Hate The Blues, Personal Frequency & Ballads of Chessells&Shooter b/w Only Happy - The Dope Smoking Morons (self released)
Australia has, and always will have, a thriving underground music scene. It’s the DIY attitude towards garage/punk rock that endures for many of us, and I’m pleased to say Ronnie Dap’s The Dope Smoking Morons’ three releases on Bandcamp are keeping the old eight-track-tape machine, no-computers ethos alive and kicking.
Recorded at Dap’s Melbourne home, this nine-song collection of recordings (spread over three titles) is primitive in its sound with very little production, apart from a few overdubs (necessary when the man doubles up on guitar, drums and bass.) Ronnie also has a crack at the singing.
He gets by with a little help from Chris Graham (slide and lead guitar) on the opening track. “Hate The Blues”, a foot-stomping, old school English punk sounding song, circa 75
“Standing On The Dock” is guitar-drums duel to the death. Man, this is a good tune. A REAL GOOD TUNE.
“Kill The World” shows Ron’s love of The Replacements. It works because it’s based on a a wonderful riff. “Ballad of Chessels & Shooter” “Only Happy and “User” are all fun punk/garage songs that all us old (and young) lovers of stripped-to-the-bones, rock ’n’ roll punk adore.
The songs are full of smart. humourous lines. There’s no preaching, no politics or love for that matter - unless you count the last tune. “Shit on Villa/Keep Right On” is a song about Ronnie’s love of Birmingham City FC.
The playing is fantastic and this is music from one highly talented man.
A bit of background on Ronnie Dap:
Ronnie started life in sleepy bloody Geelong, a country Victorian town that, if your’re honest, you only stop in for petrol on the way to Bells Beach. Ronnie moved to Queensland, playing drums in cover bands mostly, before seeing the light and a smokey haze…
He moved back to Melbourne to hook up with ex-members of the highly regarded Voodoo Love Cats, playing in rocking bands like Slam, There Dead Things and American Eagle Squadron, before growing up and becoming slightly more responsible (i.e. the had children.) In Ron’s words:
“I’m a retired drummer who has always wanted to record some of my own songs so I finally got myself an eight-track recorder and slowly went to work some songs. It took more than three months to lay down “The Dope Smoking Morons” songs and the name comes from a Replacements song.”
The album cost $400 to make and is a reminder to all you wannabe, musically-minded people that YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF. If your own efforts are half as good as these nine tracks, well hats off to you.
Go to Bandcamp to download the songs and pay what you want. I don’t think this will be the last we’ll hear of the Morons as there’s a new album in the cauldron. I, for one, cannot wait to hear it.