When I got “After The Sun” in the mail about six weeks ago, I wondered whether the Barman (whose review follows this but was published first) had it right.
Doesn’t seem to matter these days about influences, except to the sad bearded bastards desperate to appear interesting, and besides, I particularly enjoy listening to a CD cold, without the hype and boosterism. But … if you like rock’n’roll, and have ever kicked yourself (like me with Leadfinger) that you weren’t on the ground floor of a band on the elevator heading up fast to the 99th floor…
Rock n Roll CPR v Nostalgia Neuralgia TheDean’s 2019 - 10 things you should know
1) D is for Dickhead Hey you! Yeah you sitting on your lounge watching TV. You sitting on your lounge, watching people sitting on their lounge, watching TV. If you’re a fan of that show no worries. I can live with that but if I have to listen to you talk to your mate Thommo about it the next day, way too loudly on the phone in a crowded carriage and your follow up sentence is “all music these days is shit” and that there hasn’t been a decent Aussie Rock Band since the Screaming Jets, you my friend; are a Dickhead.
2) A is for Australian Dirty, Fast & Built to last. The Australian Kingswood Factory album Bloodshot and Shakin’. Get on it. Buy Australian & buy it now! Cow Punk, Punk-a-billy, punk, punk rock, rock punk or just plain old dirty rock n roll? Not sure how to pigeon hole these guys but I do know they are pretty much everything I ever liked in a band back in the day. If you don’t check ‘em out next chance you get, that’s just plain Unaustralian.
Rising from the ashes of trio Hy-Test, BRUCE! (capital letters compulsory) is a band from the once-industrial musical nursery of Wollongong, south of Sydney, that plays skull-crushing guitar rock with occasionally complex arrangements. This EP showcases four of their simpler tunes delivered to mostly damaging effect.
My Way Or The Highway – The Dark Clouds (self released)
It took ‘em a couple of goes but it’s finally recorded and released and it’s a triumph. The Dark Clouds’second album “My Way Or The Highway” is as bombastic, in-your-face and rocking as you could have hoped.
It’s seven years since “After The Sun” but cut ‘em some slack: a plague intervened and that managed to fuck up the plans of the best of us. The Wollongong band did convene in a studio in-between waves of COVID, but weren’t happy with the results.
“After The Sun” had its best moments when it wilfully matched the best Aussie underground sounds of the ‘80s to lyrics laced with wry societal observations. The state of rock and roll, the inane cult of celebrity and the dumber side of life in The Lucky Country all got their comeuppance, done in a style that nodded in multiple directions.
Rob Younger once opined that he hated lyrical references to local landmarks in Australian songs. He couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to sing about Parramatta Road. Have you been down Auto Alley lately? Fair call.
On the other side of the ledger, it’s also been said that bands should write songs about things they know. The VeeBees sing about Wollongong, suburban Canberra, drive-through bottleshops in Sydney's inner-west, drinking, cars, girls and pubs, ad infinitum. There must be a message in that.
Yeah, well, I may have been away for a while. Haven't had a lot of time to listen to music. I mean, for a few months, music was that occasional thing in the background - which is not the way to enjoy music. There are (in fact) only two ways: live and in your face, or turned up loud and in your ears. Any other way, the stuff can only hint at a timeless upland of dancing and carrying on like a horny dog at a wedding, rather than the entire emotional brawl.
So turning on Leadfinger's“Silver and Black” is a bit like a starving, dehydrated man tottering into one of those “45 beers on tap” pubs with an Irish heart-clogging cook, accommodation, someone else's credit card and a couple of months to kill.
The Dark Clouds from Wollongong are one of the newer Aussie bands in the Detroit-rock-Dictators mould making an impact on the local underground scene. Here's their debut video for "Lilac Dress" from their debut album, reviewed here. Connect with them on Facebook here.
“Touched” LP is this six-piece Wollongong band’s second full studio album release in eight years. Their last long player (“Devil at My Door”) passed by the Bar without dropping in for a beer, so I’m not up-to-speed with everything that’s occurred along the way.
The thing I know is that there’s a marked difference between “Touched” and the early “Guide To Sedation & Isolation” EP, so let’s focus on that.
Blink and you’ll miss them. The Wollongong band that got away, The Mutated Noddys, are playing one reformation show at Jane’s Cafe in their hometown on December 23.
With their roots firmly planted in the Detroit and ’60s punk scenes, the Noddys blazed away for the best part of a decade in the 1980s and early ‘90s, playing many high-profile supports and recording an EP and an as yet unreleased album with producer (and fan) Rob Younger.
Apart from a one-off in Sydney in 2010 to support GBH, the Noddys haven’t been sighted since and have no plans to play any other gigs due to one member living in the USA. Crapulous Gee Saw and Oceedeecee (yes, that’s a Ramones tribute band) will support there, Tickets are a bargain at $5 on the door and Jane’s is at 40 Flinders Street in North Wollongong.