Citadel - The I-94 Bar

"Yummy" re-issue in home stretch

punchbowlThe exhaustive program of bonus-packed re-issues by Australia’s favourite pop-punk shit-stirrers the Hard-Ons continues unabated with 1990’s “Yummy” getting the treatment.

A Stand Alone: Mick Medew

Pig City author ANDREW STAFFORD speaks to former Screaming Tribesman and I-94 Bar Records signing MICK MEDEW about all the old, all the new, and "All Your Love". Cartoon by Rick Chesshire.

The big three are money, drugs and women – the three things that invariably fuck male bands up. For the Screaming Tribesmen, it was women, or a woman, though the whole thing was probably the bass player’s fault, really. It’s the best story of its type I’ve ever heard.

Birdman re-issues on CD announced

radio birdman paddoMiss out on the Radio Birdman box set? After unveiling vinyl versions of the re-issues, Citadel has now announced individual double-CD packs, including one for the killer and highly sought-after “Live at Paddington Town Hall” album.

Each package is loaded with the extras that came in the box set. Go to Citadel Mail Order and get clicking in time for Xmas. 

Box Set – Radio Birdman (Citadel Records)

birdman-box-set-coverReviewing the new Radio Birdman box set is an absolute poisoned chalice. You know I’m going to give it five bottles, right? It contains most of the great recordings by the greatest band to have sprung from these shores. Bar none.

I include everyone in that statement from the Easybeats through AC/DC and onto whatever crap that is currently passing itself off as popular music. Forget your Hoodoo Gurus and your Sunnyboys, your Birthday Party and your assorted Johnny Come Latelys. This band was Ground Zero and Year Zero. Accept no substitutes.

"Radio Birdman. Box Set. Seven CDs. One DVD. One hundred Aussie bucks. Five Bottles. Yay. It’s great."

And that has been the extent of the reviews of this thing. Nobody has wanted to prod it with a stick and turn it on its side. And with several good reasons. Radio Birdman have always put the fanatic into fans. No more surly beast has ever walked the earth than a Radio Birdman fan.

Citadel Years - Deniz Tek (Citadel)

deniz tek citadel years new

Even if Radio Birdman were the sum of its parts, the solo output of its members surely deserves more than the cursory consideration many have been prepared to give. Case in point is this album. Deniz Tek has built a formidable body-of-work outside the framework of 

Detroit - Deniz Tek (Citadel/Career)

deniz tek detroit coverNeil told us that rust never sleeps. On his fourth solo band studio album, Deniz Tek acknowledges as much, examining the oxidation that’s all around him in clinical detail. Relationships and places go under the microscope and are dissected - like a scalpel through a heart - with keen precision.

Dickcheese - Hard-Ons (Citadel)

dickcheeseFessin' up first: I didn't much like "Dickcheese" when it originally came out in 1988. You didn't need liner notes to hear the overt heavy metal influences. The album swung from catchy punk-pop with buried melodies to bottom-heavy stoner riffing. There was no lack of energy but the mix sounded muddy and bore little resemblance to the sound of the Hard-Ons live. Many years down the track and all that stylistic bouncing around makes much more sense.

DM3 jangling around Australia

jangle webLegendary guitar-pop trio DM3 are set to tour Australia in April following a renewed interest in the band on iTunes and on vinyl.

DM3’s “Monsters of Jangle” Tour will be a rare chance for fans of the WA-based, internationally revered power-pop outfit too see them perform live in limited venues around Perth, Melbourne and Sydney ahead of a trip to Japan.

“Monsters of Jangle” will showcase DM3’s ‘Best of’ vinyl release “One Time Two Times Three Times More”, a collection of explosive highlights from their five albums released on the respected Sydney based independent label Citadel Records from 1993-2002.

Formed in 1992 by The Stems’ founder songwriter Dom Mariani, the original line-up of DM3 includes Summer Suns’ drummer Pascal Barlolone and Someloves’ bassist Toni Italiano.  Together they are revered worldwide for an explosive sound that fuses melodic pop hooks, cool vocals and high energy rock’n’roll guitar.

DM3’s first two albums “One Time Two Times Three Times Red Light” (1993) and “Road to Rome” (1996) were produced by the legendary Mitch Easter (REM, Pavement, Velvet Crush) and lauded by critics and fans alike as two of the world’s best in power pop genre.

Album number-three “Rippled Soul” (1998) put Mariani’s unrivalled skill as a songwriter front and centre and won legions more fans at home and in Europe and the USA.

Hey Rock 'n' Roller - The DomNicks (Citadel)

domnickscoverGood things and small packages: Only seven tracks long, this debut from the Perth band led by Dom Mariani (DM3, ex-Stems and ex-Some Loves) and Nick Sheppard (a "Cut The Crap" Clash member) is a killer-no-filler collection of soulful rock and roll.

It’s The On and Ons Calling - The On and Ons (Citadel)

on and ons callingA couple of listens in and it’s evident why Paul Collins recruited the core of this band to back him on his Australian tours. The On and Ons play classic guitar pop in the mould of The Plimsouls, the Flamin’ Groovies in their Beatles-besotted era and Collins’ own The Beat.

This is a band that walks down the pop side of the street. If lineage counts, The On and Ons start with a considerable advantage over many others. The members’ rap sheets include the early Hoodoo Gurus, the latter-day Screaming Tribesmen, Kings of the Sun, The Barbarellas and The Stems. To paraphrase Lou: Their powerpop day beats your year.

Live - DM3 (Citadel)

dm3 liveIt was in the days when we'd seemingly lost The Stems to posterity, the studio flash that was the Someloves had flared and expired and the DomNicks were a still yet-to-be realised glimmer in some ex-latter day Clash member's eyes. But we still had DM3.

Mean Old Twister - Deniz Tek (Career/Citadel)

mean old twisterIt’s hard to imagine Deniz Tek fans being disappointed by his latest release. Radio Birdman fans, maybe not so much.

While Deniz’s last album, “Detroit”, was a brooding, introspective and dark reflection on urban and personal relationship decay, “Mean Old Twister” paints with a broader aural palette. Sax, harmonica and keys are woven into the sound at strategic points, to enhance Tek’s trademark guitar and guitar player’s vocal.

No Dangerous Gods in Tunnel - Peter Black (Citadel)

dangerous godsHis nearest and dearest might know him as Peter but you'll most likely recognise him as Blackie from the Hard-Ons. Not that this, his second solo album, bears much relation to that esteemed band's fast and furious output. "No Dangerous Gods…" is off-the-wall, whip-smart and often lush acoustic rock that suggests Syd Barrett more than Sid Vicious.

No Room At The Inn - Leadfinger (Citadel)

no-roomThe odds were stacked against Leadfinger delivering two killer albums in a row but only a fool would have laid down their readies against him. Here's 11 songs of blues-rock swagger with classic influences, all processed through Stew Cunningham's personal musical blender.

Open Your Eyes to Smoke - Nunchukka Superfly (Citadel Records)

open-your-earsIt’s their fifth studio album and it’s tempting to say the lines have become blurred between Nunchukka Superfly and the Hard-Ons, from which two of its three members are drawn. That’d be convenient but also wrong.

Peel Me Like A Egg – Hard-Ons (Citadel Records)

peel meIt’s hard to work out when Hard-Ons ceased being just another band and evolved into an unstoppable force of nature. Thirty-four years after publicly emerging into the dim lights of an inner Sydney pub stage, this indefatigable trio keep punching out albums when most of their contemporaries have long put their own cues in the rack.

Ask any record tragic. There’s a tried and tested rule for albums. Most long-lasting bands deliver one or two gems at their high point and the rest are shit or on a plateau. “Peel Me Like A Egg” easily stacks up against most of the Hard-Ons’ 10 previous studio efforts. It’s not so much because the band has stayed true its composite punk, metal, speedcore and pop roots (it’s always good to know what you’re going to get) as much as they’ve managed to make each release sound fresh.

Psychotic Turnbuckles return from Pismo Beach

LANSDOWNE-EYE2Life’s tough at the top and Pismo Beach’s finest exponents of rock and roll wrestling, the Psychotic Turnbuckles, can’t just lie around on Southern Californian beaches sipping champagne all year.

They’re escaping the Northern Hemisphere summer and heading back to Sydney in June for a brief taste of how the other half lives.

Shine & From 3 EPs - The Rosemary Beads (self released)

shine rosemary breadsThe Rosemary Beads are a band that sound completely original yet wear their influences as a badge of honour. 

Emerging out of the West Australian indie rock music scene during the ‘90s, they released three exceptionally good EPs that ranked as some of the best pop from that side of the country. It was music that was highly ignored and startlingly brilliant

“From 3 EPs” is a compilation of their output ("Breath", "Dog" and "I'll Come When I'm Good And Ready" - two of them on Citadel) from the band’s original run that ended in from 3 eps1995. “Shine” is their first full album and ther comeback recording (they disbanded after the death of their drummer, Cam Munachen) and arrives after 20 years of silence.

“The Diving Song” opens “Shine” with a huge splash of classic alternative rock. It is melodic and there was a time this would have been on high rotation all around the country with a good chance of crossing over to the mainstream. Of course that was back when there was a glimmer of hope for new and exciting bands to be given airplay.

Shy Impostors – Shy Impostors (Citadel)

shy impostors shy impostorsIt came out with bugger-all fanfare five months ago, to coincide with the band’s one-off Sydney reformation on a Sunnyboys undercard, so it’s high time this one was passed around the I-94 Bar for a critique. 

You might know the back story but too bad: Shy Impostors were fronted by uber talented vocalist Penny Ward and contained future Sunnyboys Peter Oxley and Richard Burgman, plus Michael Charles, who would go on to the Lipstick Killers and Screaming Tribesmen. Not much shyness about that lot and no impostors among them.

Take Me Away b/w Down (To The Sea) - Joeys Coop (Citadel)

take me awayWhat would there be not to like? Double-jangle melodic pop with a hooky melody on one A side and a soaring piece of extended majesty with a searing guitar solo on the second.

It’s what used to be called a Super Band. Which is to say the members have graced a lot of “name” acts from Sydney’s underground past. That might be important to anyone with a modicum of history but Joeys Coop also stand on their own feet. The song-writing is strong and the playing equally so.

“Take Me Away” is the pop song and it’s a beauty. The feel from Andy Newman and drummer Lloyd Gyi is rock-solid but it’s the simple interlocking of Brett Myers (Died Pretty) and Matt Galvin (Loose Pills, Eva Trout, Perry Keyes, Happy Hate Me Nots, Barbarellas) on guitars that builds the song,. Ex-Decline of the Reptiles singer Mark Roxburgh’s warm vocal elevates this to top-shelf pop.