Goblins shit me. Witches and bats, too. The intrinsic silliness and - now, let's be honest - pomposity in the most excessive heavy metal music bred in me a disdain for much of that musical form from a very young age. So where does a band with a garish album cover with a skull wearing a helmet adorned by stag horns stand?
Imagine a woman in gothic chiffon dress and Melbourne Cup headpiece singing in front of a band that’s a cross between a metallic version of Funkadelic, Fu Manchu and Sabbath.
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.
Speek Evil: Illustrated Rock and Roll Periodical (The Art of Fox)
Reviewing what’s a visual feast served on paper pages is a challenge at the best of times but who doesn’t love a test? “Speek Evil” is neither a zine or a comic – call it a zomic if it makes you happy - because it combines the best of both, and it’s chock full of dark imagery and rock and roll attitude.
Which should come as no surprise, as it’s the product of the mind and pen of Mike Foxall, late of Nancy Vandal and more lately guitarist in The Neptune Power Federation. Foxall is one of the pre-eminent rock and roll graphic artists of the Sydney underground scene.
He’s a member of a club that boasts Ben Brown, Ray Ahn and Glenno Smith, and his imagery adorns the covers of his current band’s albums, plus posters and T-shirts for Crapulos Geegaw, King Parrot, Frenhal Rhomband The Australian Beef Week Show. He’s also an animator.
“Speek Evil” is a lavish, full-colour 80-page production printed on high-quality matt paper and is produced quarterly. It plumbs similar cultural depths as “Unbelievably Bad” used to, but with Foxall’s own punk rock pre-occupations and peers in evidence. It’s up to five editions.