horror smash ep“Horror Smash EP” - The Victims (In The Red)

“Horror Smash” is four old songs re-recorded in two sessions over 2017 and ’18 by a tweaked version of The Victims. They were Perth’s (almost) first punk band and a launching pad, of sorts, for Dave Faulkner (nee Flick) of the Hoodoo Gurus and James Baker of the Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon et al. Hard-Ons bassist Ray Ahn is the new third wheel and this single - on blood-spattered clear vinyl - has come out on revered US label In The Red.

The first thing to say is that it sounds like The Victims. No airs and graces. No frills. Downstrokes and rawness. No solos. No backing vocals. Black humour lyrics. Strap yourself in and hope you make it to the end. At which point you’ll get up and flip the thing over. 

The title track is a cracker of an opener. Lyrically, it’s about a night spent at home. Sonically, it goes for the thorax. Once it gets a grip on it, it rips it out. “Everynite” sounds like the Dead Kennedys without Jello’s helium vocals.  “Charlie” nods to Charles Manson and simultaneously gives him a middle finger. “Wanna Be With You” is in the same musical vein, a super-fast tear-away punctuated by stop-starts and a frenetic rave-up towards the end. 

James Baker’s drumming is magnificent. Dave Flick thrashes away like a maniac. Ray Ahn's rumble sounds like it was born to be there. It’s an essential purchase. Too bad it’s not a 20-minute LP - but be aware that In The Red has simultaneously re-issued all The Victims’ old stuff on a 12-inch record. Buy both here.