Your Gray matter knows it makes sense

sensible gray cells

Long term denizens of this scurvy establishment will need no introduction to the names Captain Sensible (nee Ray Burns) and Paul Gray.  If there was such a thing as punk rock royalty (and I’m against it on general principle), these guys would at least be Grand Dukes or Princes or some such.   

For those of you who are slumming it, Captain Sensible is the more fluorescent face of The Damned.  His beret and toilet mat jumper has besmirched the covers of a good many picture covers of hit singles, including a surprise run as a solo star. 

Paul Gray came to the world’s attention with fellow graduates of the class of ’76 Eddie and the HotRods.  Paul has also had three runs as bass player in the Damned and the kind of resume that would have you blushing with jealousy. He played on Johnny Thunders’ “So Alone” so don’t you go comparing resumes.  He’s Paul Gray and you’re not. 

Chesshire's new Dive Bombs clip is Right On

One of our favourite Aussie rock and roll cartoonists, Rick Chesshire, is a man of many talents - as this filmclip for "Right On" by Melbourne three-piece The Dive Bombs shows. The Dive Bombs are a new-ish band whose members have a solid pedigree and their releases so far have all been digital and are on Bandcamp. Check them out on Facebook and hit up Rick here for your cartooning, artwork and filmclip needs. 

Richard Duguay's sonic magnificence evokes rock and roll's real spirit

badjujuBad Juju – Richard Duguay (self released)

"My empire lay in ruins..."

"You don't know if you're lost or found.."

Oh, my stars and garters! Richard Duguay is amazing! I don't get around much, anymore, ya know, I'd seen some pictures of the dude online here and there where he looked like a distant relative of Andy McCoy and Willie Deville, but I'd never heard his music until very recently and I'm a diehard fan, already.

An ex-member of Canadian band Personality Crisis and now based in Los Angeles, Duguay makes exactly the kinda music my friends and I loved growing up, when I worked at a hick record store in the middle of a midwestern cornfield and our vintage turntables and ghetto blasters were always spinnin' Dogs D'Amour, the NY Dolls, Hanoi Rocks, Bowie, Iggy, Cooper, ancient Aerosmith, all that kinda stuff.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Donat Tahiraj

donat 2020DONAT TAHIRAJ
Owner of Phase 4 Records and Cassettes store and the LCMR Records label
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 

There’s no need to explain what a slightly weird year 2020 was. Sadly and for my back pocket’s sake, Phase 4 Records had to close for most of Autumn which meant I wasn’t as often held captive by some stinky guy banging on about the greatness of some rockist act they read about in "The Wire" at the top of their voice scaring our innocent customers away while I desperately needed to go to the toilet.

Our record label LCMR managed to squeeze out only three 7” EPs for the year – one by a hopelessly obscure Toowoomba punk group, Brian, and two by Xiro, the Brisbane band of the early post-punk era who should’ve gone on to have a great international career but decided not to for the sake of art; or something.

It was a great pleasure putting them all together for those who were all too familiar and the ones who were brave enough to try some music that was completely unknown to them.

These Glycereens shine brightest on their D4 cover

neon city lightsNeon City Lights b/w Get Loose – The Glycereens (Evil Tone)

‘Tis a taster for the forthcoming album from this well-credentialled Brisbane unit with past members of Boondall Boys, Mad Macka and Happy Times. You don’t expect bands to lead with their best track so the assumption is that it's is a flag for what’s to come with the top shelf stuff held in reserve. “Neon City Lights” isn’t bad but drags a tad and doesn’t really go anywhere, and falls short of the poppier songs that dotted the first album, “Hangin’ On”.

There’s major love, however, for the B side “Get Loose”, a cover of a rune from the late New Zealand band The D4, where The Glycereens' brand of fuzzed-out, bubblegum punk really shines. Vocalist Heli Puhakka brings an appealing vocal blend of snot and cool to the party and her and Sol M Robinson’s guitars create a block of buzzing fuzz that’s fit to singe ears. The engine room sounds brutal on this, too. There are still copies on black vinyl here. 

martiniratingmartiniratingmartinirating

Take me to the river

sleight of hand Sleight of Hand – River of Snakes (self released)

The fuzz pedal is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century - and Melbourne’s River of Snakes sound like they have shares in it. Let’s hope that canny investment buys the three members a mansion each in the exotic locations of their choice.

The band has been around for a decade. The commercial music world may have moved in a wholly different direction since then, but their sound has stayed firmly rooted in the share-house, college radio universe of the ‘90s…a time when guitars were king and punk - or whatever you wanted to call it - briefly looked like it might drive a stake through the heart of blandness. Of course, that ridiculous but romantic notion was not to be…   

Loki's compelling journey into atmospherics

the trap velatineThe Trap - Velatine (Spooky Records)
Store Atmospherics - Velatine (Spooky Records)

Well, pop tarts, you're all wondering what the fuck to do during lockdown (apart from fucking, fighting, boozing and drugging), so here I am to sprinkle sparkles of hope and joy...

This is my first and probably last music review for 2021. So this will be short, but sweet. 

As I may have reflected, we live in a golden age of music, where the vast majority of what is popular is unbelievably smug and gittish.

Unlike, to take one label by way of example, Spooky Records (sometime home of such mainstays as The Beasts of Bourbon, 6 Ft Hick, Sun God Replica, Shifting Sands, The Braves, Spencer P. Jones, Brian Henry Hooper, Lost Talk, Harry Howard and the NDE, and a host more), whose releases are exciting, curious, intriguing and often downright addictive.

The Number of the Surf Beat

swamped quick sixesSwamped – The Quick Sixes (Outtaspace)

There’s an awkward charm to the sound of The Quick Sixes that’s hard to resist. Equal parts twang, space retro blues and garage shimmy, this Geelong quartet is a cross between Brisbane’s late, lamented Hewkawis, The Modern Lovers and Shutdown66 (but with better manners.)

The Gee-troit Sound is long gone but if you think of The Quick Sixes as Barwon Heads Beat you can’t go wrong. It's surf music for the loveless and landlocked. It'll occasionally make you cry into your beer. It's sometime a little loose around the edges, but it's a load of fun. Variety is a by-word, too.

2020 Barfly Top Ten: General Labor

general labor 2020GENERAL LABOR
Gonzo journalist and onetime rock star
Somewhere in the USA

10.) Binge watching old bands I love on YouTube, live concerts, etc.
Particularly Cheap Trick, Redd Kross, the Divinyls, Rose Tattoo, Beasts Of Bourbon, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Smack, Tex & The Horseheads, Little Kings, Viletones, Chris Isaak, 39 Steps, Bounty Hunters, Jacobites etc. And The Fleshtones - greatest live band I ever saw have lots of great stuff to watch on YouTube, Kings of Rock ‘n’ Roll!

9.) Carry It Forward
The most revolutionary, serve the people, activist organization I've ever seen in real life provides coats, hats, gloves, sleeping bags, tents, rides, hotel rooms, wheelchairs, etc to the real people in the community that the government does not care about. Millions of people in the USA USA are becoming homeless and evicted while the get rich politicians drink champagne with their warpig donors. Almost like they wanna kill the poor. BE LIKE CARRY IT FORWARD, wherever you are!

8.) Slade is the right answer to almost any question!

7.) Remembering how Real Friends are precious
Especially in these dark clampdown death plague winters when so many groovy people like Dave Kusworth, Eddie Van Halen, Mike Mindless, Mike Doman, Clay Anthony have passed on.

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