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.
Defective World – The Escapes (Evil Tone)
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.
She’s Back b/w The Other Side – Bored! (Fantastic Mess Records)
Discerning people like their diamonds ijn the rough. These are cast-off gems from Bored!’s “Feed The Dog” album sessions, released on a short run 45 by Fantastic Mess in the run to their re-issue of the 1991 record on vinyl. It’s the three-piece version of the band, led by the late Dave Thomas.
“She’s Back” sits back on the groove and shows off Thomas’s singular guitar tone. The vocal is buried deep in the mix but audible enough to give you the idea. Keep it sleazy! “The Other Side” is an obvious nod to Dead Boys with more steamroller guitar and a tsunami-like feel from the ending room propelling things along.
Issued in clear and pink vinyl (the latter is already sold out) with the usual Fantastic Mess trimmings of inserts, sticker and postcard, it won’t be around long. Glenno Smith’s stark artwork suits it to a ‘T’.
Free Dirt – Looch Lewis (Nebraska/MGM)
With beginnings as a guitarist in the high energy scene for Zen Genies, and more recent service as drummer for bush punks Handsome Young Strangers, indie band Wifey and country act Dave Favours and the Roadside Ashes, ubiquitous Mark “Looch” Lewis has as much claim as anyone to being a Sydney musical fixture.
Now fronting his own Looch Lewis and The Press Gangsters instead of playing in other people’s bands, dropping this a solo single seems a logical progression.
Yes, it is that “Free Dirt”, the Died Pretty song from which they took their debut album’s name and that ended up on their second LP, ”Lost”, and while it might initially seem a bold choice, it’s done so well that it raises the question why more people haven’t tackled the much-loved music of Ron, Brett and Co.