A big streak of passion runs through Nevermore

dalicados“Nevermore” - Dalicados (self released)

Hello Barflies! Dalicados are from Melbourne and have released “Nevermore”, a collection of well-crafted tunes from some of Australia’s most respected bands including The Chosen Few, I Spit On Your Gravy, Hunters and Collectors and Epic Brass.

“Nevermore” kicks off with a groovy track: “Make Hay While The Sun Shines” features great bass-lines, fabulous guitar-work and is a wonderful song to start off. “Simple As It May Sound” takes it down a notch. It’s very soulful and a touch sad.

Tree-changers strike a blow against RSL disc jockeys

son of jaguarGone Wrong - Son of Jaguar (Jagit Records)

This is a spirited collection of songs from a band of tree/sea changers living on the New South Wales North Coast. Assembled through a mutual desire to play music and drink beer in that nice part of the world, they’ve notched Album Number Two with “Gone Wrong”.

(Their first albuim is reviewed here.)

There are a myriad of influences at play – as you might guess from a band whose members’ experience includes playing in Headlifter, Grinspoon, King Pest and Mortal Sin – but Son of Jaguar sound like none of the above. “Gone Wrong” has melody and that distinctive Oz Rock rough-edged snarl, without the chugga-chugga rhythmic trappings.  

Dapto Dogs deliver a magnificent debut

dapto dogsDapto Dogs – Dapto Dogs (Self-released)

Saw this outfit's first gig a few weeks back and they flipped everyone out. Their blend of early-mid-'70s re-discovering rock and glorious sonic romance has to be encountered to be believed. This is Tom Redwood's band when he's not being Troubadour Tom Redwood (and he's on guitar and vocals) and it's a four-track EP.

“Epic Fantastiche” was the gig opener (did I tell you I cannot wait to see this lot again?) and had everyone grooving from the get-go. On first listen, I thought: heavy fuckin' Can, krautrock, the motorik and the road goes on from here. The motorik you can, I think, mostly ascribe to Mike Wilczek, who has a style similar to the mighty Jaki Liebezeit. Anna Mobley's bass (she's well-known here fin Adelaide for her stalwart playing in Toxic Shock) is getting on for a stoner groove too (she did the artwork too).

Ben Gel's new take on punk's old traditions

ben gel sarcasmIs That Sarcasm You Taste On My Breath? - Ben Gel (Self-released)

Ben Gel's bands have a habit of punching the listener in the face numerous times before taking a shit on your dick. There's bags of intensity here, layered within this huge, battering rock'n'roll assault.

My last two reviews of Ben Gel for this site have been enthusiastic to say the least, and I'm afraid this review is no different. You need Ben Gel in your collection.

The last time I told you about Ben Gel, I commented that “there are a lot of notable underground rockers here in Adelaide who really should be household names - and Ben Gel is one ... Truth is this is another raucous, hammering EP which launches itself at your facemask and stuffs its virus down your gullet and drags you off to the racetrack.”

Kicking them out, Sydney-style

fkoFlippin’ Kick Outs – Flippin’ Kick Outs (self released)

Down a band member but with songs to play, Sydney’s Flipped Out Kicks became the Flippin’ Kick Outs in 2019 and broadened their musical palette.

Which is to say they still played garage punk but they markedly blurred the stylistic edges, tossing in some rockabilly and hard rock for good measure. This digital album is the fruit of their recent recording labours since COVID and it’s a pretty spiffin’ dose of the sort of street-level rock and roll that used to be par for the course in their hometown.

Sonic sounds from the heart

sonic garage space travelsSpace Travels – Sonic Garage (self released)

It’s a a couple of years since Circus Chaplains from Sydney’s Northern Beaches fell by the wayside after the passing of Luke Lovelock, but his bandmates Phil Van Rooyen (Dr Fruitworld, Panadolls, Chickenstones) and Peter Bourke aren’t ones for standing still.

They’ve gone on to a new band with ex-Mushroom Planet bassist Pete Trifunovic, drummer Ronny Welsh and pianist Russell Parkhouse (ex-Riptides).

Sonic Garage recorded their album at Zen Studios in Sydney in these odd COVID times and it’s a wonderful, ragged and righteous collection of songs that recalls familiar Harbour City high energy rock reference points.

A record that fondles your vitals

negativityNegativity - The Scientists (In the Red)

Holy crap. First Scientists long-player since 1987.

You know, I'm old enough to remember when I first heard powerpop. And I also remember the first time I heard the Scientists' first single, which I thought was rather bloody wonderful. I was lucky enough to always hear Scientists' records before purchase and every record they put out, no exceptions, had to be in my collection.

We were often startled, because you never quite knew what the hell was going on in this band. It was like they had these ... bees in their bonnets, and took delight in shoving them into people's faces, much to their alarm. Once they'd got used to the bees, of course, the band found (or invented) wasps.

Oh Lord! Hugo Race dishes up some ambience

dishee smDishee! - Hugo Race (Helixed Recordings & Films)

"Dishee!" is Hugo Race's umpteenth studio LP  - I think the veteran guitarist has stopped counting (if he ever did). Race came up to considerable notoriety in The Wreckery in the 1980s in Melbourne (and Sydney).

On the Allmusic website, Mark Deming describes The Wreckery  as "One of the more important bands on the Australian post-punk scene of the 1980s, Melbourne's The Wreckery played dark, atmospheric music informed by the blues and the same sort of chemical and cultural obsessions as their contemporaries Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds". 

There's a lot more to Hugo Race; he's been involved in many recording projects; Dirt Music and The True Spirit spring to mind. Also, by dint of relentless touring and recording all over the world, he has built up a considerable overseas following. He also cannot keep himself still, creatively speaking; just recently he's played sizable gigs with The True Spirit, and a Doors' "LA Woman" tribute show. And there's a new one on the horizon...

A bat symbol in the Melbourne night

spooky bootleg vol2Spooky Bootleg Tapes Volume 2 – Various Artists (Spooky Records)

Bats get a bad rap. They’re part of nature and humans – some of the stupider members of the human race, at least – feel an idiotic desire to tame nature. Nature will always win; unlike humans, nature plays the long game.

There’s a local politician whose electorate covers the poor, marginalised and disenfranchised inner-eastern Melbourne suburbs where the local population can barely rub two four-wheel drives, a private school education and an annual ski trip together. He doesn’t like bats, probably since he had an involuntary bowel movement after reading “Dracula” at school.

He wants the bats out of the trees in Kew. Dirty, filthy, disease-ridden pests, he reckons. Plus, they might have conspired to unleash COVID on the world, working in cahoots with devious foreign governments, copies of Mao’s “Little Red Book” stashed under their wings…

Brian's loving legacy

i wont bend for youI Won't Bend For You - Brian Henry Hooper (Bang! Records/Incubator)

First, it's a damn good LP, the kind you put on repeat all day when it lands in the letterbox. Second, it's so damn moving you'll find yourself tearing up in decades to come. Third, there are songs here which you'll put on at parties and have people scampering up, eyes wide, 'Who THE FUCK is this? It's brilliant!'

This has been a difficult last few years. The stupidvirus has not, of course, helped, but as far as I'm concerned it's just a gentle reminder of what awaits us all, one way or another. One dilemma which confronts some of us is - how best to remember the creative? A novelist, well; in George Macdonald Fraser's case, because he'd left the manuscript in a very prominent place, his family arranged for his very first book to be published. In a musician's case - what have they left for us?

I-94 Bar