psychotic turnbuckles - The I-94 Bar
Raw garage rock ’n’ roll in the Australian pub rock tradition, with an obvious nod to ‘70s hard rock and the “Pebbles” collection. A record made distinctive by the classic Aussie twin-guitar attack. Those were my first thoughts on this CD from a band made up of members of Psychotic Turnbuckles, Sheik the Shayk and Buffalo Revisited.
It was recorded in Zen Studios, the capital city of Sydney’s inner-western Garageland region, by Geoffrey Lee over seven years, and what hit me straight away is that none of the live intensity has been lost. It captures a raw and live garage/pub band warts, belching and all…I can see a bloke over there who once drunkenly spilt beer on me and that other idiot that pushed me over in the mosh pit. And then I’m lifted up by another and patted on the back…
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.
The Mummies in full flight. Shona Ross photo
The Mummies in Australia? No fucking way! Hard to believe, but true. A hit-and-run visit spanning three states in less than a week (with a stop-off in New Zealand on the way home) admittedly but a tour, nonetheless.
The Mummies were The Shit in garage rock in the late 1980s. Conceived as the ultimate anti-band by Trent Ruane (organ, vocals), Maz Kattuah (bass), Larry Winther (guitar) and Russell Quan (drums), they were a lynchpin of San Francisco’s lo-fi scene. Emerging from their tomb sporadically in the ‘90s and ‘00s, they’re renowned for being the band that gave the then very hip SubPop label the finger when refusal to sign was a death-wish. They have made no-frills Budget Rock an art-form.