Speaks Evil – Giuda (Conquest of Noise)
Italy’s best kept secret since the Bellini cocktail with Peroni chaser has an Australian record label. In an age of Fake News, this is significant Good News. It means there’s one fewer reason (like overseas postage) for Aussies not to pay attention.
So let's catch up with the rest of the world: Giuda play irresistible songs that marry all the best parts of glam rock to punk. That’s the simple story. Handclaps mixed with hooks… nasty, gravel rash chords…rifferama that’s sharper than a Rome pickpocket’s reflexes.
The band’s third album, “Speaks Evil”, will strike a chord with Aussies because it’s only one step removed from our heritage of Oz Pub Rock. Smart move, Conquest of Noise Records. It sound slike itn was conceived in a pub with sticky carpets and overflowing with noisy drunks. Think: La Femme, the Melbourne would-be punks who played glam without the glitter, and you’ll be close to the mark.
The back story is that Giuda have been around since 2007 and have been accumulating rave reviews ever since. That’s no mean feat in Europe, where the taste arbiters and guardians of high-brow culture make it hard for a rock and roll band to make a living, let alone be noticed.
“Bovver Rock” is what critics called Giuda on the strength of their first album “Racey Roller”. A second album (“Let’s Do It Again”) and heavy touring in Europe and the USA kept their stocks climbing.
Favourable comparisons have been drawn with Slade, The Glitter Band, The Sweet and Eddie and the Hot Rods. (I said The Glitter Band, not Garry - fuck that rock spider.) Now, I can’t say any of the above have ever been abiding obsessions, but something clicks for me in Giuda’s music. As well as La Femme, they sometimes recall Brisbane band Shandy, and their songs wouldn’t be out of place on Festival’s “When Sharpies Ruled” compilation.
There are 10 tracks on “Speaks Evil” and only one (“Bonehead Waltz”) is a throwaway. "Roll The Balls" truly rocks, "Mama Got The Blues" is a pounder and "Bad Days Are Back" is a hard-edged pop gem. Some of you will think Giuda are all too brazen in what they’ve stolen from glam. So what? What’s old in rock and roll is invariably new again.
Actually, the thing that clicks with Giuda isn’t so intangible: It’s the sheer obviousness of what they’re doing. It’s hooky, tough rock and roll, played well. You’ve heard lots of it before and it won’t demand a lot of mental application. Giuda are fun. They’re Turbonegro without the gay jokes.
Let's pray they don't end up doing TV commecials for a supermarket chain.