In no particular order, The Barman’s Top 12 albums of 2019: “So I Could Have Them Destroyed” – The Hard-Ons (Music Farmers) You could say “What a comeback!” but only if they’d really gone away. So much variety yet it hangs together so well.
“The Devil Won't Take Charity” - Kim Volkman and the Whiskey Priests (Beast Records) Kim and his band have that Stonesy-Keef vibe down pat. Raunch and roll.
“Mystery Train” – Chickenstones (Crankinhaus Records) Sydney’s best kept secret. Doc might be driving the bus but Preacher Phil really steps up. Soulful and abrasive tunes played with heart.
“Shake Yer Popboomerang Vol 3” - Various Artists (Popboomerang) Some of the material back-tracks but it’s a collection of rolled gold. Aussie power pop for the ages.
“Black Door” – The Volcanics (Citadel) High-energy, passion and variety. Their best to date. The Volcanics are truly a world class band.
“The Aints! Play The Saints” - The Aints! (Fatal Records) Will we ever see their faces again? Maybe. Maybe not. This is a white-hot snapshot of what they delivered live.
“Ann Arbor Revival Meeting” - Scott Morgan’s Powertrane featuring Deniz Tek & Ron Asheton (Grown Up Wrong) As historical artefacts go, this is as good as they get. It’s a generously appointed re-issue of a stellar, all-star show.
Raw garage rock ’n’ roll in the Australian pub rock tradition, with an obvious nod to ‘70s hard rock and the “Pebbles” collection. A record made distinctive by the classic Aussie twin-guitar attack. Those were my first thoughts on this CD from a band made up of members of Psychotic Turnbuckles, Sheik the Shayk and Buffalo Revisited.
It was recorded in Zen Studios, the capital city of Sydney’s inner-western Garageland region, by Geoffrey Lee over seven years, and what hit me straight away is that none of the live intensity has been lost. It captures a raw and live garage/pub band warts, belching and all…I can see a bloke over there who once drunkenly spilt beer on me and that other idiot that pushed me over in the mosh pit. And then I’m lifted up by another and patted on the back…
The new release on I-94 Bar Records is the debut album for Sydney garage supergroup 69BC. The self-titled CD by this shadowy, primal quintet is 20 years in the making and it's 17 tracks of raw and raucous Rock Action.
Staggering from the smouldering ruins of a Pismo Beach after party, a handful of survivors retreated into the bowels of innumerable rehearsal rooms two decades ago. They have finally emerged to claim their revenge in the new Millennium. This band may have links to the likes of the Psychotic Turnbuckles and Sheek the Shayk. 69BC is Rok Bolder (vocals), Vince Cuscuna (guitar, backing vocals), Dave Wong (guitar), Adam Silverwright (bass, backing vocals), Nix (drums). The CD releases on October 19 and pre-orders are open now at the link below. It will also be available as a download.
Hello from the Dimboola farmhouse folks and has it been rocking here! The reason is that Chris “Klondike” Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders have released a rocking good album. Their second long player, “Address to the Nation”, is the follow-up to 2016’s “Brujita” and is pure guitar driven tracks from start to finish.
Myself, I think it’s a lot stronger than the first album - there is less pop and more grunt.Well, let’s start with any folks who are not savy to Klondike’s cv: RADIO BIRDMAN, HITMEN , THE NEW CHRISTS, JUKE SAVAGES, NORTH 40 and the wonderful SCREAMING TRIBESMEN. To name a few.
It’s difficult to believe that Chris Masuak is only in the second half of his 50’s when you examine his output. It’s been a diverse and solid career, spanning almost four decades.
He was in his late teens when he joined Radio Birdman. He was half of the sound of the “twin-guitar attack” that assaulted Sydney with its array of proto-punk influences, to forever stake Birdman a claim as one of the most influential bands the city has produced.
Then there were the post-Birdman bands. The Hitmen never had the songs, in my opinion, but they always delivered as a live act. Masuak’s guitar playing was the stand-out. Chris was still in his early 20’s and still forging his own style. It lay somewhere between the technical brilliance of Mountain and the pop-rock sensibility of The Dictators.
"Address to the Nation" on our own I-94 Bar Records is the latest album from Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders. If we do say so ourselves, it's the equal-best Australian release this year (the other being "Open Season" by labelmates Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers.) .
After a series of requests from fans, we decided to ask Chris Masuak to take us through the album track-by-track. Here it is in Klondike's own insightful words:
Psychopharmacologist - Mick Medew (I-94 Bar Records)
Issued by this website's very own head honcho, The Barman, who is responsible for organising many, many gigs which you've all thoroughly enjoyed. The kind of punter who decides he wants to see bands, and figures you will, too, so he puts them on.
This LP rates 5 bottles, and that's not because I know Barman and he's slipped me a brown envelope behind the cistern at Central Station, but because “Psychopharmacologist” is bloody lovely, and you absolutely need it in your collection. The press release explains that this is “Mick Medew’s first true solo album and his most surprising musical adventure yet with its broad stylistic sweep and kaleidoscopic use of sound”, and that's a fair comment.
H-Bomb b/w Supersonic Hero - Jupiter 5 (I-94 Bar Records)
First up I confess I only know one of the members, Peter Ross the bass player, and love him and label head The Barman. Even so, I wouldn't say I liked a record just to please them. They know if I didn't like this, I'd (1) tell them, and (2) refuse to review it.
The Barman asked if I wanted to review this. Funny, when friends ask me to review stuff, the paid professional refuses, because if the disc is shit, how do you say it's shit without pooping on your friendship? Also, the Chief Editor or Drunk In Charge will squeak about conflicting interests. Well, for some people that's invariably the case. Our pollies have always had a talent for entertaining us with stories like “I didn't know”, “It was like that when I got here, honest” and “Look, define blackmail...”
You've all been in a similar situation, I'm sure. Perhaps not as a reviewer (nor, indeed, as a blackmailing fuckstick), but maybe rolling out on a Friday or Saturday to see your friend's band and, boy, did they suck the fat one. Thereafter, each weekend until the band thankfully collapses amid acrimony and blame, your excuses come thick and fast, from “her indoors is sick” to “I crashed the car” via “the dog ate my mobile” and “the police found my nightstick”...
I-94 Bar Records is proud to announce the impending arrival of “Psychopharmacologist”, Brisbane musician Mick Medew’s first true solo album and his most surprising musical adventure yet.
It will be out on CD and digital on October 2 and pre-orders here will receive an early release track, "When The Wood Is Brown (Full Return)", via download.
Medew has shown with his current band, Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers, and past units, the Screaming Tribesmen and Mick Medew and the Rumours, that he's a master of guitar pop-rock. “Psychopharmacologist” puts him in a different place with nine songs that make optimum use of the studio and bring wildly varied influences to bear.
The I-94 Bar's Top Tens are about to roll-out and you'd be surprised if both this year's releases on I-94 Bar Records didn't make the grade for The Barman's picks.
A couple of months ago, we posted a track-by-trackby Chris Masuak of "Address to the Nation" by Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders. Now it's Mick Medew's turn to walk you through "Open Season", the long-player from Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers.
It's a killer album of pop, power and melody and if you don't believe us, check out the reviews here.
The words below belong to Mick Medew, the photos are by Jeff Ram.
* * * * * “Imaginary Friend''This song was principally written by our guitar player, Brian Mann. He wrote the lyrics to the first verse and I found it easy to run with his theme.
I grew up in inner city Brisbane in the 1960's and ‘70s where there was plenty of exploring to be done and no security guards in sight. I have one Sister (11 years older than me ) so i was effectively an only child for a lot of the time. At least it felt like that.
I needed to apply my imagination; necessity being the mother of invention.
The new album from Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders is out in early August on I-94 Bar Records and we’ve opened pre-orders. The lead-off track "1776" is embedded above. Place an order here.
“Address to the Nation” is full of trademark Masuak melodies and power with harmonies, a wide-ranging record where powerpop gems rub shoulders with bristling, muscular rock and roll, and punk. It’s in a similar vein to its predecessor, “Brujita”, but a touch harder-edged and more pointed, with lyrical insights about life, love and the sorry state of geopolitics, all powered by Klondike's ace Spanish band There’s also a healthy dose of satire, lurking deep in its grooves.
If you pre-order, your copy of the CD will be sent the day the album arrives back from the pressing plant. You’ll also receive a full digital copy, with bonuses, shortly before. If you're in the market for vinyl, we'll keep yuou posted.
Hello from the Dimboola Farmhouse, I-94 Bar barflies. Mick Medew is a legend, a Queensland Music hall of famer and Australian pub rock icon, and he absolutely nails it with his new album “Open Season” with his band the Mesmerisers.
The Mesmerisers? We have Lois Andrews bringing the bass and her beautiful backing vocals, and she is amazing. Michael Charles is on drums. Yes, that Michael Charles, drummer on Mick’s most famous Screaming Tribesmen EP, “Date with a Vampire”. The pair just nails it and make a fabulous rhythm section.
Rounding things out on lead guitar is Brian Mann, also ex-Screaming Tribesmen and a gifted player who also doubles behind the recording board. He produced this album and it was mastered by Don Bartley. These gentlemen know how to get the sound down.
Love is Calling - Mick Medew and Ursula (I-94 Bar Records)
Two years of lockdown were not wasted by Mick Medewand Ursula Collie-Medew.Besides getting married, they also managed to entertain every second Sunday with their live lockdown streaming gigs.
The streaming shows were wonderfully received, with Mick playing some classic songs from his back catalogue with the Screaming Tribesmen and others, plus new tunes, and Ursula sitting in on keyboards on a few. When words reached The Farmhouse that Mick and Ursula were releasing a new CD of songs written over lockdown, I for one was excited to hear how these tunes would sound with full production.
And it’s pure gold, folks.