Brat Farrar III - Brat Farrar (Off The Hip)

brat farrar iiiIt’s his third minimally-titled, full-length offering and Brat Farrar has toned down the electro sounds and gone straight for the throat with guitars at warp speed. It’s more raw, edgy and melodic punk-cum-stoner rock with a true DIY spirit shining through.

Brat (aka Sam Agostino) was half of Digger and The Pussycats and a third of Kamakaze Trio. He might bill himself as a bedroom musician but he’s still to be seen performing in his home city of Melbourne and in Europe, where Digger and The Pussycats had carved out a fan-base. Farrar is nothing if not prolific, churning out a dozen releases in varying formats, and plays everything on his records.

Crowd Surfing With The Molting Vulures: The Best Of - Molting Vultures (Off The Hip)

molting vulturesNo less than Psychotic Turnbuckles elder statesman The Grand Wizard provided the good oil about this Adelaide band, who remain largely unheard outside their home town and more enlightened parts of Melbourne.

You might be surprised, then, to hear that The Molting Vultures have been going since 2004 and have four albums under their belts. “Crowd Surfing” picks the eyes out of the albums and presents them on one disc, with a couple of newly-recorded songs thrown in.

Stinkwhistle - Fear and Loathing (EC Productions)

stinkwhistleBiased? No, I'm not biased. Why do you ask? See, Adelaide's Fear and Loathing (aka FAL) is the band everyone should see, experience or endure, at least four times in their lives.

First gig: At the sight of a bunch of late 40-somethings making what they sometimes call music and what everyone else calls punishment, you will feel an uncontrollable urge to get extremely drunk. You will not remember getting home.

Second gig: Still hungover from last time, you turn up because you've realised that you didn't quite take it all in, and they've got this hypnotic scrunch about them. By now you're tapping your toe, occasionally jiggling along gingerly. You find yourself buying the band numerous jugs of pale ale. You find yourself driving home at midday, fairly certain you're going in the right direction.

Glory Days of Aussie Pub Rock Vol 2 - Various Artists (Festival)

glory days vol 2Another 90 Oz Rock songs for 20 bucks. Can’t go wrong, eh?

This is Festival’s second “Glory Days” offering and it’s inevitably subject to some “mainstreaming”. There’s more chart action and a sprinkling of what might be regarded as lesser-known tracks or rarities, although you could argue they’re skewed from a Melbourne perspective. It's the lesser-known cuts that make this collection tolerable. 

Going Back To Wurstville - King Salami & The Cumberland Three (Off The Hip)

wurstvilleThree days, no brakes, something to celebrate. That’s the state I’ve found myself in after constantly playing King Salami & The Cumberland Three. This is what music is all about: Transcending barriers that are put up by the music snobs.

How the hell do you get a Japanese punk joining forces with a French punk and then finding a Caribbean tennis teacher for oral scintillation? Then they come up with a name that covers a love of sausages, calling themselves “the best party band in the British Isles” And they pull it off. How?

The answer is Music, pure delightful music. Music that you dance to. Music that you can surf to. Music that you can chop wood to. Pure music.

Gas - feedtime (In The Red)

gas feedtimefeedtime have come together to release their first album since 1996’s "Billy". A lot has happened in the last 21 years, so what can we expect from the original lineup of Rick, Al and Tom who have been playing sporadically since reforming in 2011?

It starts off well. “Any good thing” opens with a fantastic, sliding bass line before kicking off with pounding drums and a frenetically distorted guitar. My first thought when hearing Rick’s vocals was that of GG Allin’s voice towards the end of his life. The gravel has turned into a metallic growl.

And the pace continues well into “Thought”, before slowing down into "Box n Burn". Both strong tracks with a powerful sound. However, the issues start to arise with "Skilled Enuf". While the musicianship on the track is strong, the writing is quite simple and unengaging, “Skilled enough, to play one chord. Skilled enough to play one note” might be a true description of the band’s minimalist arrangements, but it is unengaging.