Tumbling Heights – The Come 'n Go (Voodoo Rhythm)

tumbling heightsWelcome to the crazy world of acid trash/garage punk rock n roll  that’s populated by the wonderful Come ‘n Go.

They’re busting guitar strings and spitting out no bullshit licks, throwing a bit of Swiss chic punk around like there is no tomorrow. In short, this album is very good.

It’s on the Voodoo Rhythm label and production is handled by Markus Staehli (Roy and the Devils.) “Tumbling Heights” is the fourth offering from The Come ‘n Go, who formed in Biel/Bienne in Switzerland in 2001. These punks have had some line-up changes over the years, but seem to have settled on Marina (drums and vocals), Philippe (guitars and drums), Franz (guitar), Rob (bass), Alain (vocals, harmonica and keys) and Markus (noise.) Benu guests on guitar on “What It Is”.

Know Your Product: The art of Australia's underground 45s

dave faulkner 45

Hoodoo Guru Dave Faulkner adds his autograph to a copy of "Product 45" at the Sydney Spencer P Jones Benefit.                       Emmy Etie photo

It was a few weeks ago that a parcel was waiting for me on my veranda. This is not unusual as I often order my vinyl from overseas. I even get the odd review copy of a record. This package was much larger and there was much more weighty. It was the stunningly beautiful book Product 45 Australian Punk/Post-Punk Single Record Covers”.

I sat down and carefully unwrapped the packaging, opening the first few pages, and my first impression was the high-weighted GSM quality silky paper.  This was not the standard book that you would pick up at Dymocks. It had the sense of a limited edition, extremely high-standard production by people who had taken so much care and pride with their talent invested in the design.

JU-87 - The Stukas (self released)

stukas albumNo ballads were written in the making of this album.

If you’ve heard or seen The Stukas, you knew that already. The Stukas are Sydney’s most enduring punk act, luxuriating in the glow of being known as their hometown’s “most hated band”. They play old school, take-no-fucking-prisoners punk rock.

But you probably knew that already, too.

You'll be Damned if you miss this

damned 2017English psychedelic punk legends The Damned are returning to Australia and New Zealand in March 2017 for their 40th anniversary tour.

Since their formation in 1976 and playing their first gig as supports to the Sex Pistols, The Damned have carved their own path.

They released UK punk’s first LP, followed by 10 studio albums, 15 live records and countless more 45s.

Known for songs like “Neat Neat Neat”, “Love Song”, Smash It Up” and “Eloise”, they’re ranked one of the most influential punk groups.

After a series of line-up changes and a temporary break-up, the band have continued to release masterful music, with their latest offering “So, Who’’s Paranoid?” their first album in seven years.

The tour will be lead by original members Captain Sensible on guitar and the remarkable David Vanian on vocals, as well as long time members Monty Oxy Moron, Pinch and Stu West.

Dates and ticketing dertails after the break.

March of the Jack Boots - Monkeypig (Subversive Song Records)

march of the jack bootsMonkeypig covers a lot of ground in the space of its 10 punk-pop songs. An entirely self-sufficient and self-produced band now based in Newcastle, north of Sydney, it’s the vehicle for front-of-house operator and band-member-around-town, Christian Ryan.

“March of the Jack Boots” was recorded in a home studio in the bushy Sydney suburb of Engadine. No offence to Engadine, but it’s an unlikely well-spring of musical creativity. Ryan recorded, mixed, mastered, sang lead vocals and played almost all the instruments. He wrote every song except one (a co-write). The label is his own. Considering the record’s humble origins, he must have a good ear because the album sounds great.

M - The Monsters (Voodoo Rhythm)

m monstersThey’ve spent years trying to smell like rotting prawns in a hot European sun and on their newest album, the succinctly titled “M”, Swiss garage-trash combo The Monsters can finally lay claim to being tighter than a fish’s arse.

“M” celebrates 30 years of fuzz mania with a dozen songs of dubious intent that are delivered with grim precision. Some of this stuff makes a Helmet record sound sloppy, You couldn’t insert a cigarette paper between the furious boogie riffing of “Dig My Hair” or the dramatic “I Don’t Want You Anymore” if you tried (although why you’d want to do that is beyond me.) At the same time, The Monsters manage to sound unpolished.

Proto-punk is so yesterday: Garry Gray on St Kilda, Sacred Cowboys and making Sydney sit up and listen

sacred cowboys st kildaSacred Cowboys on St Kilda Beach with the SS Minow.

“Sydney audiences can expect to hear much of the ‘Diamond in the Forehead’ album and a number of songs that will comprise our second album. Expect rock and roll out of the early 1970s, expect high volume in the guitar department, expect Nobel Prize-winning freak flag songs”

Garry Gray wrote this to me, and I visualise him, pounding the keyboard with pride about his forthcoming shows in Sydney in mid-November.

Gray has been making music for 42 years. I imagine by now he knows when he has a killer album ("Diamond in the Forehead") and a killer live band (The Sixth Circle) locked in. As I wrote a few months ago who when I caught The Sixth Circle live at the Tote Hotel and was blown away by a great, pure rock, street-level band:

All that dark and shade in this set; theatrics and drama. The tempo pulls back with “Club Siren”. “Our God hangs #6” is wild rock beat and with the guitars blues-based. Gray’s menacing vocals howling: 'I got hung without a trial'. "Cadillacs” has that proto punk rawness and a blues progression. There are elements of deep soul with raw gritty urban blues, and a solid rock 4/4 backbeat. Live, it is a no-nonsense rock monster.

Road Series by Hugo Race (Transit Lounge)

road series coverFrom the first sentence in "Road Series", you’re in Hugo’s world, his past, present and by implication, future.

“Road Series” is one of the main reasons that a poor bloke like me can’t ever get history quite right: we have the dates, the events, the chronology lodged and squared away. But people like Hugo carry the emotive rationale, the anti-rationale, and the … moving finger writes inevitability of their lives locked inside them.

I suppose we could all say we have that, but few, very very few of us could write it out and get it right, express it right, show us who warn’t there just how it wuz.

We instantly inhabit Hugo’s world because, first and foremost when you’re reading a memoir, the writer is telling their story. Second, “Road Series” possesses a vividness, a real-in-colour sensation to it which so many memoirs of the punk and musical new wave period completely miss in their hurry to put down their rivals, tell juicy anecdotes and, basically, gossip.

And I’ll just say this, for an autobiographical account of a significant St Kildan musician from this rather bitchy, backstabbing period, there is an astonishing absence of tittle-tattle, knife-wielding and general spite. Hugo is remarkably matter-of-fact about things, and (again, from page one) the maelstrom continues like that whirling Tasmanian devil from the Warner Brothers cartoons.

69BC - 69BC (I-94 Bar Records)

69 bc cover smallRaw garage rock ’n’ roll in the Australian pub rock tradition, with an obvious nod to ‘70s hard rock and the “Pebbles” collection. A record made distinctive by the classic Aussie twin-guitar attack. Those were my first thoughts on this CD from a band made up of members of Psychotic Turnbuckles, Sheik the Shayk and Buffalo Revisited.

It was recorded in Zen Studios, the capital city of Sydney’s inner-western Garageland region, by Geoffrey Lee over seven years, and what hit me straight away is that none of the live intensity has been lost. It captures a raw and live garage/pub band warts, belching and all…I can see a bloke over there who once drunkenly spilt beer on me and that other idiot that pushed me over in the mosh pit. And then I’m lifted up by another and patted on the back…

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