Refusal of service never felt so good
RSA Blues - White Knuckle Fever (White Knuckle Fever)
Some explanation is in order - especially for those not watching at home: “RSA” stands for Responsible Service of Alcohol, an Australian rule that puts the onus on bar and pub staff to stop plying punters with booze when they’re as full as a fat lady’s boot. To continue service is to risk a draconian fine and imprisonment in a gulag.
While it’s true some Aussies can’t handle their grog, they’re a minority. That’s OK. We always legislate for the few. If only we were Europeans and could be trusted…
Now you’re wised up, “RSA Blues” is the lead song on a four-track, double seven-inch vinyl effort from White Knuckle Fever, the formidable - and fucking funny - psychobilly blues rock duo from Sydney, Australia. Celia Curtis (vocals, blues harp and burlesque behaviour) and Ross Threekshort (guitar and programming) are one of the best nights out this side of a Scientology building burning down.
The title track is a blues-wailing romp with the guitar chasing the harmonica before both are tossed out of the bar on its arse. Threekshort’s space slide guitar adds to the gin-embalmed raunch. Theme music for anyone who’s ever been shown the door but you can sing along if you haven’t. Flip it and you get “Fist City”, another raunchy and clever keeper, dripping in inuendo, that puts the V into vindictiveness.
The hillbilly shuffle “Laid in NSW” is an ode to sexual frustration that’s playful. “I’m Fucking This Cat You’re Just Holding Its Tail” is ribald and righteous fun that’s quite clever when not taken literally, and of course it hands-down wins the best song title of a generally fucked up 2020. More blistering harmonica from Ms Celia and a guitar riff hard enough to crack walnuts on take us out. The Cramps would be pleased, although I hear the retired Ms Poison Ivy has given up debauchery for Budhism these days.
The whole thing is on virginal white vinyl and comes with inserts and Threekshort's killer artwork. It’s officially launched at Sydney’s MoshPit on December 18 but if you can't make it, keep an eye on WKF’s Bandcamp to score a copy.