masters - The I-94 Bar

Age Against the Machine - Jim Keays (Purple Haze) & No But It’s True - Hugo Race (Rough Velvet Records)

no but its trueage againstHeads up: Get your wallet out. Both of ‘em belong in your collection and should be playing on your battered lil machine right now. I’m going to give both FIVE BOTTLES, and that means…the review is irrelevant. 

But you want your entertainment anyway, don’t you? The Voice and The X-Factor can only “discover” what fits a format. And that format is, for the most part, bereft of meaning. The jokey aspect of Eurovision Song doo-dah means that brilliance can sneak in, because the format is to “make a splash” as well as fit the format. Keays and Race load their music with meaning, relevance and immediacy.

Age Against The Machine – Jim Keays (Purple Haze)

age againstThis album’s the second and final chapter for a project that had modest enough aspirations. Jim Keays just wanted to strip things back and rock out on covers of obscure and semi-obscure songs.

He and his crack band not only sound like they had a great time but produced a killer recording in “Age Against The Machine”, the follow-up to 2012’s “Dirty Dirty” set of garage rock covers.

I Can See My Love b/w Over Under Sideways Down - The In-Sect (Ugly Pop)

in sectPutting parochialism to one side, Australian ‘60s punk is vastly underrated with all but those who dig deep, so this gem from Canadian label merits more than your passing attention. Originally issued in 1966 with a different (tamer) B side, it’s one of those catchy freakbeat classics that stands tall in any company.

The In-Sect were a show band who did what any of their ilk with an ounce of self respect did and mutated into a garage-beat outfit with no pretensions. Contemporaries of the Masters Apprentices, they had a handful of singles before fading away with members going on to Jeff St John, The Twilights and Ram Jam Big Band.

Masters Apprentices singer Jim Keays passes

jim-keaysOne of Australia's all-time great rock vocalists, Jim Keays of the Masters Apprentices, has passed away today at the age of 67.

The 1998 ARIA Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee had been battling myeloma for some time and had been on life support since Monday.

The Masters Apprentices formed in Adelaide in 1967, rose to national promise and disbanded in 1972 after unsuccessfully trying to crack the UK market. Their songs "Turn Up Your Radio", "Because I Love You" and the snarling "Undecided"" (a garage rock classic) are embedded in the history of Australian music.

Undecided b/w Wars, Or Hands Of Time - Masters Apprentices (Ugly Pop)

undecidedThere’s a case to be made for this being the best Australian 45 of all time so Canadian label Ugly Pop has done the world a great service by re-issuing it. Here are the young Masters in their early incarnation, their essence wrapped up in two succinct but telling garage punk punches.

Gloriously raw and an inspiration to countless bands that have followed (Radio Birdman and the Saints among them), “Undecided” explodes with the snarl of over-driven guitars and the young Jim Keays’ unrestrained vocal.Taken from the Aztec Records re-master, it has translated perfectly to vinyl with a crunching bottom end and punchy mid-range.

I-94 Bar