We 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.
Le 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.
Psycho-Acoustic Processor – Shark Arm (self released)
Don't argue, just get it, and make sure you catch them live.
The Iowa brothers make enough bloody racket for eight men. Even though you'd swear they were a four-piece on first listen. Bass, drums, vocals, guitar.
Three of these are played by Nathan Iowa, while Damian pounds the hapless skins. Their songs are a rumbling chaos shot through with ordered lightning and purple viscera.
Witness 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.
The 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.
Rocking with the Renees – The Gymslips (Optic Nerve)
If East London’s The Gymslips swapped warm beer for weak cat’s piss and pretended to be in high school would they have presaged The Donnas? The English all-girl band (that’d be The Gymslips) haven’t been active since 1985 so it’s a moot point, as they say in philosophy texts.
This re-release of the Gymslips’ 1983 bubblegum punk debut LP brings a lot of froth and fun to the table. If you hadn’t worked that out by the first verse of openenign song “Renees” with its lyric “We’re the Renees/Here we come/1-2-3 and up your bum” you’re probably not trying.
“Rocking With The Renees” includes their debut single (a faithful cover of Suzie Quatro’s “48 Crash”) and 14 other tracks, one of them enigmatically listed as “Untitled”. There another four available on a vinyl EP, “Silly Egg”.
Sentinent – Other-ed (Self released)
This instantly classic CD comes from France in a gorgeous pink minimalist gatefold sleeve with a photo of a black bat-winged androgyne on the cover shades of Specimen, Bauhaus, March Violets, early Cure and Joy Division/New Order.
Genius vocalist/songwriter/musician/fashionplate, Laurent Chopard, is predominantly famous all over the world for being the long-time editor of Veglam, home of the subversive international glam rock-glitter-sleaze and trash punk underground. If you loved ‘80s Goth and new wave, post punk, and dangerous synth-pop as much as I do, this brilliant collection of radical protest songs sung in an echoing, sexy baritone, an updated version of, you know, Sisters Of Mercy, Mission, Depeche Mode, Tubeway Army, Japan, OMD, Blancmange…you get the picture.