Made in Hawaii - Jeff Dahl (Iwannabeahoople Records)

made in hawaiiHere’s news for those who thought Jeff Dahl had put his guitar in a rack and drawn an end to his prolific punk-glam career. He’s back with a new album - and it sounds like he never went away.

Dahl had been laying low with protracted health issues since pulling up tent pegs at his Arizona desert digs and moving back to his own (and his wife’s) childhood home of the Hawaiian Islands. Prior to slipping off the public radar eight years ago, Dahl was a force of rock and roll nature, turning out a string of abrasive, hard-rocking records and publishing one of the world’s greatest magazines, Sonic Iguana.

Naked Radio - Pink Fairies (Gonzo Multimedia)

naked radioThat some of the Pink Fairies are around today to make an album, two decades after their last and four after their heyday, is something of a miracle. Surprise Number Two is that it’s good.

If you’ve read Rich Deakin’s meticulous book about the band’s travails, “Keep It Together”, you’ll know that The Pinks were never people to shy away from the Rock and Roll Lifestyle. Taking care of business was never the band’s forte, which makes a new record’s appearance even more unlikely. Their last LP, “Kill ‘Em and Eat ‘Em” didn’t set any houses on fire and smelt like a once great band on its last legs.

The Glory Days of Aussie Pub Rock Vol 1 - Various Artists (Festival)

glory days“What's he doing reviewing THAT?”

Only people of a certain age will “get” this review. The term "Guilty Pleasure" will not be used at any point.

Admit it, punk. If you grew up in Australia in the 1970s and ‘80s (OK, you were might have been underage and still growing up, but you could sneak into licensed premises) and lived anywhere outside of Melbourne and Sydney’s inner-city regions, a dose of Pub Rock was unavoidable. A way of life, even.

Gypsy Mojo - The Hollerin Sluggers (self released)

gypsy mojoBorn out of a surf club fundraiser, this trio from the Manly Dam Delta on Sydney’s Northern Beaches have just rolled out album number two. “Gypsy Mojo” makes it clear that if The Hollering Sluggers have sold their souls to the Devil at the Brookvale Oval crossroads, they ain’t getting a refund.

The Sluggers are a trio playing blue collar blues with a distinct rock and roll edge. There’s no new ground being broken on “Gypsy Mojo” but that’s not going to worry fans of this style. It’s honest and unpretentious blues-rock.

…disasterpiece – Powerline Sneakers (Kasumuen Records)

powerline sneakers albumThere’s a beautiful, sleazy rock and roll feel to “…disasterpiece” that’s refreshingly hard to pin down. From the rumbling and seedy “Dream Feature” to the girl-group-on-steroids swagger of “Don’t Shit Me Now”, and even more Spectoresque glow of “Spectre” (ha!), it’s an avalanche of hard-boiled hard Rock Action.

That Powerline Sneakers rock like motherfuckers should come as no surprise, given the pedigree of the players. Lead guitarist John Nolan was in the Powder Monkeys and Bored!. Sly Faulkner, on vocals and guitar, fronted the Splatterheads, who were well regarded even if I never got into ‘em. Bassist Katie Dixon was in Ripe and Mark Hurst pounded the tubs for The Yes-Men and Gutternsipes.

TENZEROEIGHT - The Undermines (self released)

the undermines albumIt’s taken me a little while to get to this one, and I wish I’d got here sooner.

There’s 12 tracks, nine by guitarist Dylan Webster, three by other guitarist Jason Sharples. With your bass by Dave Lundquest, drums by Serge Ou (no, really, that’s what it says here) and vocals by Michael Preiss… we’re looking at a band capable, if we read the back of the CD right, of constructing and delivering the twin guitar assault.

Do they?

My oath they do.