Never To Be Released - Maximum Security (self released)
This is a clever record. Meaning: just enough thought went into its recording and production to make it special.
Two declarations up front. I know most the people involved with “Never To Be Released”, so there’s a slight degree of bias in their favour. Secondly, most music that passes for “punk rock” bores me shitless.
It’s like the second wave of UK punk: Once the first rush of anger and spontaneity had subsided, it fell victim to fashion. Style over substance. Saying the same thing over and over got real old, real quick. Learning two chords and starting a band is fine but you need to educate yourself in what to do with them. The chords and the band, that is.
The cleverness in “Never To Be Released” lies in the psychodrama lyrics, the humour and the sound. What am I belting on about? Wankers like to “unpack” statements. Let’s just explain.
Frontman Guy de Varine-Bohan is one of Sydney’s unique underground music figures. He’s got a bit of Johnny Rotten about him - and not just in his delivery and hunchback-at-the-microphone stance on-stage. He acts dumb, but he’s dead clever. He puts all his neuroses on display in his lyrics and performance. He’s funny as fuck. Guy should have put a lyric sheet in the CD but you can decipher his words for yourself. It’s probably best not to leave him in your house alone with sharp objects.
There’s no show without songs. These ones are excellent. They were written by Guy and bass player Steve Stuka. They’re bound up in chunky riffs but very musical. It doesn’t hurt that guitarist Dane Colless can actually play - not just barre chords but coherent leads and progressions. Baby-faced drummer Nicki is a harder hitter than he looks and his skittish, rolling feels really drive the songs.
It’s the first “proper” record for Celebrity Roadie-turned-producer Peter Ross and he’s pulled a sound with balls and tonal variety. You can hear that a lot of work went into the guitar sounds (at least I can - I heard the working mixes) and the output ranges from proto-metal (“1984”) to dirty fuzz (“Top 40”.) At no stage does “Never To Be Released” fall into the sin of sameness. Big props to sonic wiz Ernie O from Melbourne, who provided guidance along the way as well as final mastering.
Let’s not over-think things here. The band certainly did not. That would have been impossible with Rossy jibbering in their ears. This is high-energy punk rock with no airs or graces, played with spirit. That should be enough to get your mouse clicking to take your browser to Bandcamp where you can hear it for yourself and order a copy. - The Barman
This has a release date (I know, I know, it's irony innit) of Friday the 13th of April. Sydneysiders take note: This band is NOT the Stukas, and sounds nothing like them.
These fuckers are nasty, greasy, loud, obnoxious and will remind you of the good old days. You will, of course, turn your hearing aids down and, should you be tempted to bop as you once did you'll either do your back in or twist your ankle like a girl in a Tarzan movie. Cue: Nurofen.
Actually, the tone of this CD may as well be Nurofen Blues played like a bastard. It also reminds me a bit of Slayer. Oh, shit, blown my cool.
Look, you may be tempted to file this under "punk rock" or "retro" or some other bullshit. Fight the temptation to pigeonhole. These guys are the real deal, in your face, barely human, violent (older) men who (let's face it) don't like you and never have and probably think you're a regular Guardian reader.
Yes. It's ugly, macho, in your face, fast, nasty, bad-tempered and all the references to gaol are... well. Just look at them. Then look at their producer, Peter Ross. Ugh.
I mean some bands pull that "we're tough" look by being naturally ugly and screwing up their faces (sometimes shaking their fists at the camera while clutching a bimbo and sitting on a rich man's car). This trope is just that, a trope. Maximum Security are what they are, they've got faces like the road from Adelaide to Perth used to look like, all compressed into leathery skin and blood and sinew.
The album? Oh, it's great. I mean, fuck it's just vicious, fun and filled with big fuck-off guitar riffs and chords, football thug chants and suchlike, and a vocalist who's singing whilst being operated on without anaesthetic.
Put on "Never to be Released" while you're driving you'll be running children over in no time, drag-racing the cops or ram-raiding haberdashers for the thrill of it.
Put on "Never to be Released" and you'll find yourself wearing a black biker's jacket and clutching a Schmeisser machine-pistol.
Put on "Never to be Released" and you'll be running stark naked into the street wearing nowt but woad and waving a blunt samurai sword in one hand and a crowbar in the other, a small trickle of white powder from one nose.
Whatever, with "Never to be Released" you'll be on the 6 o'clock news at least three times in one day; numerous offences, violent arrest, violent mass breakout...
Doesn't matter what other crap bands are on the bill - if you see Maximum Security, see them - then walk out. You'll be doing the bar owner a favour, because you'll be so hopped up after Maximum Security you'll want to start smashing stuff.
Pity about all those nice breakable windows all down Marrickville's main drag.
Five bottles, a knuckle sandwich, four slashed tyres and three weeks in the slammer. Not necessarily in that order. - Robert Brokenmouth