Here's a bomb you won't want to defuse
H-Bomb b/w Supersonic Hero - Jupiter 5 (I-94 Bar Records)
First up I confess I only know one of the members, Peter Ross the bass player, and love him and label head The Barman. Even so, I wouldn't say I liked a record just to please them. They know if I didn't like this, I'd (1) tell them, and (2) refuse to review it.
The Barman asked if I wanted to review this. Funny, when friends ask me to review stuff, the paid professional refuses, because if the disc is shit, how do you say it's shit without pooping on your friendship? Also, the Chief Editor or Drunk In Charge will squeak about conflicting interests. Well, for some people that's invariably the case. Our pollies have always had a talent for entertaining us with stories like “I didn't know”, “It was like that when I got here, honest” and “Look, define blackmail...”
You've all been in a similar situation, I'm sure. Perhaps not as a reviewer (nor, indeed, as a blackmailing fuckstick), but maybe rolling out on a Friday or Saturday to see your friend's band and, boy, did they suck the fat one. Thereafter, each weekend until the band thankfully collapses amid acrimony and blame, your excuses come thick and fast, from “her indoors is sick” to “I crashed the car” via “the dog ate my mobile” and “the police found my nightstick”...
What does this teach us? Apart from the obvious: Get a dog, they're dead useful.
Well. Good thing this 7" is quite the cracker. No idea who these other folks in Jupiter 5 are. Their Facebook page says: “From exploring the outer reaches of the solar system, Jupiter 5 crash land on their home planet. Convened from trace elements of The Conspirators, Thurston Howlers and 69BC they extend their legacy with lashings of '60s and '70s rock.”
Yeah, well. I'm not a Sydneyite, and I suspect I missed those ex-bands so there's only one thing left to do.Listen to it.
Is it any good? Does it merit the I-94 Bar Records label hype?
“Supersonic Hero” is dead groovy, in a sort of manic, Rezillos-esque way. Grand-flourish guitars, driving rhythm, perfectly honed vocals, some of which sound like wet sandpaper dragged over glass on Hangover Day. Sounds like they've gone back to their childhood roots, the lot of them, Marvin the Martian vs. Daffy Duck via the MC5 and the Sonics. It's as if 'The Incredibles' never happened.
“Supersonic Hero” will get your heart-rate up and your fat butt waggling across the room in a grotesque parody of a sexual come-on while you stagger about on your gammy leg. The cat will stalk out of the room, tail twitching in disgust (you know that look cats sometimes have as they stomp out of a room? “I knew that deep down you were a childish dork”) while the knocked-about pot plants spray horrible black dirt everywhere. Wouldn't mind a lyric-sheet but that's me, I like lyrics.
“H-Bomb”: Not many folks write songs with this as a motif anymore. Too scary, what with that population-starving ex-British public schoolboy up north armed and stupid. Sorry, I'm talking Kim Jong Fatbun, not Boris the Bungler of UK™.
But the B-52s had the right idea, naming their outfit after a hairdo (in turn named for a nuclear bomber). You know what used to be said about the bomber? It will always get through. Maybe that's what Jupiter 5 are for. To take you from here with it's stupidity and misery and offer a different view through the FunLens. Is this a different vocalist? If not, whoever does the vocals here is super-talented. If so, I hope he looks like the mum in 'Lost in Space' (you know those baco-foil suits?). Yum.
Shout-out to Geoff Lee who recorded this at Sydney’s Zen Studios. All the instruments and vox exactly where they're s'posed to be, recorded loud to be played loud. Bloody clear, well-meshed, bordering on ferocious.
In a nutshell, all is right with the world. Jupiter 5 rock with all the carefully-mapped swish and snap of a flamenco dancer's skirts. Super little guitar solo pieces which dash out, chuck you under the chin before clattering away to briefly seduce some other poor punter.
In conclusion? I really want to see this outfit - for the same reason we all used to want to see those extraordinary overseas outfits. We'd hear a great single, dash out and buy it, and if the band got to Australia they'd pack out.
If you haven't already got the Jupiter 5 single, if any of the above references resonated, you need to whip out your wallet. It's available for pre-order here.
Oh, and get a dog. They're dead useful and they welcome you home, whereas cats just insist on being fed before fucking off to their real home next door. - Robert Brokenmouth
This limited edition CD EP rocks. Does anyone remember extended play vinyl seven-inch singles? When you bought that classic song after hunting through the vinyl racks at Phantom Records or the Record Plant, you would rush home, slap on the A side and flip it over to devour two more tracks on the B side, one of them often a "bonus" not available on the forthcoming album. They'd be bellowing at you from your Realistic brand hi-fi that your parents bought, sometime in the '60s.
I’m sounding quite retro and nostalgic here, but that is the Jupiter 5 schtick. Think gamma rays, "Lost in Space" and B grade science fiction comics. I imagine Robbie The Robot will make an appearance one day. It's all done with a nod to pumping classic American proto-punk and garage rock, and it hits the mark. This is a CD version of the vinyl single, available only at shows with a bonus live track. The seven-inch should be out in June and is available for pre-order here.
The A side is “H-Bomb”. It opens with a bass-line from the tightest of rhythm sections, comprising Peter “The Rock” Ross, who sounds like Ian Rilen if he was playing with The Damned, and James McQuade on drums. James’ playing is hard hitting and has raw punk rock attitude. Together, Ross and McQuade are as solid as the concrete slab under which a Mafia corpse is buried. The guitars kick in with the wall-to-wall power chording of Angelo Antidormi and tasteful lead guitar from Vince Cuscuma. Vince is, without question, the Grand Wizard King of proto punk guitar slingers in Sydney. His sound is raw and melodic.
Frontman Jay Younie hits his classic rock vocal stride in the next track, “Supersonic Hero”. The song is punchy and classic three-minute punk that at this stage should have you jumping around the old Realistic stereo now cranked to nine. The CD includes a third song that gives one of their influences a nod. The live take on The Dictators’ “Minnesota Strip” leaves the original in the dust.
It’s a great production and with Geoffrey Lee twiddling the faders on the desk it’s obvious he “gets” the band. The drum sound certainly makes it one best of the sounding records I have heard from Zen Studios. It’s mighty
I know a lot has been made of this band having links to certain credible bands of the Sydney music scene. That shit never impresses me. I always judge a new band on its merits. This band delivers. it is a wild ride and has a freshness and urgency that only a new band can deliver. - Edwin Garland