• knighty metroRoss Knight.  

    + ZEKE 

    Metro Theatre, Sydney
    Saturday, January 13 2024

    Nice Day To Go To The Pub? Aren’t they all during an Australian summer? Tonight in Sydney it’s muggier than a brickie’s armpit and there’s no reason to break convention, but, fuck me, The Sir John Young Hotel on Sydney’s George Street sure has changed. 

    It’s been re-named “The Resch” (gee, wonder where they dug up that one), the front bar has been opened up and there’s not a TV set in sight. All that polished concrete makes for a brutalist existence. Of course, it lacks live music, with a DJ setting up while we sip our beers, and the usual crowd of pre-Metro gig people absent. The schooners have not unexpectedly crept up close to the $10 mark. That’s life in Sydney!

  •  devil in berlinDevil in Berlin – The Cutthroat Brothers and Mike Watt (Hound Gawd Records)

    “Devil in Berlin” is what you get when you pair two punk rock barbers with a Stooge. Say again?

    The Cutthroat Brothers are the US garage punk duo of  Jason Cutthroat(guitar/vocals) and drummer Donny Paycheck (Zeke). Their day jobs really are cutting hair and trimming beards. They've roped in legendary bassman par excellence Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE, The Stooges).

    Duos really are the new black in underground rock and roll and their status as configuration du jour seems sure to escalate as COVID subsides and people realise it’s an economical way to gig and stretches the rider further.. 

    And barbers? Dunno about your part of the world, barber shops were never a big thing in Australia. On the other hand, shave shops operated by bearded hipsters are thicker on the ground in our inner-suburban shopping strips than bomb craters in downtown Beirut, so hopefully the blood that the band has wron on previous album covers has come from one of their number.

  • ride hard ride free cvrRide Hard Ride Free b/w Smokestack Lightning - Zeke (Hound Gawd Records)

    Seattle speed metal merchants Zeke cop a perennial barberqueing from critics who perceive their Motorhead-meets-Black Flag to be one-dimensional thrash. That might be partially correct - the 2000 cover of “Rhiannon” was certainly an attempt to crack the mould - but what’s wrong with sticking to your guns? It never hurt Lemmy.

    This vinyl-only single (as in it won’t be on any streaming service anywhere, soon) vindicates that single-minded approach. The production is more metal orientated than the band’s high-water mark album, “Dirty Sanchez”, but that won’t deter any more than a handful of followers.  

    With original members Blind Marky Felchtone (vocals and guitar) and Dohnny Paycheck (drums) “Ride Hard Ride Free” is as uncompromising as ever, with a furious whirlwind rhythm the foundation for a tidal wave of fast guitars. Feltchtone’s serrated knife vocal might be even more toxic than two decades ago. 

    Be forewarned: The B side “Smokestack Lightning” is not the Yardbirds-appropriated blues smoker from “Five Live” but a similarly pitched blistering aural assault. 


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