Rolling thunder from a band called Slug

slug lp cvrCaveat Emptor - Slug (self released) 

Lismore band Slug play a dangerous game, virtually begging you to dislike them.  I mean, a name like Slug.  Whilst multiple meanings tag themselves to that particular noun, none invite joy.

And if you call your album “Caveat Emptor” (essentially buyer beware), you may be discouraging potential clientele.  Add three guitarists, one billed as noise guitar, and you run the risk of emptying the hall before playing a note.

But that would be unfortunate because Slug most definitely have a thing.  It's not your usual thing. 

But who wants your usual thing?

Exercising their right not to remain silent

we got a right cvrWe Got A Right – The Golden Rat (Vicious Kitten Records)

What do you get when expat bi-coastal American underground star Mr Ratboy collides with Hiroshi The Golden Arm (aka Japan’s Johnny Thunders) in a Tokyo garage, each armed with the songs that pre-occupied their formative musical minds in the period spanning 1976-82? An absolutely killer album.

“We Got A Right” is a record that came about through necessity. Hiroshi The Golden Arm and Mr Ratboy first met in 1993 when the latter was a member of Jeff Dahl’s touring band. Fast forward a few years and Mr Ratboy is a resident of the Land of the Rising Sun and the pair strike up a musical partnership in the electro-trash outfit Ace Killers Union

Come take a trip in Cinemascope with The Ramalamas

le cape noir cvrLe Cape Noir – The Ramalamas (Half a Cow)

This soundtrack to an imaginary ‘60s cult movie, or so the shtick goes, is really a collection of intriguing garage-swamp pop outbursts by enduring but low-key Sydney band. It’s the fifth long-player by The Ramalamas and their first on vinyl.

“Le Cape Noir” is a celebration of ADHD. It swings from surf-tinged rockers to garage pop and back to spy movie instrumental in the space of a few tracks. Its 16 (yes, 16!) songs are broken up by snatches of spoken word faux movie dialogue.

Sit back and let it wash over and you could be sitting in the Valhalla Cinema at Glebe watching a cult film, and ending the night  stumbling out of the Sydney Trade Union Club at 4am.

Chancing their Arm

psycho accoustic processor cvrPsycho-Acoustic Processor – Shark Arm (self released)

Here are five songs of neuroses and exposed raw nerves that you won’t hear on Triple J or FBi. Some community radio will be occasionally brave enough to go here,  but nothing vaguely associated with what most regard as mainstream media sounds like inner-western Sydney duo Shark Arm.

Remember when radio was dangerous? The Iowa brothers are too young to have that sort of first-hand recall (and, truth be told, I'm struggling as well.) Instead, they’ve borrowed from here, there and everywhere to arrive where they are. Which should be St Kilda circa 1982 or Sydney Trade Union Club on a night sponsored by the manufacturers of Mandrax.

Another chance to Dance

witness to the crimeWitness To The Crime – Gunfire Dance (Easy Action)

If you loved the Damned, Thee Hypnotics, Bounty Hunters, and Lords Of The New Church, be sure to order this gorgeous Gunfire Dance vinyl album from Easy Action and play the motherfucker as loud as you can.

It is a posthumous compilation and a thing of real beauty, designed by Dave Twist with liner notes by yours humbly, and features some really beautiful, seldom seen photos of our UK lads from back in the day.

Old sounds from an old school romantic

the taste of honey cvrThe Taste of Honey'...- Tim Hudspith and Goldentone (Dead Letter Records)

I saw Tim Hudspith play a few weeks ago. Still has that remarkably lush tone to his music, still those love songs which alternately haunt or spook the listener into a study of memory, or provoke a wry, pained smile of recognition.

We don't always get what we want, nor less what we deserve, but Hudspith twitches our romantic soul.

If you don't have one of those, I will ask you to ponder what on earth you're doing reading about rock 'n' roll.

Hudspith is a romantic of the old school. All those expectations raised and lowered, flying high then spiralling down to dust.

I-94 Bar