Jesus Drives a Sandman b/w Solicit - The Fools (self released)
I'm going to surprise you and tell you this isn't a great single. Well, not in the traditional sense. It's not what anyone calls a hit record. It barely finds a chorus. But is it fucking great? Oh yeah.
This is all kinds of thundering great hyper rock and roll madness. It's the sort of track that makes you want to jump into your Panzer Tank and overrun the nearest neighbouring country whilst swigging Wild Turkey and taking no prisoners. Guitars slash, scream and gurgle in electric squall. Bass pounds earthquakes. Drums thump the beat of zombie apocalypse (but the fast kind of modern zombie and not the shambling old school type). Tick off all the appropriate cliche rock and roll review boxes. Throw in words like blistering. Mention Detroit. It's not important. Just get the message out. This thing rocks like the proverbial motherfucker (even though I'm not sure how that visual is appropriate).
Sure you can hear the influences. The Stooges here. The New Christs there. A dash of Lipstick Killers in the vocals. A kind of Cramps intent welded onto an MC5 delivery. Is that a bit of Action Woman floating around the b-side? You know all the pieces like they're strands of your own DNA but they're all reassembled uniquely enough for you not to cast an accusing finger. And just because I tell you this isn't a great single, that doesn't stop it being an essential purchase. I'd prefer to think of it as a really great but very short album. You could shove it in your car cd player on continuous play for the next month or two - or at least until the police arrest you for mowing down innocent pedestrians.
"It's a fair cop, guv. But the music is to blame."
If you are going to take a chance and buy one Australian record from an artist you've never heard let this be it. (Or buy mine but you'll probably prefer this!) Just buy it soon because nothing this good sits on the shelf too long. - Bob Short
From the late John Robertson’s opening drawl of the song title to the last sustained note, this is a song that means business. Steely guitar lines, an imperious vocal and an irresistible groove stake out occupied territory. No quarter is sought or given in its three minutes.
The Fools, if you didn’t know, are a long-gone band (1996-97) from Newcastle in Australia who were very much in the mould of Radio Birdman and the so-called Detroit genre. Their solitary album is nearly impossible to find but made a lasting mark. This two-track CD single showcases their heavyweight title belt magnificence nicely.
What sets this single apart from Birdman copyists is the bottom-end swing and the full-bore production. These songs might have been tarted up after the event and given a mighty mastering once-over by magician Don Bartley but the raw material was good quality to start with.
“Solicit” is everry bit as great as the title tyrack. It starts with a “I Wanna Be Your Dog”-type guitar exclamation before slamming into an uncompromising sea of riffage, moving into a breakdown and then more riffage. “You only hurt the ones you love,” intones Robertson and you better believe him.