Playing With Fire - The Prehistorics (Kill City)
The Prehistorics are from Sydney, Australia - a much different one to the musical ghost-town of today. They’re firmly ensconced in the Sydney of 1985 when there was a band in a pub on every second street corner, blasting out high-energy rock and roll. This is their third album and it’s on a French label.
The Prehistorics take some obvious cues - this record includes a storming cover of Radio Birdman's “What Gives?” - but also aim for a healthy dose of pop hooks. They’re not so much as Alone In The End Zone as mining similar turf to The Huxton Creepers, or maybe The Meanies without the quirky spikiness.
“Gotta Get My Head Straight” is a business-like opener. No ifs, no buts, some melodic vocalising, care of guitarist Brendan Sequeira. The guitars are low in the mix and the time changes trip up the song. The title track’s much better - slamming guitars colliding with Visitors style backing vocals that works really well.
“Showstopper” flicks the switch to Black Crowes-style raunch while “Fall Into A Dream” is urgent rock with a psychedelic undertone that could have come from an Amboy Dukes LP. The simple, taught riffing on “Deadly Surprise” recalls The Angels. The closing “Lion On The Loose” shows the guitars of Simon Figluizzi and Sequeira to best effect with sharp, tumbling licks nice and prominent.
Michael Carpenter’s clear-headed production is again a feature and he contributes keyboards on a handful of tracks. It's personal preference but bit more bluster and grime in the guitars wouldn't have hurt. Props to Jonathan Sequeira whose fluid bass-lines stand out. Carpenter really knows how to mic bass and drums.
Not surprisingly in these days of diminishing returns, The Prehistorics don’t play their home town much. They’re more popular in France and they’re planning a second European tour. If it was Sydney circa 1985, The Prehistorics would be in the middle of a crowded pack, rubbing shoulders with a bunch of bands who constitute “a good night out”.