wayward serenadesWayward Serenades - Long Hours (Spooky Records)

The cover features a topless Julian Medor on his back on what looks like a garage floor covered in oil, eating his necklace, mic in hand and eyes shut. Shades of Darby Crash, and Iggy Pop.

Which are pretty good introductory comparisons, though Long Hours don't sound much like Iggy (well, alright, maybe “A Ghost To You”), but perhaps a bit like The Germs. But that's where comparisons pretty much end. 

Here's the press release:

"Long Hours is a solo performance project by artist and musician Julian Medor (I Am Duckeye!). Coined as being LoFi, NoWave, Synth Punk Croon-Core, GothDooWop with a relentless live show inspired by frontmen such as David Yow (The Jesus Lizard), JG Thirlwell (Foetus) and Alan Vega (Suicide), Long hours has performed up and down the East Coast of Australia countless times and has toured Japan twice. He has also released 27 albums in the space of three years. This LP, on blue with splattered black vinyl, is a compilation of songs selected from various self-produced albums all remixed and re-mastered at Creepy Hollow by Loki Lockwood and produced by Julian Medor."

Twenty-seven LPs in three years? Does this guy get out to buy groceries?!

Anyway, you should all be familiar with I Am Duckeye!, and if you're not I can't help you. Get your credit card out.  

“One Man Gang” opens, and it's a stripped-down, huge critter which seems to have crawled from a dirty alley behind one of those rotting-meat restaurants you only seem to read about after you realise you ate there two days ago.

The guitar on “Wayward Serenade” is simply wicked. Loud, faux-sloppy and giving the impression of only just holding in a psychotic episode. If I were to raise an eyebrow and guess a starting point for the teenage Medor, I'd think Cramps, and then the songs they copped from. But - and here's the thing - Medor sounds nothing like the Cramps. 

And then there's his vocals. Is Long Hours Medor's therapy? I guess it's cheaper (by the baker's two dozen); but if this stuff is therapy God alone knows what this man's background is. Either way, there's an outrageous talent at work here.

It's not just guitar and vox, of course. There's other things, but there's a lot of very clever muzzing of instruments going on here, so it all comes together in a sort of stretched-out highway crash. I'm sure there are drums. And there's a few other ... I don't know. Sounds. 

After the knee-weakening first three songs, we get to “Rebel Devil Girl”, which  the elderly among us will recognise as copping a guitar style from a drunk calypso player circa 1956 or somesuch ... it's romantic, fretful and unhappy. A stoned and tripping-badly interpretation of the sweet scene in 'Lady and the Tramp' (perhaps).

At this point, you should know enough to investigate. At considerable volume. There's another 12 songs after this - Spooky really want you to get this guy under your skin. And, perhaps, burrow into your liver.

Two things utterly fascinate me: first, the constant variation in style throughout, and second, that the songs are really fucking good. Put it this way, most of them you'd swear you've heard before, but ... you haven't. Take “No More Advice” with its thumping tubs, whistling machine and granular guitar. Or “Grey Floor”, with that yowling vocal and a guitar which is more gravel rash than music. I won't tell you what comes next.

Yeah, I love this stuff. 

And this is, in effect, a mere sampler of Medor's previous work. Good god almighty. Play loud at home, in your car and at other people's homes. 

In fact, slap this on at the office Christmas party, turn it up and snap the volume knob off. I mean, let's face it, you'd welcome being sacked.

Get “Wayward Seranades” - and the other 27 LPs - here.