Between battling and building awareness about Crohn’s disease, writing and delivering comedy routines and playing bluesy rock songs, hyperactive Sydneysider Luke Escombe makes records. Here’s one of them - an EP, in fact - and it’s a fun ride.
“Creeper Vine” is a five-song package of observations on 21st Century urban life. Its stated musical reference points (Freddie King, Chuck Berry, Elvis) are as clear as its themes (coping through coffee; the role of the axe in a happy marriage; female Prime Ministers.)
It’s all played with spirit by a well-honed band that includes veteran bassist Harry Brus (Kevin Borich, Billy Thorpe.) Escombe does the singing and most of the guitar playing and is no slouch in either department.
Garage blues and freakadelia had a baby and they named it Hi Alerts...
Over the last two or three years, something very interesting has been happening in the Glasgow underground scene; in contrast to the blandness of current high profile Scottish acts, from the derivative stadium rock of Biffy Clyro to the glossy coffee table electro-pop of Chvrches (they really should get the "U" key fixed on their computer), an exciting garage rock scene has coalesced around one of Glasgow's greatest, yet least heralded rock groups, The Primevals.
Formed by Michael Rooney in 1983, The Primevals blazed an uncompromising path through the '80s Scottish music scene. Inspired by such luminaries as The Cramps, Tav Falco & Panther Burns and The Gun Club, Rooney's barmy army of fellow punk-forged rock 'n' roll obsessives had no truck with the prevailing trends. Their outsider status within the Scottish music scene was in many ways analogous to that of Radio Birdman when they established their "Detroit South" Real O-Mindset in Sydney, Australia in the mid-70s.
I have actually lost count of the number of times I’ve played this. I keep doing it. In the car, on the computer and around the house. Bloody hell it’s good.
Ever find yourself in the situation where you’re presented with a band with an unpromising name, an enigmatic if not daft cd title which, upon listening, you are so transported and delighted with that you play the item over and over in amazed disbelief, discovering as you go, humming and singing around the room, that the band have been in existence for quite some time and have five more LPs to their name and you paw miserably at your spartan wallet, realising that the next pay packet will have to do..?
Yes, Black Moose is one of those albums. Like listening to a smart blend of Lovecraft, R.E. Howard and the darkest American blues and country while reading Grimm to a terrified child. It’s as real as reality, and as tangible as imagination.