warped - The I-94 Bar

Bolt From The Blue - Warped (Conquest of Noise)

bolt from the blueFiguratively speaking, the title fits like a glove. 

This long player hasn’t arrived entirely without warning, but its sonic impact is like a sucker punch to the side of the head from a blind spot. 

No dispute that Warped is an Australian hard rock institution. Through two careers over the course of nearly three decades, the line-ups might have shifted but the commitment to that dirty “Geelong sound” has remained intact.

For the uninitiated, Geelong is/was an industrial city to the west of Melbourne which was a rich spring of of bands in the late 190s and early ‘90s. The town’s industrial nature has faded, but the “no airs, no graces” character of its music has hung in there.

Expat Aussie shows Who Dez Wins

Back in the ‘90s, Darren Smallman was immersed in the fertile Geelong-Melbourne punk rock scene in Australia as a player, label head and manager. These days, the ex-member of Toad, Warped,Thee Vinyl Creatures, The Wells Collective and The Sound Platform lives in the UK, working in the charity arts sector and producing his own music under the moniker Dez Dare.

Dez Dare and Melt Citizen (El Paso, USA) have unleashed a DIY fuzz EP , "Spl;itz", that they promise will “melt your brains and hearts”. It’s available through Bandcamp with a crowdsourcing campaignunderway to get it out on vinyl.

In the pair’s words: “Hidden away in spare rooms and makeshift studios while in very different pockets of the earthly domain, there were two who worshipped at the altar of guitar pedals and heavily discounted recording plugins. This split EP digs deep into the cacophonous divide between reality and the two countries entrenched in denial, grasping to find a way out of the long grass. Back into the light.”

Geelong scene tribute book spawns archival release

bored bookIt’s being lauded as a definitive word on the this was geelong.    Geelong rock and roll scene. It’s a 680-page book called “Bored! This Was Geelong” and one of the fertile breeding ground’s offspring is making sure they mark its release with a bang.

Warped is releasing a seven-track batch of compilation-only and live tracks called “Precocious Little Bastards”. You can see them both if you drag your mouse over the image at right. 

But frst things first. The book is out now and the first 500 copies comes with two limited edition 45s featuring Bored!, White Noise and Seminal Rats. It’s selling here. It ain't cheap ($A225) but it looks incredible. For detailed information about the contents, hook up with the publishers on Facebook here.

Warped formed in 1990 as “three teenagers armed with three  chords and no fear”, taking to the stage of the Eureka Hotel in Geelong to support The Dirty Loversand Bored!. Beer cans flew, obscenities were flung and a beast was born.

Thirty years on and the band are still going strong, a force in the rock landscape of Australia.

The first line-up, featuring Lightning Watkins on guitar, Cris Crime on drums and Darren “Dez” Dare on bass, laid the groundwork for the decades to come, worshipping at the altar of cheap pedals, noisy rock and one-up-manship on stage.Partial to destroying gear and the occasional Humphrey B Bear chair, they stormed through supports with the likes of Hard-ons, Bored!, Celibate Rifles, 5678s, Dead Moon and Fugazi.

In 1992 Darren parted ways with the band and formed Toadwith Daveand Buzzfrom Bored! and Thee Vinyl Creatures. Ben and Cris have continued on to tour extensively and release many records. “Precocious Little Bastards” is available in digital form here.

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