Guerrilla Radio - Urban Guerrillas (self released)

urban guerillas epUrban Guerillas have been around since Noah was in a nappy, forming in Adelaide before moving to Sydney and plying their brand of stick-it-to-the-man-and-his-system, agit-rock around the pubs and clubs. They’ve been pumping out records like nobody’s business and this EP is the latest in a long line.

Whether you’re into politically flavoured music is a matter for yourself - the MC5 thought it was a great idea for all of five minutes but Mao wouldn't buy them muscle cars - but it’s the raison d’etre for these guys, and you have to admire their resolve to stay at it. 

Not to be confused with the late ‘70s Grand Hotel scene punk band of the same name, Urban Guerillas made a name for themselves on the back of an anti-imperialism song called “Here Come The Americans”, and they’re still singing about similar things today. How’d they miss out on a Midnight Oil support?

The Sky’s In Love With You - Ups and Downs (Basketcase Records)

the skys in love with youSure 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.

 

Return of the Dilettante - Peter Simpson (Verified Records)

dilettanteAs 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.

Dion Lunadon - Dion Lunadon (Agitated Records)

dion lunadon LPIf 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.

Neath A Shin Ei Sun - Neptune Power Federation (Erotic Volcano Records)

neptune albumGoblins shit me. Witches and bats, too. The intrinsic silliness and - now, let's be honest - pomposity in the most excessive heavy metal music bred in me a disdain for much of that musical form from a very young age. So where does a band with a garish album cover with a skull wearing a helmet adorned by stag horns stand?

Good question.

Imagine a woman in gothic chiffon dress and Melbourne Cup headpiece singing in front of a band that’s a cross between a metallic version of Funkadelic, Fu Manchu and Sabbath.

Two Hundred Years - Cub Callaway and The Revolutionnaires (Dominion Records)

two hundred years cubcallawayWant the short version? A collection of veteran, all-star Australian underground luminaries (and one bankable Hollywood star) make a thought-provoking and at times surprising album, packed full of solid songs.

You deserve better than that, and so does "Two Hundred Years". So try this: Playing "Two Hundred Years" is like digging through an attic full of relics and finding things you remember, and things you never found the first time.

Mainman Bruce “Cub” Callaway should require no introduction but a few of you may have been sleeping, so here goes: He’s a former member of The Saints (post-Ed) who toured Australia extensively in the early '80s with The Bard, Bailey, and his merry men.