You want me to write a year in reflection? Well, where and how to start? I will bang on these keys and most likely bang on in my usual stoic warm way.
Mind you, I rarely write about music these days. I look back and reflect on the shit I once wrote and it seems all so naïve, sycophantic almost. But here’s a try and since it’s not the 10 best gigs, nor the 10 best recordings, I have license to mix it up.
Best thing that happened – helping out with the band bookings at MoshPit, a small unpretentious little bar down the south end of King St which now fits 120 people. Yes, it’s small, and don’t go there if you feel paranoid or claustrophobic as you’ll probably hate it. But, in the vein of CBGB’s in NYC, Frenches which was on Oxford Street (Darlinghurst) the Old Bar in Melbourne, and its local counterpart Midnight Special in Enmore, this place oozes fun.
Where else can you put on your favourite bands and liken it to your best ever lounge-room party. There’s a whole range of yummy booze, great staff, the co-owners Pat n Wax, + two sound people who know what they’re doing within limitations. Nunchukka Superfly, Thee Evil Twin, Face Command, White Knuckle Fever and Los Monaros are just some of the great local acts that graced there in 2019. We was lucky and their goodwill was priceless. Sydney needs venues like these so in my unbiased best, please support.
Best things I listened to – newish stuff from Pallet, Small Town Incident, White Knuckle Fever, Sounds Like Winter, Syntax Error, Joseph Leonard, Wreckless Enterprise Recordings volume 1 and 2 – compilations featuring Dirty Slutz, Babymachine, Leftards, Minor Surgery, Space Bozzies, Bitchcraft, Piss to Eme.
10 Piece Feed - The Missile Studs/Thee Evil Twin (Evil Tone Records/Dirty Flair)
This is a marriage made in Fast Food Heaven. “10 Piece Feed” pits Adelaide scuzzballs The Missile Studs against Sydney’s recently dissolved punk trio Thee Evil Twin over a 10-song split LP, and it’s hotter than a fire in a chip shop grease trap.
Split albums can be disappointing but the contrasts and similarities in both bands work well here. The Studs are more of your traditional thrash-y punks while Thee Twin have a ‘60s garage undercurrent. Neither band is a slave of studio polish, and they possess equal amounts of humour and energy. Breast or Thigh? Plenty here to appease fans of either - or both.
Hey Sydney! All roads lead to Marrickville's Factory Floor on Friday, December 6 if you're a fan of garage rock when Outtaspace present their first "Outtaspace Garage Meltdown" mini-festival.
Heading the night are Sore Points from Canada, making their first Australian tour. Said to be the outcome of "Buzzcocks rolling a spliff with The Damned, passing it on to Cock Sparrer, Blitz and then Lemmy", they'll be promoting their EP "Not Alright".
They';re being joined by girl-boy garage duo Thee Cha Chas (Melbourne) via a Japan and Oz East Coast tour, hosts The Dunhill Blues (touring their new album "Second Prize in a Beauty Contest"), Wollongong's Fangin’ Felines (ex Nitrocris, Booby Traps) and the raw 'n' powerful Thee Evil Twin. Grazza from Stamp Out Disco will man the DJ decks.
The extravaganza is backed by I-94 Bar and Young Henrys Brewery with tickets available here.
Old school punk from Sydney in the style of Johnny Dole & The Scabs. These guys are an evil trio, not a duo, but who cares about theirnumerically-challenged state-of-mind when the output is good?
The A side is about being a punk who's lost in the once seedy and now gentrified suburb of Pyrmont. The anger is real. Flip the platter and the Twins are expressing how much they want to “kick this city in the balls”. Many share that sentiment and there's mor than a whiff of a singalong in this one.
It's all very basic in its production with a nice and meaty guitar sound. Thee Evil Twin aren’t flashy and that’s a good thing. This one’s a limited run of 150 and likely will sell out - just like their other 45s. Go here for a copy.
There’s a whiff of genius about the concept: Twelve bands on a seven-inch single. Not one song longer than a minute. Yeah, I hear ya. Sound on a vinyl single degrades the closer the grooves are crammed together. Hence, the brevity of the songs. And it’s punk rock. It’s not supposed to be audiophile.
Some of these bands you may know and others may be new. A compilation of this order is a public service, of sorts. It’s is a way to sample the unfamiliar and chase down their output if they row your boat. Musical democracy in action.