A Call to You b/w Won't Say it to My Face - The Art Gray Noizz Quintet (Robellion)
The last time I saw Stuart Gray was in Adelaide in 1990, at a grotty pub on Brighton Road which is now another craft-beer haven for the smug and pointless, and Bloodloss were playing what would be their last Adelaide gig, and the final with that line-up. They'd been hanging out with Stuart, and he'd been persuading Renestair EJ and Martin Bland to join his band Lubricated Goat.
It was quite an evening, somewhat bereft of punters, and The Goat promised, at the very least, overseas adventures. And, possibly, more punters. Frankly, it was a better opportunity for them than slugging out the gigs and LPs of great music to an uncaring town, so Ren and Martin left ...
I'd seen Stu in several bands by that stage; The Bad Poets and The Brats, notably. Each time Stu joined an existing band, he'd lifted them mightily. Eventually, he left for Melbourne and Sydney, as all ambitious Adelaide artists did. I expect you know the rest; he was with Tex Perkins' outfit Salamander Jim and there was a stint with the Beasts of Bourbon.
Ryan Skeletonboy (the bass player) mailed me this 7" in an improbably large, mostly-empty box, along with a postcard from New York: on the reverse is a night triptych of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and, possibly added on, the logo of The Art Gray Noizz Quintet.
But it's appropriate, really. The Art Gray Noizz Quintet are probably the last nasty rock'n'roll band in New York. See, Stu Spasm isn't the only culprit here. Skeletonboy is a NY underground name (one wonders if he owns his own bass yet) who used to play for WOMAN. “Bloody” Rich Hutchins (of Live Skull, do I need to explain further?) and Andrea Sicco of Twin Guns (nope, sorry, that's where the great divide between countries occur, so no idea there) also play on this.
And the fifth member? Depends on the night. Always someone different. Always a different instrument. On the single, it's Johnny Scuotto on synth (I gather he's best known for singing and acting, so I assume he's the underground equivalent of Johnny Depp, but I expect somewhat more talented).
Sooooo .... is it any good? Let's find out, shall we girls and boys?
“A Call to You” is whip-smart, luridly rough rock'n'roll tinged with the despair only sticky carpet on your face can provide. Slam-friendly, drunk and methed-out friendly, “A Call to You” is as stupid and straightforward as anything you've ever loved about this thing called rock'n'roll.
“Won't Say it to My Face” is a wry, droll grungy sixties number ... and it's a burning growl. I love the way the band sound so big and so locked-in... Martin Bisi produced with Stuart Gray.
Play loud and reintroduce yourself to tinnitus.
Collectors Alert: 100 copies are on silver vinyl, another 200 are on black vinyl. Get the creature here.