Black Interceptor b/w Bee-Music - 50LgE (Rare bone Records)
Ensconced in sub-tropical Far Northern New South Wales - where the hippies are numerous and the sheep would be scared if they weren’t so mellow - 50LgE is a band that clearly likes to do things its own way.
You’d issue your debut single as a 12-inch slice o’ vinyl, right? Cheap to ship (not). Although the included download card is a nod to modern technology, that’s a lot of vinyl to hold two songs and the run-out groove goes forever. 50LgE have their own DJ cranking garage rock tunes between sets, and also boast their own brand of beer. Now you’re talkin’…
First, the intros: This is a garage rock-influenced trio whose number includes ex-The Eastern Dark drummer Geoff Milne, bassist DB (ex-The Tellers - from Brisbane) and guitarist Tone Changer, whose own cv includes a spell in the Psychotic Turnbuckles back when he was a kid. So you know that two of them have had the good sense to get out of Dodge (aka Sydney) and make a tree change.
Laughing Up a Storm - Baby 8 b/w Boys In Town - Penny Ikinger (Fantastic Mess Records)
This is a double A sided single from two of the best female-fronted/dominated and/or comprised outfits in Melbourne town.
First to Baby 8 and “Laughing Up a Storm” which is brassy and bold, over-the-top pop. It’s immediately appealing with its rambunctious three-part harmonies with sax and trumpet parts kicking up a storm. A lick of synth casts an oddness into the soundscape that befits this vengeance song. There’s a sharp lyrical turn that’s like the twist of a knife and Kat Karamitros sells the vocal like she means it. Wonderful. Don't cross her.
The late Chrissy Amphlett was a mentor to Penny Ikinger and she brings plenty of conviction and feeling to her cover of Divynils’ “Boys in Town”. Three guitars give it more crunch than the radio-friendly original single, with Penny’s guitar howl leaking through the more conventional attack of Julian Heid and Sam Billinghurst-Walsh. Not content to sound just like the original, Penny and Co have bent the song out of shape, just so.
It’s the usual Fantastic Mess run of other clear-spattered or ruby red vinyl in a limited pressing. Grab it here.
1/2 - both
Action; 1980 Three Tracks - The Knots (Rave-Up)
For those of you who aren't familiar with the name, Joey Pinter, he is like an angrier, tough as leather, hard as nails, punk rock Billy Gibbons. Or if Johnny Thunders was still alive and vital and never lost his mojo. Roughly, he's the American equivalent to Spencer P. Jones-in that he is also a formidable and prolific singer/songwriter in his own right, who is best known for having played soulful, emotionally charged, white lightning guitar in beloved cult bands.
I first discovered Pinter's legendary American punk gangs, the Waldos and the Knots, back when I was 20-years-old and pin-balling back and forth between Boston, Hollywood, and New York City. I was a pencil thin scarecrow, would-be vocalist, back then, trying to forge my own dangerous glam rock band ala Smack, Hanoi Rocks, and Dogs D'Amour, but I never had the money or social skills, to keep a band together for long.
Little Murders EP - Little Murders (Off The Hip)
Sweetness Brings The Light EP - The Fiction (Off the Hip)
It’s a crazy, mixed-up world where music-lovers buy things in every available format. This four-track vinyl EP comes direct from the “Dromana-Rama” CD album which is not available as an LP, so if you’re both a Little Murders fan and a vinyl fetishist, this is the only way to satisfy your habit.
“Memory Sky” is a superb opener but there’s also not a dud among the selections here. Which are: “Wait”, “Train” and “52 Bands”. The “Dromana-Rama” album has a lot of depth and grows with each listen, but something has to be said for assembling four of its best songs on a slice of black vinyl. If you don’t walk away from a listen thinking that power-pop-rock can't get any better, you have industrial deafness or your tastebuds have relocated to your back passage.
The Real World b/w Closer Still - Ups and Downs (Basketcase Records)
Two old songs given the re-recording treatment and issued on seven-inch vinyl. It’s well worth your time, energy and modest pocket money to seek and procure. The A side (aka the Upside) was a cassette-only release from 1983, and it sounds just like the band did back then i.e. melodic and chiming. Urgent guitars, courtesy of John Flade and Peter Shaw, power the song with a great soulful vocal from Greg Atkinson.
Flip it over when it’s done and the previously unreleased song “Closer Still” in freshly-recorded form switches the mood momentarily to subdued reflection, before breaking into a canter. The Sunnyboys-style harmonies and soulfulness again stand out.. Grab it digtlally hereor seek the physical product via your store of choice. Google won't let you down on that score.
“Horror Smash EP” - The Victims (In The Red)
“Horror Smash” is four old songs re-recorded in two sessions over 2017 and ’18 by a tweaked version of The Victims. They were Perth’s (almost) first punk band and a launching pad, of sorts, for Dave Faulkner (nee Flick) of the Hoodoo Gurus and James Baker of the Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon et al. Hard-Ons bassist Ray Ahn is the new third wheel and this single - on blood-spattered clear vinyl - has come out on revered US label In The Red.
The first thing to say is that it sounds like The Victims. No airs and graces. No frills. Downstrokes and rawness. No solos. No backing vocals. Black humour lyrics. Strap yourself in and hope you make it to the end. At which point you’ll get up and flip the thing over.