Sensible Shoes b/w Laughter Lines - Manja and the Maytrons (Robotten Records)
It’s a trio from the UK that plays post-punk-meets-garage-rock on a super-chunky slice of 45rpm splattewred vinyl. “Laughter Lines” is uncompromising with just a glimmer of light in the vocals. Drummer and co-singer Manja and bassist Mark S lock into a hard groove for Neil G to weave a thick layer of distorted guitar over the top. Part sung in German with the balance in English. “Disconcerting” and “different” are good words. So is “unconventional” which is probably the point. “Sensible Shoes” is an odd beast, too, with the bottom-end missing in action and to-and-fro vocal parts. The voices are placed well back in the soundscape in true post-punk style, and it all skids to a sudden stop. Wire springs to mind.
Pain! b/w Wheels on Fire - Smitty & B Goode (Evil Tone)
Been a long time since they rock and rolled in person. Sydney trio Smitty & B Goode isn’t the most prolific act in terms of releases, but they’ve put enforced time off to good use with this power-packed 45. “Pain!” inflicts more pleasure than its title suggests, flipping mild self-loathing on its head. Anger is an energy and Smitty’s assertive vocal and downstroke guitar is set against a fierce sonic brew, “turning gasoiine into a symphony of sound.” Tight as a fish’s, as they say. Flip it over for more of the same garage grit goodness. Carly’s sunny bass-tone suits the up-tempo mood. Succinct and catchy, it’s a short tun of 200 copies so grab yours here while you still can.
Lockdown Blues - Moonlight 5 (Aldora Britain Records)
Guitarist Ed Garland has one of those gut-bucket voices which command your attention. I can't tell you if Moonlight 5 will be significant or not; but they're certainly getting attention around the world at the moment. Their knowingly lopsided-shrug blues slubs along the railroad, fed up and helpless, waiting for the crows to poke at their carcass. Fabulous use of horns, too; comparisons to Tom Waits are inevitable but mistaken.
The clip for “Lockdown Blues” shows US chain-gang convicts through a sepia filter, with the additional topicality of the stupidvirus - which we're slaves to; both clips use a familiar US slavery/ convicts as an allegory for an Australian context - this doesn't usually work, but does here (you'll have to watch the clips now) because they hint at wider concerns. Either way, both are the kind of thing you want to show your friends.
She Feels Like a Good Thing – Ricky Rat (I-94 Recordings)
Some of you might know Ricky Rat from his many various recorded collaborations and world tours with such rocknroll all-stars as Texas Terri, Kevin K, Bootsey X & The Lovemasters, or even the post-Stiv Dead Boys, but to many of us midwestern punk rockers, he'll always be fondly revered for his trailblazing Detroit glam gang, Trash Brats, who really helped to co-author the ‘80s punk-roll underground scene.
Trash Brats shows were special events when all the diverse rock ‘n’ roll tribes came outta the closet to rub shoulders and get wasted to their joyful, exuberant, power pop mayhem and merriment. All the spiky haired rocker kids knew the words back then. They filled that room with bedlam and we all sang along.
Hamtramck Jukebox – Brian McCarty & The Jen-U-Wine Faux Diamond Band(I-94 Recordings)
Number-one on the charts in my bruised old heart! This is an instant classic from Detroit's favorite glam ‘n’ punk frontman, the legendary, Brian McCarty from the mighty Motor City’s Trash Brats. I've only heard the song maybe four times so far, but it's already just so deeply familiar to me, it kinda feels like I've always been listening to it, most all my life.It's just like an old Hanoi Rocks or New York Dolls song you love, it has that same feel.
I suppose you could say I lived through a little bit of it. First time I met that wascally wabbit, Brian O'Blivion, he was memorably wearing a naughty nurse outfit, and way too much Rocky Horror makeup, when that was not a common sight in Indiana Holiday Inn bars. They tore the bar up like Iggy and the Stooges - it was very inspiring and empowering to watch those guys just get down.
The debut single for Sydney’s The Escapes has none of the sloppiness they make such a virtue of live. Guess it was a dry recording session. Not likely…
The title track is a garage snarler and a soild way to kick off. Sticksman Alan Hislop drives the other A side song, “Gonna Cry”, with a feel that’d peel paint. And who doesn’t love a drop-out and handclaps? Flip it over and “Electric Burden” doesn’t go anywhere fast, but closer “Don’t” sounds like The Monks on a VB bender, reduced to one-guitar minimalism.
It's a vinyl EP that was recorded by Jay Whalley at The Pet Food Factory in Marrickville so you know The Escapes will never sound better. Owen Foley’s cover art comes in two colours and is real enough to be scary. The only thing you need to take seriously here is putting your credit card or Paypal account on the line to make sure you get a copy before they sell out.