• Gang War Sue Rynski photo

    Gang War's John Morgan talks

  • Robert Matheu photo

    Sonics Rendezvous Band - The One That Got Away

  • Mickster Baty

    15 years of Off The Hip Records

  • The Scientists

    Tony Thewlis' tales of the Scientists

Poor Old Man - Captain Spud and the Nifty Keens (Spudland)

spud-art-nifty-keensThis Captain Spud chap, with his mildly alarming synthetic-bop is in the alternative charts down here in Adelaide with this CD single. This could mean anything. What it actually means is that Spud has done it again.

While I believe that men like this should be surging up the charts, exposing the dross and bogus aspects of the entertainment industry, the reality is that gorgeous little tunes like this, with its toyland-‘60s-musical aspect placed in a modern context … don’t.

True Believer - Michael Cullen (Speartackle)

true-believerWell, this is a first, I think. This is a four bottle CD, and I really do dislike it. However, I disliked it a lot less after the second listen, and by now (fourth spin) it’s beginning to grow on me.

Michael Cullen’s last CD, 2011’s “Love Transmitter”, I am unfamiliar with, but it seems all who heard it loved it. This fact, plus the quality of “True Believer” (I can see shedloads of you shelling out to hold it in your hands, then scampering out to see the man in the flesh) gives me pause.

“True Believer” takes us through loves lost and almost won, via European streets and Melbourne alleys, dashed hopes and determined belief and - a certain contempt amid the vulnerability.

Measuring the Space Between Us All - The Hadron Colliders (Interstellar Records)

measuring-hadronFlashback: I remember the first time I heard REM. Paul had just bought their first LP and we sat in his little bedroom, listening with something akin to amazement.

Now, I mention REM’s first LP because it was one of those exclamation mark moments, similar to “Measuring the Space” by inner-western Sydney band The Hadron Colliders.

My response to hearing this was immediate and positive, and I’ve now spun “Measuring the Space”…over and over.

Rev - Reverend Horton Heat (Victory Records)

revThere’s a lot of ‘50s revival acts and actors out there. And, I suspect for most, it’s just a bit of harmless narcissism. But the Rev…?

Have you ever stood in a jammed-in-crowded room and suddenly felt a large hand grip your balls and give them a playful squeeze? And there’s no-one around who looks like it was them..?

“Rev”, The Rev’s umpteenth LP, is full-tilt, in ya face, grabs your privates, smart, sassy, intelligent rock’n’roll from the old school.

Good Lord - Crazy & The Brains (Baldy Longhair Records)

good-lordThis New Jersey four-piece might be one of the oddest bands to grace the reviews section of the I-94 Bar - or most other places. if you know of any others to have a lead xylophone/glockenspeil player as backing vocalist, well you know our address.

OK, Dave Graney uses a fair chunk of vibraphone in some of his music. Mark Sultan made a killer solo record("The Sultanic Verses") with dinky keys and xylophone. Tommy Hall’s jug rhythms made 13th Floor Elevators sound other-worldy. Using a glockenspiel as a melodic advice puts Crazy & The Brains in a different category.

Real Times - Johnny Thunders (Remarquable Records)

thunders-remarquableThis is the initial release on the Remarquable label and what a way to start. Basically the deal is that these folks have gotten their hands on some utterly prime Johnny Thunders music that no one has heard before. They are focusing on the year 1978, when Johnny was on Real Records and put out his classic solo album "So Alone".

This first EP (more is promised) is a beautifully-packaged 10" record with four songs ("Leave me Alone"/Great Big Kiss"/"Pipeline"/"London Boys") recorded early January 1978, a mere two weeks after Walter Lure and Billy Rath had called it quits and returned to NYC from London, where the Heartbreakers had relocated to in 1977.

Stranded with Ed and Judi Kuepper...with strings attached

ed-atp-himself

For more than 40 years, Ed Kuepper has been creating music. Over that time, he's claimed a place as one of the most progressive and critically acclaimed singer-songwriters and guitar players to emerge from Australia.

Ed has been (mostly) in the shadows of the mainstream and has always forged his own path.

No-one sounds like Ed Kuepper.

I was about 12 when “I’m Stranded” blared from my television set. With a mouthfull of Milo and with my school bag thrown on the sofa, I raced over and turned the volume up of the old National 18-inch colour “telly”. I was blown away by the sound and the image.  It was the afternoon show ABC ‘s Flashez that I recall and an interview followed with people who seemed like street urchins. It was explosive.   These blokes – The Saints - were the real deal.

Motors, Women, Booze, Drugs. Booze & Killing - The Sick Livers (self released)

sick-livers-epThere’s a case to be made for not messing with the tried and tested formula of two sharp-edged guitars, a raucous singer and an energetic engine room and Welsh band The Sick Livers knows it only too well.

If you thought South Wales was only good for rugby union, Harry Secombe and massed male choirs, think again. The Sick Livers add glam punk (“glunk”) to the list in emphatic style. “Motors, Women, Drugs, Booze & Killing” doesn’t break any fresh ground in terms of musical style or lyrical content - but don’t let that deter you if you prefer your cocktails served in the gutter without extraneous fruit or little paper umbrellas.

These five gnarly Welshmen won’t win any beauty contests but latch onto three chords like a starving Pembroke Corgi chomping down on a Glamorgan sausage after a five-day fast. They name-check Turbonegro (and especially fair call) and Backyard Babies in their bio and even some bloke called Glen Matlock likes ‘em. No, that doesn’t mean they sound like the Beatles, smart arse.

Lavish new Pretty Things box set drops in February

Listen up if you’re proudly “collector scum”, a completist or just an appreciator of one of the greatest rock and roll bands to have walked the planet.

For more than 50 fifty years, The Pretty Things have proudly, unapologetically and righteously scorched their own, unique trail through contemporary music. A half-century (plus) of the raunchiest white-boy rhythm and blues, of punch-ups, dazzling highs and epic struggles, of innovation and exultation, lauded by their peers, vilified by authority, a crucial influence on successive generations of acts, The Pretty Things make it to the mid-20-teens with mojo intact and edge unblunted.

This epochal British rock 'n' roll band is justly being celebrated by way of “Bouquets From A Cloudy Sky”, a lavish multi-media box set due out in February in a limited edition of 2000.

More Articles ...