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 MapsHave The Sand Pebbles made a bad album? I’ve heard or own half of them and they’re full of some of the most surreally fascinating, textured and immersive psychedelic music to come from an Australian band in the last 20 years. “Pleasure Maps” continues what’s more a body-of-work than a discernible progression. 

A rant by Bruce Milne on Facebook initially piqued my interest. The ex-Au Go Go label/shop head posted his instant, first listen take-out that “Pleasure Maps” was killer. Patrick Emery’s review below takes it from there. I’ll just try to add something else.

Spit You Out Like Revenue - Dr Bombay (self released)

spit you outA lot of water’s passed under the Story Bridge since Brisbane’s Dr Bombay released their debut album “Dose” three years ago. Amicable line-up changes mean that just two original members, singer Gary Slater and guitarist Stewart De Lacy, remain.

What hasn’t altered is Slater’s grasp of what makes great songwriting. The ex-Voodoo Lust and latter-day Trilobites frontman came up with all 13 of the tracks on “Spit Your Out Like Revenue” - and there are some pearlers in the ranks. 

Dislocation - The Primevals (Triple Wide)

dislocationRock and roll isn’t dead - it’s just being ground into the carpet like so much stray cigarette ash by the powers of mediocrity and digital division. If you apply the vacuum hard enough and in the right places, you’ll still find it.

So point the nozzle of your Hoover (or Dyson, if you’re cashed up) in the direction of Glasgow, Scotland, and suck up as much of The Primevals as you can. Three decades into their existence (admittedly, with a break in the middle), these gnarly Scots are staking a claim for independence from the banal indifference that passes for mainstream radio rock, Jock.

Eyes Ninety - Eyes Ninety (Swashbuckling Hobo)

eyes elevenOld heads from Brisbane’s Chinese Burns (not to be confused with Sydney band Chinese Burns Unit) and The Standing 8 Count populate this band, which has been kicking around the River City (does anyone even call it that?) for four years. The eponymous record (vinyl and download) is its first output and came out in 2015.

If you know the members’ previous bands you know the postcode in which “Eyes Ninety” resides. There are elements of its predecessors but its music stands alone. Wanna label it? Let’s call it “swampy punk rock”. 

3D - The Catalogue - Kraftwerk (Klingklang/ Parlophone)

3D kraftwerkGet this, and get it good: If you’ve never heard Kraftwerk before, this stuff isn’t just rated five bottles out of five. This set, "3D - The Catalogue", is about 30 bottles out of five. Or a couple of kegs. 

The first Kraftwerk record I ever heard was the single "Autobahn". I heard it on the radio, a surprise and rather freakish hit in 1975. Beyond that, I gave the band no more thought until I heard the LP "The Man Machine" at my mate Paul’s place, which prompted a continuous scurry around the second-hand record shops until I had everything I could find. 

Can: The Singles - Can (Mute/Spoon Records)

can the singlesSo, while a single a-side was supposed to get you up and interested, a B-side wasn’t. In fact, many bands - particularly mainstream bands - would plop dud choons on the B-side, convinced that no-one was listening.

Nope. The fans were listening. And boy, did some fans get annoyed with the shit they found there. Why would your favourite band slip you sludge on the B-side? You pay good money, you expect a decent track on the flip.

Smarter (and poorer) bands began to use the B-side to their advantage - slipping in a cracking live rendition of a familiar song, or a joke or experimental track. Hell, a record costs money to make, you don’t want to spend all that just to waste the space on the flip. Hence The Damned’s crackling rendition of “Help!”, the Beatles song performed with kettle drums at a million miles an hour. Brilliance.

How Did I Find Myself Here? – Dream Syndicate (Epitath/ANTI)

howdidifindThis is a review of an album by a band regarded as leaders of The Paisley Underground movement of the 1980s, written by someone who never bought into that scene. 

Genres are a device to apply easily understood descriptors so other people know what you’re talking about. They’re hard to avoid if you want to communicate meaningfully but all the same, they’re annoying because they infer boundaries. Deal with it. 

“How Did I Find Myself Here?” is a rock and roll record. It gets you to a place and  takes a path less obvious than most bands (reluctantly) wearing a label.