I Thought Thunderbolt – Big League (Off The Hip)

i thought thunderboltYoung Melbourne Indie band Big League have released their first album, “I Thought Thunderbolt”. What the fuck that title means is anybody’s guess, but it doesn’t matter when the music speaks for itself.

The follow-up to “The Dandy Hub” EP is a joy; good pop songs, fuzz guitars and trong song-writing. It’s sure to get airplay on enlightened Melbourne community radio stations like PBS and Triple R.

The Sonic Race - The Sonic Race (The Sonic Race)

thesonicrace epThese boys come outta the blocks right at your face and do their best to tear it off. So you’re dancing like a middle-aged dickhead in the living room (or I am, anyway), loving the sharp, smart changes, the handclaps, the groove, the bounce and bluster.

Given the band and the song this website is named for (it's not Pinky and Perky, nor New Order, nor The Smiths. Give up..?) it’s almost a no-brainer that you’d probably enjoy “The Sonic Race” EP.

In fact, I’d say this: if you’d never heard Birdman, MC5, Stooges, Dictators or the Dolls … or anyone like them, and you heard The Sonic Race… you would go out and buy an instrument and learn how to play it, and drag people in until you could all go out and play like demons and lay waste the countryside.

Where There Once Was a Fire - Andrew McCubbin featuring Melinda Kay (1am Records)

where there once mccubbinMcCubbin & Kay had me before the LP was half-way through Side A. Such a deeply romantic, real record, the songs are so well-constructed, so relaxed in their delivery that you just fall into that trap anyway, also you end up applying the words to your own life… And it gets better… you know how some LPs absolutely nail an emotion, or a period you went through? 

No?

Well, you haven’t lived much, is all I can say. I mean, you don’t have to play this one at 1am … though that would be a perfect time, and I will be doing just that fairly shortly. Mind you, pretty much anytime is perfect for "Where Once There Was a Fire".

Get Some - Mushroom Planet (self released)

get someThis is rated seven bottles. These fuckers (a reformed Sydney band from the '80s) have no right being this good.

Blue Oyster Cult? Yeah!

MC5? Yeah!!

Iggy? OH SHIT YEAH!

Well, that’s my job done then. That’ll be $500 bucks in used tenners in a brown paper bag.

[silence]

[crickets chirping]

Last Of The Buffalo - The Heartache State (Golden State Records)

heartache stateThe second release from Melbourne's The Heartache State - the band formed by Southpaw's Justin Garner and much-travelled Nick Barker - has been something to look forward to for a long time. The good news is that there’s no disappointment to be found on "Last Of The Buffalo". 

The first self-titled album was a couple of years back and a fine thing it was too, but this time The Heartache State has lifted it a few notches with 10 tracks of hard, swaggering Aussie pub rock.

Grinding Eyes - Grinding Eyes (Off The Hip/Tym Records)

grinding eyesDrone and fuzz are the base ingredients in this psychedelic stew from Sydney four-piece Gridning Eyes. The sound is thunderous and heavy in the mid-range, with no compromise to melody. Delicate harmonies are in short supply. 

Grinding Eyes have been around for three years and have two singles on prodigious boutique Brisbane label Tym Records. This is their long player debut (on CD through Off The Hip) and it’s an exacting but rewarding trip

Recorded by Owen Pengilis (Straight Arrows), and mixed (in France) and mastered (in Detroit) by sonic wizard Jim Diamond, these are nine songs of dark, relentless assault. 

Libertatia - The Deadvikings (Savage Magic Records)

LibertatiaLike the financial affairs of a retired politician, it’s amazing what you find in rock and roll if you dig deep enough. Japan’s The Deadvikings are a prime example. 

These Far Eastern brothers-by-another-mother of the Hellacopters have been going for 10 years and have numerous releases behind them. They’ve done a split single with UK reprobates The Sick Livers and The Hip Priests (but don’t judge them by the company they keep.)

They’ve toured Europe and China. They’re hitting Australia in November, with their Sydney mates Bunt.

Seizure Salad - Juliette Seizure & The Tremor Dolls (Off The Hip)

seizure saladThe new Juliette Seizure & The Tremor Dolls album is dripping with bubble gum pop, big riffs and fabulous vocals.

It's a combination that has to make "Seizure Salad" a surefire winner on the live pub circuit. It's just made to be played to drunken punters on a Saturday night, and it's a perfect follow up to last year's "Chewing Out Your Rhythm On My Bubble Gum".

"Seizure Salad" finds the Tremor Dolls evolving their sound without losing any of their influences (the Ramones being the obvious one.) This six-piece Adelaide outfit has been refining its chops overseas, with a tour of Japan under the belt, in-between hitting as many Australian pubs as possible.

Pleasure Maps - Sand Pebbles (Kasumen Records)

Pleasure MapsConceived somewhere between Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable, the Neighbours writing room and the half-back flank at VFL Park, Sand Pebbles have always been something of an enigma.

Befitting a band made up of record nerds who could discern seven separate strands of freak in every lost '60s beat, Sand Pebbles bestowed upon themselves the descriptor "flower punk"; the flower was the inspiring melody, punk the defiant attitude.