Under Attack of The Busymen – The Busymen (Swashbuckling Hobo)

under attackJust when you thought it was safe to go back into the psych ward, this sliver of shiny black vinyl arrives out of Brisbane’s sub-tropical humidity, stumbling around like a homeless man in a threadbare coat who's baring his arse for all the world to see.

The Busymen don’t seem to have been living up to their name in recent times because this 10-inch EP is their first release since the “Distort All Levels” album of 2007. Put that down to commitments with other bands or members being detained by the authorities for their own good. They’ve certainly made up for lost time.

Half-covers and half-originals, “Under Attack…” resonates with the brutal thump of a Force 5 hangover after an all-night pub crawl through the seedier haunts of their hometown’s party district of Fortitude Valley. The morning after just doesn’t come any fuzzier than this.

A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble (Exploding In Your Mind): The Wizards of Oz - Various Artists (Warner)

MonstrousPsychedelicBubbleCan you define psychedelica? Behind punk, it’s probably the most over-used term in the musical genre lexicon. That won’t change with this sprawling two-disc exploration of Australian psych, past and present.

Mixing ‘60s and ‘70s tracks with contemporary ones is an approach that could have gone horribly wrong.The wonder of this is how well the old tracks blend seamlessly with the new. Compilers Gaz Cobain (aka The Amorphous Androgynous) and Brian Dougans have done a splendid job of unearthing lost, forgotten and current nuggets and the mastering is great. It’s the fourth edition in a global series.

Radio Birdman live in 2014: Two perspectives

emmy-manning-wideEmmy Etie photo

The tour is almost over and the verdicts are in following a re-tooling of the line-up with the controversial omission of guitarist Chris Masuak. We present divergent views of the sold-out Australian run of Radio Birdman shows.

Go here to read an appraisal of the Adelaide gig by Robert Brokenmouth and here to read Edwin Garland's read-out on the band's two Melbourne gigs. You can leave comments on both reviews. Photos are by Emmy Etie and Kyleigh Pitcher. 

A Fistful of Desert Blues - Lydia Lunch and Cypress Grove (Rustblade)

fistfulThe cover - taken by Lydia Lunch - shows the ruins of an ancient desert city. Could be Jericho. Whether Jericho is in the Mid-East or the West of the USA makes little difference. We’re dealing with perennial humanity in a perilous place with a mythological backdrop. But, you know, the Israelis and the Palestinians are still killing each other, and as I say, it’s a big thing on a big, operatic stage with no solution and no apparent beginning, never mind end…

… and there are plenty of abandoned towns in Australia… it doesn’t take much, just a bit of intolerance and a bit of ignorance, and idealism for a hopeless, not very sensible cause…

If Footmen Tire You - The Bloody Hollies (Alive Naturalsound)

bloodyholliesjpgIf 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.

Birdman re-issues on CD announced

radio birdman paddoMiss out on the Radio Birdman box set? After unveiling vinyl versions of the re-issues, Citadel has now announced individual double-CD packs, including one for the killer and highly sought-after “Live at Paddington Town Hall” album.

Each package is loaded with the extras that came in the box set. Go to Citadel Mail Order and get clicking in time for Xmas. 

Dr S and Mr P- Urban Junior (Voodoo Rhythm)

urban junior mrMr Junior has a hell of a quirky appetite, ranging from dirty ultra-hawkwindish rawk to a dirtier electro punch in the head (‘Jetzt’ is killer) some sort of hip-hoppy thing. He’s a former boyband member (!) from Switzerland who plays everything himself.

This is a man who covers a lot of ground in a very short space of time, forcing your feet onto the floor at the same time. If you bought “Max Q”, get “Dr S and Mr P” right the hell now. If you like Ollie Oleson, Culturcide, SPK, Iggy and the Stooges, nasty soundtracks…

(ED: Urban Junior has shared stages with John Spencer Blues Explosion, Bob Log III, John Schooley, Jack Oblivian, Iggy Pop, G. Love & sSpecialSauce, Thee Oh Sees, King Khan, the Pussywarmers and Reverend Beat-Man. That might give you some more clues.)

This is dead dirty rock’n’roll and it’s like being seduced by an oil-stained camel in Doc Martin’s boots (not the star of the TV show Doc Martin, tho, …)

Three-and-a-half bottles. Oh, fuck it, four bottles.


Pilgrim - Lilith Lane (Beast Records)

pilgrimRecently I saw Lilith Lane perform as part of the Murder Ballads evening in Melbourne; there were many performers, but Lane was one of a handful who impressed. She’s sharp, smart and has a terrific voice.

"Pilgrim" was Recorded live at Sónica, Madrid, Spain, in October 2012 and released in 2013, It is  a rather wonderful live recording, and shows off the great control and power of Lillith's voice; what I like about her is that she’s so natural and approachable with her gift.

The guitarist, (one "Pedro") is damn groovy. It’s a kind of oddly Spanish-flavoured blues '50s rock thing, but you don’t really pay that much attention once Lilith starts singing. You’ll be dancing in a graceful, bopping way.


Beast Records on the Web

Lillith Lane on Bandcamp

Monkey Bones - Burn In Hell (Beast Records)

monkey bonesWhat's it worth? Four bottles if not more. 

Melbourne's Burn In Hell has a hell of a rep on the live circuit, both in Australia and overseas: it’s easy to see why. "Monkey Bones" (uhm, 2014) is world-class rock’n’roll which jangles your fillings and fills your jangles.