Don’t Give It Up Now b/w How Do You Know? - Lyres (Dirty Water)

dont give it up nowThese were the first recordings released by Lyres. What else do you need to know? It’s on UK label Dirty Water and listening to it is as close to the state of Garage Godhead that any of us mere mortals will reach.

Boston’s Lyres inarguably were, and probably still are, the pick of the turn-of-the-'70s US bands that went on to wear the “garage” tag. Not that you should use that term in front of Jeff Conolly (aka Monoman), the band’s leader on organ and vocals. And never append “The” to the band’s name. Just don’t.

Rush b/w Raw Ramp (Easy Action)

raw rampBirmingham’s Black Bombers follow their rough ’n’ tumble, rambunctious eponymous debut album and "Crazy" 45 with a Record Store Day single and it’s a totally righteous effort. 

A slinky bass-line and sultry vocal (that’s Rachel Mayfield in the duet, ex-delicious monster) give “Rush” a downright sexy feel.“You take my mind over the top/You make my senses stand up,” intones guitarist Alan Byron before the song’s consumed by a monstrous guitar break and a wave of horns. Sonically speaking, it’s simply spectacular.

Monsters b/w Before You Go - DM3 (Spider Music)

monsters 45It’s been a long time between drinks but the DM3 cocktail remains as sweet as ever, without losing any of its bite. This limited edition, double A-sided 45 shows off the Fremantle trio’s trademark tight harmonies and guitar-fuelled melodies, just right.

Peanut Butter Blues - Dr Boogie (self released)


"There is nothing to win by this kind of an outcry..." -Richard Hell

"Everything is really hard, if you ain't got that credit card." -Iggy Pop

peanut butter bluesOld grape popsicles don't expire, they just get freezer burnt.

Back in my bespangled youth, there was no Internet and no downloadable sound files you could carry around in your hand-held Orwell gadget. We had, like, Walkman's and a couple of cassettes, if we were lucky, you know? If we got real enterprising, we'd spring for all those big batteries to power up our boom boxes, with all the band stickers on it, but it costs a lot to keep those machines blaring, especially if you hung out with a ragamuffin lot of heavy metal kids, Stooges heads, and ersatz break-dancers.

Rock 'n' roll sounds still mostly came on collectible black platters with colorful picture sleeves, but you had to send cash away for it in the mail, relying on the honor of scuzzy rascals, and every so often, you might get chumped. 'Had to figure, somebody must be awful hard up, to rip off their own fans. There was no Pay-Pal, you just paid your pals.

Surrender b/w Down Around The Corner - The Lonelyhearts (Buttercup Records)

surrenderThe Lonelyhearts popped out of Sydney’s western suburbs in 1979 and burned, briefly and brightly, before slipping away. Their their first 45, “Last Kiss” b/w “Ambition” is as one of the great lost Oz power-pop gems of its time.

They had two lives, resurfacing towards the end of the decade, but The Lonelyhearts’ recorded legacy (three full singles) was scant for a band of their quality. And that’s why Melbourne’s canny boutique label, Buttercup Records, is seeking to make amends.

Ever So Lovely b/w Someone Special - The Strawberry Teardrop

ever so lovelyMake sure you read until the end.  Let’s talk vinyl first:

The A side of this is where the voice (and guitar, for the most part) of X goes back to the ‘60s to show off his sentimental side. Steve Lucas pulled together a capable combo in Levi Franco (drums), Ryan MaCay (bass) and Herbie Mayhem (piano) to play his songs a couple of years ago, so strap yourself in.

“Ever So Lovely” is an ode to Mrs Lucas (hi Joey!), set to raunchy guitars and set off by Steve’s warm but chipped-at-the-edges vocal. Shades of A.R.M., his fabulous Oz Rock project of 20 years ago, here but not as excessive and fixed in the now.