Bad Bad Barrel of Monkeys - The Meanies b/w Goodbye Man - Glenn Richards + House of Bassinet - Snout (Fantastic Mess Records)
Just a stab in the dark here, but it’s likely that anything on a short-run seven-inch single by Melbourne institution, The Meanies, will sell out faster than toilet paper during a second wave of Coronavirus. So the parable at the outset is: Don’t snooze unless you want to lose.
This is the latest in a run of limited edition singles by The Meanies. The good news for fans is that it’s available today. The bad news is that it’s only one song, with the B side devoted to songs by related acts Glenn Richards (of Augie March) and Snout. Two guests on the flip is how the series runs so it shouldn't be a disappointment.
“Bad Bad Barrel of Monkeys” is catchier than the aforementioned Coronavirus with simple lyrics, a hooky refrain and a snaking guitar line. It’s instantly likeable. The B side plays at 33rpm and shudders into life with “Goodbye Man”, a steamy psych rocker preceded by a curious snatch of studio babbling. Glennn Richards plays everything. Snout’s “House of Bassinet” is swampy yet percussive pop and just as good, with subtle instrumentation and a rightfully credited whistling line. Buy it here.
It’s Coming After You EP - Thee Cha Cha Chas (Outtaspace/Hogwild)
It’s a barrage of rough and raucous rock and roll from this one-woman-one-man duo out of Melbourne. Four bracing songs on a seven-inch that sit comfortably in the garage-punk oeuvre without breaking down any barriers. Distortion and dual vocalising, done right.
Thee Cha Cha Chas are Lluis Fuzzhound (also of Intoxica and Midnight Woolf - guitar, drums and vocals) and Kylie Kooks (bass and vocals), and they’ve been carving a place on the Melbourne band scene for about five years. A big burst of touring over 2019-20 had the spreading their word further afield but with that not currently an option, this vinyl EP will do. The title track articulates these crazy times.
St Valentine’s Day Massacre - Baby MachineVee Bees (self released)
The pairing of Wollongong’s female tearaways Babymachine with Queanbeyan-via-the-Gong-and-inner-western-Sydney yobs The VeeBees for this three-song, 10-inch EP fell out of a Lemmy tribute bill a few yars ago on which both bands appeared. It’s a match made, not in heaven, but the back bar of the Sunset Strip's Rainbow Bar and Grill.
Taking a leaf out of the book written by Motorhead and Girlschool, “St Valentine’s Day Massacre” mixes the bloodlines, if not the bodily fluids, of two bands with a similar spirit. The result is a song by each act and one joint effort. Babymachine tackles “Bomber” while the VeeBees put paid to Girlchool’s “Emergency”. The A side, “Please Don’t Touch”, is a lesser-known Johnny Kidd and the Pirates number.
Son of The King b/w Elvis’s Lip - The Secret Buttons (Fancy Time Records)
This is an offering from a Perth trio that’s a couple of years old and came out a similar period after the very cool debut EP of 2016, “Some Buttons Should Never Be Pushed”. It’s a savage beast of a seven-incher, a two-headed behemoth that’s equal parts ragged and righteous.
“Son of The King” rides a rollercoaster riff before an affirmation of superiority befitting someone who's lucky enough to drive a Chevrolet. There’s enough bravado in this one to rival, oh, the Psychotic Turnbuckles, even if it is tongue-in-cheek. Set against a grinding feel, the tough rifferama really lights it up.
Je T'aime Moi Non Plus b/w Je T'aime Instrumental - Steve Lucas & Joey Bedlam (Radio Rocks)
This is the I-94 Bar Singles Bar, isn't it? "Je T'aime Moi Non Plus" (translated: "I love you no more") is a lovingly-crafted cover of the Serge Gainsborough song he wrote for for Brigitte Bardot, sung by X's Steve Lucas and his better half Joey Bedlam, most notably of Dollsquad.
Everybody from Kim Salmon and the Surrealists to Nick Cave and Anita Lane, TV siren Abigail and Bob Downe has had a lash at "J T'aime", so it would be a pity if you had to self-isolate and not have the chance to sing along with your own nearest and dearest and steam up some windows.
It's a faithfully-rendered version and a million miles from X, but it's also a bunch of fun. Flip the sucker over and there's an instrumental version that you can karaoke with or record along to. Grab a copy at Bandcamp and see the uncensored cover that Facebook banned.
Tall Order b/w Something Inside - The Fangin’ Felines (Evil Tone)
It’s no tall order to like this brace of sassy and smart tunes from The Fangin' Felines, who come from Wollongong south of Sydney. There’s just the right blend of bawdy garage rock rawness and girl group sweets to rattle almost any I-94 Bar barfly’s cage.
“Tall Order” is catchier than a Chinese bat virus after a side order of snakeskin soup in a Wuhan roadside diner. It coms out all guns blazing on the back of a Jerry Nolan beat and a brash Carrie Phillis vocal, aided and abetted by fullsome harmonies and some coo-ing and whooping. Morgana Ancone’s deft guitar adds a light touch.
Flip the sucker over and “Something Inside” is another winner. An undulating melody and a rolling feel nail this one to the floor with the Felines again showing the value of solid live gigging and knowing their way around a studio. Not as immediately addictive but you'll get hooked soon enough.
Surely a full-length album is only a formality? Meanwhile, grab this while it’s still available. The purchase link is below.
Buy it on Discogs