She’s Back b/w The Other Side – Bored! (Fantastic Mess Records)
Discerning people like their diamonds ijn the rough. These are cast-off gems from Bored!’s “Feed The Dog” album sessions, released on a short run 45 by Fantastic Mess in the run to their re-issue of the 1991 record on vinyl. It’s the three-piece version of the band, led by the late Dave Thomas.
“She’s Back” sits back on the groove and shows off Thomas’s singular guitar tone. The vocal is buried deep in the mix but audible enough to give you the idea. Keep it sleazy! “The Other Side” is an obvious nod to Dead Boys with more steamroller guitar and a tsunami-like feel from the ending room propelling things along.
Issued in clear and pink vinyl (the latter is already sold out) with the usual Fantastic Mess trimmings of inserts, sticker and postcard, it won’t be around long. Glenno Smith’s stark artwork suits it to a ‘T’.
With beginnings as a guitarist in the high energy scene for Zen Genies, and more recent service as drummer for bush punks Handsome Young Strangers, indie band Wifey and country act Dave Favours and the Roadside Ashes, ubiquitous Mark “Looch” Lewis has as much claim as anyone to being a Sydney musical fixture.
Now fronting his own Looch Lewis and The Press Gangsters instead of playing in other people’s bands, dropping this a solo single seems a logical progression.
Yes, it is that “Free Dirt”, the Died Pretty song from which they took their debut album’s name and that ended up on their second LP, ”Lost”, and while it might initially seem a bold choice, it’s done so well that it raises the question why more people haven’t tackled the much-loved music of Ron, Brett and Co.
Skin and Bones – MD Horne’s Last Call (self released)
Last year’s “Red Dirt Bituman” album was a departure for 300 st clare and Johnny Casino bassist Mark Horne, and his 2021 incarnation MD Horne’s Last Call sounds like another. While “Bituman” headed for the wide open spaces of the Australian bush, framing Horne’s sparse songs against a stark, dry soundscape, “Skin and Bones” hops into a boat and sets sail on folk-punk seas.
“Skin and Bones” is the first track to be released (digitally, natch) from the forthcoming Last Call album, "High Tides, More Crimes", on OuttaSpace Records in Australia and both Folc Records and La Villa Nova in Spain.
Listening To Gospel Music On The Radio – Moonlight Five (self releseed video single)
"Listening To Gospel Music On The Radio" is the sophomore release from alt blues/country act from Sydney’s northern beaches Moonlight Five. Led by ex-Waxworks and Dwarfthrower frontman and I-94 Bar contributor Edwin Garland (and, no, we won’t hold that last point against him), "Gospel Music" leans heavily into the Tom Waits via-Dylan category, without being derivative.
Identity Crisis b/w Song For Lulu –Kevin K & Ricky Rat (Vicious Kitten)
If you had to ask: Kevin K is an indefatigable product of the halcyon New York underground rock and roll scene and one of a handful of the CBGB crew still standing and delivering. Ricky Rat co-founded Detroit’s Trash Brats, larger-than-life dealers of flash glam, and more recently a member of the Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz-led, reconstituted Dead Boys. The pair spawned an album, “Party Store”, in 2020 and this single features two of its songs.
You shouldn’t be surprised that it rocks or that it’s on Vicious Kitten, the Aussie label that grew from the zine of the same name that variously championed Kevin K, his previous band the Road Vultures and the Trash Brats. The zine lives on in The Australian Rock Show podcast, by the way, and the record imprint has been revived after a 15-year hiatus to issue this seven-inch.
First up I confess I only know one of the members, Peter Ross the bass player, and love him and label head The Barman. Even so, I wouldn't say I liked a record just to please them. They know if I didn't like this, I'd (1) tell them, and (2) refuse to review it.
The Barman asked if I wanted to review this. Funny, when friends ask me to review stuff, the paid professional refuses, because if the disc is shit, how do you say it's shit without pooping on your friendship? Also, the Chief Editor or Drunk In Charge will squeak about conflicting interests. Well, for some people that's invariably the case. Our pollies have always had a talent for entertaining us with stories like “I didn't know”, “It was like that when I got here, honest” and “Look, define blackmail...”
You've all been in a similar situation, I'm sure. Perhaps not as a reviewer (nor, indeed, as a blackmailing fuckstick), but maybe rolling out on a Friday or Saturday to see your friend's band and, boy, did they suck the fat one. Thereafter, each weekend until the band thankfully collapses amid acrimony and blame, your excuses come thick and fast, from “her indoors is sick” to “I crashed the car” via “the dog ate my mobile” and “the police found my nightstick”...