swashbuckling hobo - The I-94 Bar

City Lights b/w The Drunken Galah (Swashbuckling Hobo)

city lights melchoirUK-born, American-based Dan Melchoir is a longtime Holly Golightly and Billy Childish collaborator and his old band, The Broke Revue, had a string of albums out on Sympathy for The Record Industry and In The Red. 

He’s not as prolific as Childish but he’s not far off. How he got to record in Queensland with two members of Australia’s Ooga Boogas (Richard Stanley and Perl Bystrom) is unclear. I'm willing to bet it came of paths crossing at one of those underground gatherings in the US like Gonerfest.

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”. 

Infestation - The Stinkbugs (Swashbuckling Hobo)

infestationStuck firmly in a time warp of their own making, Brisbane’s The Stinkbugs make music that bears no relation to anything you’ll hear on mainstream radio or oh-so-limp reality TV shows. Fuzzy ’n’ frothy, psychedelic garage rock is their stock in trade. 

With a lineage that includes membership of Shutdown66 and the Hekawis, The Stinkbugs mix their ’60s acid punk with their ‘70s hard rifferama to come up with their own distinctive, odd sound. This is their second album (with a couple of fine singles in-between) and veers between trashy lo-fi ragers and cloudy, acid-washed trips. 

Magical Thinking - The Dangermen (Swashbuckling Hobo)

magical thinkingBeing a punk rock institution in Brisbane and six bucks might buy you a banana thickshake in Brunswick Street Mall. Reality is that you’re as likely to lock ears with the harsh blare of techno as dirty rock ’n’ roll in today’s Fortitude Valley. 

That’s why you have to admire the underground rock and roll scene in the capital of Australia’s sub-tropical north, for its quality as much as its resilience.

Which nicely segues to The Dangermen, whose 17-year existence must qualify them for rock and roll’s version of seniors cards. Which, along with their Brisbane Institution status, should at least get them that thickshake at a discount.

Why? - Ich Ben Ein Esel (Pitshark/Swashbuckling Hobo)

ich bin ein esel foldoutNearly six years after it came out on vinyl, French label Pitshark has re-issued this unpolished gem from deepest, darkest Brisbane on CD in a fold-out seven-inch single pack.

Back then we opined that "Why?" was "equal parts wrecking ball guitar, sledgehammer bass and drums and can't-give-a-fuck punk slop" and there's no reason to resile from that.

We also said that "Ich Bin Ein Esel ("I Am An Ass") will sit you on your arse quicker than a six-pack of Coopers Pale Ale drunk through a straw on a stinking hot day", so if the rest of this lazy review reads like you've heard it all before, then you have...