Industrial strength riffage from one of Melbourne's best

waiting in a corner coverWaiting in a Corner - Jackson Reid Briggs and the Heaters (Legless Records)

Ever since The Enlightenment pulled away the fig-leaf of irrationality of religious justification, we’ve convinced ourselves that there is some rational basis for existence, some ultimate purpose to which we are cleaving, some end game of cognitive understanding.

Along the way there have been heated philosophical disputes, heresy trials, corrupted social policy programs, perverse economic theories and the same merry go-round of war, peace, famine and indulgence that has always characterised human history. No wonder Jean Paul Sartre decided to raid the top shelf of his local pharmacy in an amphetamine-ravaged attempt at deconstructing it all.  

Does existentialism belong in rock’n’roll?  According to the press release, Melbourne’s Jackson Reid Briggs and the Heaters’ new album, “Waiting in a Corner”, “explores the idea of waiting and searching for something that isn’t specific. Just a sense of something coming".

Dictator Top Ten stands down due to ill-health

top ten scott kempnerThe reformed Dictators have announjced the sad news that Scott "Top Ten" Kempner is being forced to retire due to ill-health.

The band made the announcement on Facebook overnight, saying the rhythm guitarist and member of the Del-Lords has early stage dementia:

The Dictators are sad to announce that our brother Scott Kempner will be leaving the band due to health reasons. Scott has been diagnosed with early stage dementia, We spoke to him yesterday and he wants everyone to know he is feeling fine. 
 
Our relationship with Scott goes back 50 years. The band was a shared vision and Scott’s sense of rock and roll history and our place in it along with his arrangement and songwriting skills kept us on the right course over the years. We will be forever grateful. 
 
As many of you know, The Dictators recently reformed, Scott’s enthusiasm played a major role in our decision to make music again. We will miss his contributions in the future.

Vale Beasts of Bourbon and Surrealists drummer Tony Pola

surrealistsTony Pola - drummer for Beasts of Bourbon, The Beasts and Kim Salmon and the Surrealists - passed away over the Easter weekend. His wife Katherine Pola made the announcement via  a Facebook post.

The West Australian-based drummer (pictured far right with The Surrealists), with bass player, the late Brian Hooper, and Kim Salmon had a reputation as one of Australian music’s most irascible and eccentric characters. He was a founding member of The Surrealists, as well as drummer on the Beasts of Bourbon’s “breakthrough” classic, “The Low Road”.  

Bandmate Kim Salmon has launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover the costs of Tony’s funeral. You can make a contribution here. Kim also posted a tribute online:

Detroit label puts out the trash - again

trash brats self titledTrash Brats – Trash Bats (I-94 Recordings)

Summa you cool kids might remember I-94 Records out of Detroit (as opposed to I-94 Bar Records out of Sydney, Australia) as the dead savvy tastemakers behind those vital and volatile “Drunk On Rock” compilations. The label introduced loads of underground punk-roll bands, as well as essential full-length releases by Cranford Nix Jr. and the Malakas, the Trash Brats and B-Movie Rats. They are back with the highly influential debut of the Trash Brats first album, previously only available on cassette. In the 80's.

Trash Brats were the most important punk band in the Midwest - part NY Dolls, part Candy, part Teenage Head, poppy, melodic, fun, with notoriously crazy shows known for big energy and wild abandon. Appealing to fans of Sloppy Seconds, Hanoi Rocks, the Dickies, and the Ramones, a Trash Brats concert was where small-town kids travelled to shake ‘n’ shimmy, to get fucked up and jump up and down, try out all their kookiest Alien Sex Fiend and Bat Cave makeup, and to meet all your favorite, lifelong, goth girl pen pals.

Having one more drink with Streetwalkin' Cheetah Frank Meyer

AP Murray cheetahsFrank Meyer flanked by Cheetahs bandmates (from left) Bruce Duff, MIke Sessa and Dino Evertett on bass. AP Murray photo. 

In these COVID-fraught times, asking Frank Meyer what he puts on his curriculum vitae is a valid question. The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs vocalist-guitarist doesn’t skip a beat, down the line on Zoom from his home in Long Beach, California.

“Right now, I mean, I'm basically freelance film producing and directing. You know, my last full time job was at Fender as directing and producing their digital content. But at the beginning of COVID, they laid off a lot of my team, including myself. And then showbiz kind of shut down.

“But now I've essentially just been doing music and freelance editing and online production, and a lot of session work, singing and playing, recording and producing. In the last few months, digital production has picked up and I've been getting a bunch of field production gigs. And I've got some book deals happening. So things are looking good right now.”

New Bomb Turks tribute hits the shelves

NBT tributeThe idea took root a year ago. Ardo from Estonian band Dead Furies had an idea to compile a tribute album for New Bomb Turks, perhaps his favourite band and oen of the stars of the US 1990s punk rock scene. He hit up some up and coming rock bands, and some mainstays, to see if they would be interested.

The response was overwhelmingly positive.

The tracks started coming in from the likes of the Hellacopters and DEMONS from Sweden, the UK’s Hip Priests and the Killer Hearts (USA). In the end he got 14 different incredible artists from Europe and North America. 

Newish label on the block , Dragstrip Riot Records  have collaborated with seasoned labels Ghost Highway Recordings from Spain and Spaghetty Town Records from US to bring you “No Heroes No Leaders No Artists No Gods”. Every label released a different limited coloured vinyl and also the regular black version. 

It's strictly vinyl only and the label names above link to websites. 

Tracklisting:

  1. Professional Againsters “Bolan’s Crash” (Sweden)
  2. Deadheads “Quarter To  Four” (Sweden)
  3. “DEMONS” “Pretty Lightening” (Sweden)
  4. The Boatsmen “Wine and Depression” (Sweden)
  5. Acid’s Trip “Snap Decision” (Sweden)
  6. The Chuck Norris Experiment “End Of The Great Credibility Race” (Sweden)
  7. The Hip Priests “Jukebox Lean” (England)
  8. Dead Furies “Your Beaten Heart” (Estonia)
  9. Scumbag Millionaire “Tryin' To Get By” (Sweden)
  10. The Drippers “Hammerless Nail” (Sweden)
  11. Jonesy “Jeers Of A Clown” (Canada)
  12. Killer Hearts “Spanish Fly By Night” (United States)
  13. Randy Savages “We Give A Rat's Ass” (England)
  14. The Hellacopters “Veronica Lake” (Sweden)

Psychotic Turnbuckles end five-year Pismo Beach exile

turnbuckles 2021Five years since they played their last full set to a roomful of adoring fans in Sydney, Rock and Roll Wrestling World Champions the Psychotic Turnbuckles are back to destroy Dull City. The Turnbuckles will play Fusebox at the Factory Theatre in Sydney on Saturday, April 17.

Tickets will be strictly limited and go on sale here at 9am on Wednesday. Supports are White Knuckle Fever and southern Sydney punk rock jukebox The Stallers. The show has been timed so punters from the earliest of two Died Pretty shows in the adjoining Factory Theatre can attend. 

Living in idle luxury in their hometown of Pismo Beach since their last Australian gig with San Francisco legends The Mummies in March 2016, the Kings of the Ring are itching to smackdown all comers. Guitarist El Siccodelico has hung up his Mexican wrestling mask during the lay-off and has been replaced by Italian grappling royalty, Count Forza.

The Turnbuckles will be fast-tracked through Australian Government quarantine protocols to play this one-off show and there’s no telling if and when they’ll re-appear again.

White Knuckle Fever is the runaway psychobilly duo that’s been tearing up Aussie stages off the back of a new single, “RSA Blues”. The Stallers are a veritable garage punk jukebox and will kick off the night with a set chockful of smash ‘em up classics.

The show is presented by I-94 Bar.

It's the Saint Ed and Dirty Jim Show

kuepper and whiteSaints co-founder and leader of the Laughing Clowns and The Aints!, Ed Kuepper, is teaming with Jim White, the brilliant drummer of renowned instrumentalists Dirty Three and revered '80s-90s post-punks Venom P Stinger, for an Australian tour in May, June and July.

The pair will reprise classics from Kuepper's stellar 45-year career in a multi-state tour that includes a stop-off at the Sydney Opera House.

The shows will coincide with a trio of retrospective releases from Kuepper covering his solo years, Laughing Clowns and The Aints! All titles will be released in limited amounts, on coloured vinyl, and with select CD issues also.

Ed Kuepper and Jim White
MAY

25 - Castlemaine, Bridge Hotel
26 - Melbourne Rising, Comedy Theatre
28 - Meeniyan Town Hall
29 - Macedon Hotel
JUNE
4 - Cairns, Tanks Arts Centre
5 - Sunshine Coast, Imperial Hotel
6 - Gold Coast, Miami Marketta
10 - Newcastle, Lizottes
11 - Wyong The Arthouse
12 - Blue Mountains Theatre
13 - Sydney Opera Houuse Studio (matinee and evening shows)
6 - Eltham Hotel (SOLD OUT)
17 - Brisbane, Triffid
24 - Canberra, The Street
27 - Adelaide, The Gov
JULY
3 - Fremantle Social Club
All shows on-sale now via edkuepper.com

Fistful of Fifties

loaded 50lge coverLoaded – 50LgE (self released)

Nothing to do with the Velvet Underground record of the same name, this four-song EP on CD is from a trio based on the South Wales Far North Coast, whose antecedents include membership of the Psychotic Turnbuckles , Brisbane’s The Tellers and The Eastern Dark.  That should be enough to pique the interest of most Barflies.

“Hooked” is a steady instrumental work-out that showcases Tony Young’s brawny guitar tone. It’s a steady climb to the top where it peaks in a rash of distortion. “World” is moodier and sparse, underpinned by some sharp riffing and a solid Geoff Milne backbeat. The lyrics are about globetrotting and are as skewed as Alex Chilton’s “Bangkok”.  

Power trio they may be but 50LgE (pronounced: “50 Large”) don’t stick to conventions. The mixed tempos of “Raising Caine” come out of a place called left field.  Simulated rotor blades usher in “Coachella” which is an ode to a Californian hipster-orientated desert music festival. It’s a relief to realise it’s a sarcastic takedown. After their debut 12-inch single “Black Interceptor”, it’s a fun if uneven ride, and copies are procurable at shows or by hitting up the band on Facebook.

50LgE will make their Sydney debut at MoshPit on May 1, supporting Jupiter 5 who will be launching their seven-inch single. Tickets here.   

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