If one of those great, booze-soaked rock and roll weekends like Garage Shock or the Las Vegas Shakedown were still a going concern (correct me if I'm wrong and one of them still is ) the Bloody Hollies would have been one of those bands that came in unheralded, blew everyone away and sold a ton at the merch table. And anyone who picked this album up would have been plenty satisfied 'cos it's 30 minutes of fire-breathin' punk fury.
Who knows if there was a pitch to the label? If there was, it probably went something like this: Find a gap in powerpop minstrel Paul Collins’ crazy schedule, put him in the studio with garage production king Jim Diamond and the house band for Detroit’s Ghetto Recorders, give them a cases of beer and let the music flow.
Collins (The Beat, the Nervebreakers, the Breakways) writes perfect rocking’ guitar pop like hipsters steal oxygen. It’s in his DNA; he has equals but there’s nobody better. A good proportion of these songs would be mainstream hits in a more enlightened and less disposable time.
It’s pretty bleeding obvious where Brisbane’s Dr Bombay is aiming. It’s that elusive but enviable sweet spot - right where melodic pop intersects with loud and fast rock and roll. Bullseyes are a rare thing but, more often than not, the Bombays land close to their target.
Sydney might be shrivelling up and Melbourne has so much going on that at times it appears to be eating itself, but Brisbane’s rock and roll scene remains viably focused, “owning” a few venues in and around the inner-city. It stays strong because it has a centre. Like many contemporaries, Dr Bombay is four (mostly old) guys getting together for a weekend blast without ambitions to conquer the world, but they sure have this pop-rock thing nailed.
Like Johnny Appleseed, The Strypes travel the world and beget a host of similar teenage bands playing garage and beat rock and roll. At least that’s how we all want the story to go. The simultaneous existence The Arrogrants in the same hemisphere might be a complete coincidence, but there’s no mistaking the common influences and sheer unbridled firepower that this band packs.
It might be apt to drop in some Dylan to catch your attention from the get-go (“There’s something happening here and you don’t know what it is/ Do you, Mr Jones?”) but it’s not necessary. Cutting to the chase, Peter Black is using melodies and colouring here to make a solo album that’s his most captivating to date.
Punk rock from Adelaide? No. This is a actually great little pop record.
Take the CD’s opener, "Nothing For You". If it weren’t for the times (of buzzsaw fuzz guitar) and the haircuts (ok) you’ve got yourself a tight, fast, witty and pointed powerpop outfit.
Kim Salmon’s creative productivity knows no bounds. While he occasionally looks backwards, re-visiting his Scientists and Beasts of Bourbon history in the live sense, for example, the overwhelming sense with Salmon is one of overwhelming momentum.
That’s the case with “True West”, his latest project which pairs him with late period Scientists drummer Leanne Cowie (nee Chock) to be his most vital sounding record since “Sin Factory”.
It’s been brow-beaten, down-trodden, emasculated and generally forced underground but hard ’n’ heavy rock and roll has never been fully wiped out these last 20 years.
Purists will tell you that it still exists in the cracks and crevices of grimy back-streets in a select number of cities. They’ll go on to say that the so-called power trio format is its most genuine manifestation because it allows each element to stand out in the sharpest of relief.
With a band lineage like The Eastern Dark, the New Christs, Orange Humble Band, Happy Hate Me Nots, Lemonheads, Pyramidiacs, The Scruffs and Eva Trout among others, you’d have high expectations and “Rx”, the debut album for Sydney supergroup Loose Pills, matches the label on the bottle.
- Greetings From Detroit EP - The Rockets (self released)
- BRUCE! The EP - BRUCE (self released)
- My Name is Charles 'Chicken' Diamond - Chicken Diamond (Beast Records)
- Axels and Sockets: The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project (Volume III) - Various Artists (Glitterhouse Records)
- Yummy! - Hard-Ons (Citadel Records)
- The Man Is Back: A Tribute To Johnny Cash - Various Artists (Beast Records)