Guerrilla Radio - Urban Guerrillas (self released)
Urban Guerillas have been around since Noah was in a nappy, forming in Adelaide before moving to Sydney and plying their brand of stick-it-to-the-man-and-his-system, agit-rock around the pubs and clubs. They’ve been pumping out records like nobody’s business and this EP is the latest in a long line.
Whether you’re into politically flavoured music is a matter for yourself - the MC5 thought it was a great idea for all of five minutes but Mao wouldn't buy them muscle cars - but it’s the raison d’etre for these guys, and you have to admire their resolve to stay at it.
Not to be confused with the late ‘70s Grand Hotel scene punk band of the same name, Urban Guerillas made a name for themselves on the back of an anti-imperialism song called “Here Come The Americans”, and they’re still singing about similar things today. How’d they miss out on a Midnight Oil support?
“Guerrilla Radio” is a seven-song EP that, in typical U.G. fashion, runs the stylistic gamut. The title track is killer folk rock, a condemnation of franchised, corporatised airwaves that would have done Joe Strummer proud. It’s as close to an anthem as you’ll hear these days.
“No Walls” is “The Theme From Rawhide” with lyrics about Mexicans. Draw the dots and you’ll find Trump. “Iron and Steel” is a tough rocker with strangulated Peter Garrett vocals. Where did that Oils support spot go? There’s some some formidable guitar-work from main man Ken Stewart and the sound isn’t far removed from that of their good mates, Spy vs Spy.
“Sailors and Dockers”, on the other hand, is a sea shanty. I hate sea shanties. Get in the fucking sea. Diddly-diddly-o? Put this one in a chaff bag and send it to the bottom of the ocean. Please.
“You Are The One” is all personal with no politics. It’s OK. Less said about the acoustic “Viva Revolution” the better. Fidel was actually a murderous prick who smoked a lot of Cubans (geddit?) “Jesus is Carrying a Gun” is a staccato burst of punk. No more, no less. Bracing.