One of the lesser-known musical pleasures in Australian over the last decade has been the quirky garage sound of the Hekawis, a fuzz-and-organ-driven combo prominent on the Brisbane and Melbourne underground music scenes. Churning out release after release, partly via the then prolific Courdroy label (who happened to own the country's sole vinyl pressing machine for a period in the '90s), the Hekawis pushed all the usual '50s and '60s buttons but came up with a sound unlike any other of their ilk.
Flashback to 1994. A momentous and tumultuous time for music.
The world tragically loses Kurt Cobain and tragically gains the Presley-Jacksons (yep, that happened); the Eagles reform and charge $100 a ticket for their shows; Woodstock re-hits New York state; Korn introduces nu-metal to the universe; "Parklife", "Definitely Maybe", "Grace", "Dookie", "Crooked Rain Crooked Rain" and "Stereopathetic Soulmanure" all hit the shelves… and somewhere amongst all of it, Sydney band Smudge releases its debut album, "Manilow".
It’s the third album for one-man bent bluesman Chicken Diamond and it marks another point on his descent into sonic hell. Ten songs of dirt-flecked distortion with a rusty sawtooth edge.
The Chicken’s coop is France where anything that has the odour of being musically underground is driven so far below the surface you’d need a miner’s helmet and a canary in a cage to find it. Thankfully, brave labels like Beast are around to facilitate tours of the aural subterranean catacombs and cast some light.
Episode 11 of Bob Short's Complete History of Rock and Roll podcast is live now. It's an eclectic collection of stuff you need in your collection.
Pismo Beach rock and roll legends the Psychotic Turnbuckles returned to Sydney's Lansdowne Hotel on June 28 with BRUCE and Bunt in support. It was the first Turnbuckles show at the venue in 25 years. At the last one, Slash from Guns and Roses was in the crowd.
Click READ MORE for a gallery of stills from video footage shot by Luke Nukem on the night.
It's an all-Australian affair. Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Make sure you wrap yourself in an Australian flag and run around like you're at the Big Day Out.
“Yummy!” marked the Hard-Ons’ arrival on a major label's promotional roster and you had to be mad, deaf, both or no longer breathing not to hear the greatness in the songs. A decade-and-a-half later with a re-mastering job in place, it sounds even better.
There’s a news story that’s been doing the rounds of mainstream media about a man with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who was given a brain implant that turned him into a Johnny Cash fan.
If you want to delve further, the journal “Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience” (yeah, I read every issue) describes the case of “Mr B”, a 58-year-old Dutch man who had suffered severe OCD from the age of 13. The insertion of a brain pacemaker apparently turned him into a follower of The Man In Black.
If Thee Oh Sees are a version of The Replacements for the Two-Thousand-And-Teens - as in critical darlings overlooked by the mainstream, including me in both instances - where does that leave Montreal’s PYPY? Playing this sort of fucked-up mix of psych, electronica and punk is not going you pigeonholed anywhere fast.