If you were a member of a band who was about to drop off the twig and wanted somebody to preserve your contribution to music for posterity, you’d want the job done by Scotti and John from Buttercup Records.
The boutique vinyl-only label from Victoria, Australia, packages music like nobody else. The latest effort is a seven-inch re-issue of News, the Melbourne band formerly known as Babeez, who neatly straddled the punk rock and art camps of the late ‘70s. It pairs the 1978 “Dirty Lies” b/w “Chop Chop Chop” single with the previously unreleased “H Division Bash” and a scorching live “Mainline Honey” as a 33rpm EP.
This is just great.
Just 150 were pressed - there were two types of cover available - one to commemorate a gig, with a faux '70s bootleg cover. There was the standard disc and sleeve edition, and bugger all of a deluxe edition. There's a handful of copies of the "standard" left. You deffo need this in your collection.
The deluxe edition is, as always with Seedy product, is a bit like dipping into Santa's sack (though not quite so seasonal). First, the vinyl came in different colours. There's this great poster, "a parody of a '72 Japan tour poster"; a Japanese Obi (that's one of those titling things that go around the left edge.
That's a helluva title. It's also a limited edition split single featuring Sweden's Nomads and Norwegian power pop wonders The Dahlmanns, put together for the 60th birthday party in Spain of Next Big Thing zine creator and all-round top bloke, Scotsman Lindsay Hutton.
Just 500 were pressed up for the shindig in Madrid and only a handful remain available...
If you don't know, The Dahlmanns are the World's Best Power Pop Band. No arguments, thank you very much. "Fireball" is the theme song of a Gerry and Sylvia Anderson pre-Thunderbirds TV show ("Fireball XL5") and it was the first 45 that a pre-pubescent Lindsay ever bought in the early 1960s.
Sydney band The Holy Soul have a way with collaborating with the rich, at least in in history, and infamous. Here’s another example of that maverick magic.
Seven years ago, The Holy Soul combined with Damo Suzuki (Can) and a Drone to punch out a live album on Repressed. This time out, it’s a half-studio/half-live 45 of similar vintage, this time with Rocket From The Tombs and Pere Ubu frontman David Thomas, with whom they played on a blink-and-you-miss-it Australian visit.
“Master of The Universe” is the A side (it’s a Hawkwind cover) and hovers between industrial skronk and space rock. Theremin and a throbbing bottom end underlay dry guitars and Thomas’s unique, plaintive vocal. A melange of guitars - presumably John Hunter and Trent Marden or both - and synth raises the tension in the breakdown before Sam Worrad’s hypnotic bass resumes its ominous march.
The live “Man In The Dark” starts with the wheeze of Thomas's accordion wheeze and plays itself out with restraint for its five-minute duration. Delicate guitars chime to a subtle bass-line while Thomas expounds on (I think) a lapsed relationship, half-talking, half-crooning. Measured and magnificent. it was left off the live album that you can find here. The link below will lead you to the single. Odds are it won't last long.
There’s more than a touch of Birdman about this Australian-Japanese collaboration recorded in Tokyo - and that shouldn’t be a shock. Deniz Tek’s involved as a player, co-writer and arranger. His guitar’s all over the both tracks of this CD single, with the rest of the backing provided by Japanese players.
“Gin No Suzu” - apparently it’s Japanese for a meeting place at Tokyo’s main railway station - is a neat rocker, one of those driving songs built on a tightly-wound riff and Penny Ikinger’s assured vocal. It’s more straight-up than Penny’s noir rock and psych pop outings and would sound great as enlightened radio fare.
“Ride On Cowboy” is a touch darker with a chunky bass-line, double-tracked vocal and compact guitar solo. If this is indicative of the album that’s currently being shopped, bring it on.
"Yesterday’s Town" is huge. You think you know where she’s going, but she doesn’t take you there. The lyrics are like a stripped-back novella. Suzie really nails the slow/uptempo dynamic with her romantic guitar and sweet and smoky (by turns) voice.
Suzie’s been going about her career the right way (photos, film clips bios and downloads here.). She's moved from Melbourne to London and is building a profile. Her production on "Yesterday’s Town" is superb, and the song itself begs for mainstream airplay, and I can only assume the majors are scampering with intent toward her right now.