’s great about the first three Dictators albums and the Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom CD, which are all really different as far as I'm concerned.
It's rare that you find a disc with which you can't find even insubstantial fault. The Dictators, live and amped-up, are simply one of the best things on this musical planet. If you had to come up with something to balance the lavish praise we and fellow Tators fan-atics are spouting about this, it might be that the contemporary tunes on "Viva" manage to sound exactly like their studio cousins. And that's supposed to be a bad thing?