Sure sounds a lot like ‘em. Has it really been 31 years since their last new release? That question’s rhetorical, by the way.
Ups and Downs were a Brisbane garage-pop band that was swept up in the signing madness of the 1980s, captured by a major label and transplanted to Sydney where they enjoyed fleeting success. All these years later, they’re more or less intact, but it's an accidental and organic reunion.
As far as dipping a toe back in the water, this EP is just short of complete immersion at the deep end for Peter Simpson. You can hear the Dubrovkniks guitarist-vocalist has put a lot of himself into these five songs and it mostly pays off.
It seems like a million years ago (it’s actually 37) since Simpson arrived in Sydney from Perth in a briefly successful but long-forgotten band called Teeny Weeny. He went on to play in the Dubrovniks (via The Spectre’s Revenge), experiencing fame if not fortune.
If you hear a noisier, more brutal yet musical album this year, call your lawyer and sue Mitsubishi for opening a car plant in your backyard.
Dion Lunadon used to be Dion Palmer, bassist for New Zealand-via-The-Lower-East-Side rockers The D4 back in the 1990s. He’s been living in New York City for the last 10 years, playing bass for abrasive noise merchants, A Place To Bury Strangers (APTBS). This eponymous LP is his first solo venture.
There are elements of Kraut rock, hard rock, noise rock, psychedelic rock and almost everything that can be appended to rock on this record. It’s full of ideas to the point of near overload. Apparently written as a cathartic release after rigorous touring with APTBS, it reeks of grime, sweat , post-road angst and not a little desperation.