Now, you may know that I've written about Michael Plater before for The I-94 Bar, and I know some of you have gotten out to see him play live, which is where I first saw him. The very first night, I wasn't sure. The second, with little difference between the two gigs, I absolutely was. In fact, I was bowled over. More or less accidentally I made the chap's acquaintance, to the point where I'd now call us friends.
I've tried to attend every gig the man's played here in Adelaide, and managed to see him in Melbourne and Sydney as well. I have a set-list covered in his blood (because, in case he's ever run over by an omnibus, I'm going to get the bugger cloned).
Scruff Myers' Superhands - Scruff Myers' Superhands (Blunder Town Records)
The Superhands' debut LP, and it's taken me far too long to get to it. The second LP will be under way shortly, I am told.
Blunder Town's press release explains that Superhands started as a one-off party band, which clearly took off in Scruff's head.
Scruff? John “Scruff” Ellis had 16 years’ service with legendary UK clockwork punks The Adicts, and if you're not familiar with them, I suggest you start here. The Adicts play in an instantly recognisable style - it's catchy, anthemic, uplifting stuff.
12 Super Duper Extraordinary Girl Trouble Rock ‘n’ Roll Tracks – Bang Bang Band Girl (Voodoo Rhythm)
First, the whinge. This is one of those cases where you’re left wondering what might have been if the contents matched the cover. A one-lady band from Chile via the Netherlands, Bang Bang Band Girl, has great taste in covers but the sum of its parts make this album not so much unhinged as mildly off-beat and muffled.
The one-sheet for what's almost an album full of covers promises a “spaced out wall of fuzz, theremin, reverberation and a warm, dangerous yet sweet voice” and there are elements of all those, but they’re sometimes buried by so-so production.
Cramped – 50LgE (self released) This six-song EP from the New South Wales Far North Coast trio 50LgE (“50 Large”) with lineage derived from The Eastern Dark and the Psychotic Turnbuckles is as stylistically diverse as they come, swinging from swampy rock to garage rockers.
“Cramped” is an unabashed lift from the early Cramps, not weird enough to rouse Bryan Gregory from his grave but obvious enough to send the message that 50LgE are big fans. “White God” chalks up one for the atheists without getting out of second gear.
The lines are so blurred these days that you can’t guess where most bands applying a defibrillator to rock and roll’s ailing heart come from. So-called scenes are fragmented and the means of production rest in many sets of hands, thanks to technology and the information democracy of the Internet.
Wind back the clock a couple of decades and JJ and The Real Jerks could be from snowed-in Sweden or inner-city Sydney rather than sprawling Los Angeles.
This 12-inch, eight-song EP is razor sharp, fun garage rock and roll in the style of The Hives crossed with Dead Boys. Big twin guitars and occasional sax punctuate the songs, which throw up plenty of hooks.
Supersoncic Stargazer – Trip Pilots (self released)
No shock to discover Hawkwind is a cited influence for this UK trio. The EP’s title and band name are obvious clues. The revelation is that the CD’s four songs are a solid addition to the psych-stoner rock genre.
Swirling feedback and electronic chirping, some talking and a repetitive rhythm bed build an ethereal platform on opening track “Supersonic Stargazer” from which guitarist-vocalist Johnny Sharp solemnly intones. Spiralling guitar lines abound.