Cultural Treason - Moot (Riot Records)
The sleepy resort town of Forster on the New South Wales Mid Coast might be an unlikely place to find a punk band, but never forget that Jello Biafra grew up as Stanley Boucher in nondescript Boulder, Colorado. Moot have a little Jello in the musical DNA on their debut EP - plus a whole lot more.
It’s said mainstream Americans don’t “get” sarcasm. Aussies do and Moot is dripping in the stuff. “Fake News” is a blast of bile with lots of dynamics, directed at you-know-who. "I Hate Hippies" channels a show at The Grand Hotel in Sydney in 1980 with its nod to Johnny Dole and the Scabs and is a punked-up attack on hipsters. Simple and simply effective.
FMR008 - Fleshen Fella (Fantastic Mess Records)
This band was formerly known as Fleshlight, comprises four actors and played live (in drag) at the Gasometer in Melbourne precisely once before recording this bunch of songs, sans overdubs, and promptly disappearing.
This is a seven-inch EP of five songs on a boutique label.
Spoiler alert: There's much more to this story but don't read on if you want the mystery to be preserved...
Stoneage Scomeos - The BotBots (Outtaspace/Wreckless Enterprises)
This really shouldn’t work. A couple of rehearsals and one gig that was truncated for excessive swearing. A by-the-seat-of-the-pants recording session fuelled by beer in a terrace house-cum-studio, four months later. Seven songs in nine minutes. Punk rock, eh?
The buzz of blowflies announces “Engadine Maccas”, a 52-second treatise about an alleged bout of Prime Ministerial diarrhoea in a southern Sydney fast food joint. Apocryphal or not, you don't need to wear brown corduroys to know the song's as funny as fuck. The makers of Imodium need to license it for an ad.
Gold Foil Fever - The Vibrajets (Off the Hip)
So much goodness over just five songs. Warm, fat guitars permeate this predominantly instrumental record like honeybees holed up in in an old hive.
The Vibrajets are Melbourne-based and include past or current members of The Stems, The Shimmys, The Futuras and The Breadmakers - which should tell you most of what you need to know. This 12-inch 45 is their second piece of recorded output, not so hot on the heels of a mono single four years ago. The Vibrajets sound owes its origins as much to the Chet Atkins as “Apache”.
The vintage sound of Sammy-lou Croissant and Julian Matthews’ guitars are all over rumbling opener “Greasy 186”, one of a brace of originals. The shaking cover of Long John Hunter’s “El Paso Rock” reeks of Tecate beer and Tequila chasers. Lick, sip, suck!
“Feed The Dog” b/w “Coming Back” – Bored! (Fantastic Mess Records)
Before the recent passing of principal member Dave Thomas, Bored! had probably faded somewhat from the collective underground music consciousness.
There was a collection of live material out on Spanish label Bang! that did address that but, being a mail order thing, it was probably only heard by diehard Australian fans. This posthumous, limited-edition single from committed boutique label Fantastic Mess rights this wrong and is a fine tribute to Dave.
Detroit Renaissance 79 - Matt Gimmick (HoZac Records)
The penny dropped somewhere on the Road to Damascus exit, just off I-94, but there was no need for a conversion. The revelation that this band Matt Gimmick was a by-product of The Punks, a Detroit outfit active in the mid-‘70s whose overlooked recordings have been posthumously released a coupla times over, sparked a run to the shelves to dig out their release. If you don't own a copy of The Punks' "The Most Powerful Music On Earth" CD, or subsequent re-releases on vinyl, your life is diminished.
The Punks were unashamedly in the thrall of the Stooges. If solo Iggy had sounded like The Punks we would have been spared “Party” and the Pop would have ended up a rich man much earlier in life for delivering what fans of his old band expected all along. Or so the fantasy goes, because for most of the '70s, nobody actually cared.