Honey Bee b/w Ride The Iron Space Bird - The Neptune Power Federation (Speek Evil)
Combining live theatrics with high-energy and heaviness is just one facet of The Neptune Power Federation. The other is being able to twist on a stylistic dime and pivot into another direction. In case you don’t know, the Sydney band is populated by ex-members of Frenzal Rhomb and Nancy Vandal, and they bring all sorts of punk, metal and psych influences to the table.
The A side is sassy, bubblegum pop with Screaming Loz Sutch delivering a killer vocal. A nice edgy guitar solo from Troy Vod or Mike Foxall is the cream on top .Brilliant.
Down on 7th Avenue b/w I will Give up – Pat Todd and The Rankoutsiders (Dangerhouse/Heavy Medication)
Some people use “bar band” as an insult when it’s a badge of honour. There is no more exacting proving ground. Pat Todd and The Rankoutsiders are the best bar band in the world and here’s the proof.
“Down On 7th Avenue” was written the night before Los Angeles’ finest went into the studio and it’s delivered as only a band that knows itself inside out can. A scorching rocker propelled by a tight-as-a-fish’s-arse engine room, crunching guitars and Todd’s impassioned vocal, it jumps off the turntable. The reprise is the sting in the tail.
B side “I Will Give Up” is more mellow, a ‘50s rocker with some tasteful Duane Eddie licks and tinkling piano that’s reflective of the band’s rootsy ethos.
Buy or die. There's no excuse for not owning this.
Whisper Park b/w One and Only – Velatine (Spooky Records)
Damn, “Whisper Park” is dark and groovy. Just listen to that rippling rhythm, those soaring cadences..and Maggie Alley's louche, almost deadpan vocals. By god, she's got a voice on her.
Band member/producer Loki Lockwood has shot another sterling ICBM into an uncaring stratosphere, look out Shen-zen, here comes detonation... and yes, Velatine do provoke that effect. At least on me. A graceful, deadly shot into the air, where it lands, god won't help you.
Punch The Boss b/w Down The Coast – The Crankees (Evil Tone)
There’s no prospect of a new dawn in Australian industrial relations with sentiment like this going around. Sydney’s Crankees express something we’ve all felt on the A side, a furious little garage punk tune that’s fuelled in equal parts by Jimmy Meek’s snakey guitar line, Rodney Todd’s snarkey vocal and guest Hammond organ from producer Jay Whalley. What do we want? Puglism. When do we want it? Now.
The B side is almost as good, a wry ode to tree changing that keeps it simple and manages to namecheck Mollymook. There’s not a hint of garage slop; the band is tighter than the bends in the Princes Highway at Foxground with Meek’s guitar again to the fore. The production sounds great. Hopefully, they have an album in them.
Buy a copy here. It's a limited edition. While you're at it, look around and listen to Evil Tone's other stuff. They're putting out some great stuff.
The London Sessions – Iggy & The Stooges (Easy Action)
This is something for the Stooges obsessives rather than newbies looking for an entry point. But if the newbies take the plunge, is that going to ber such a bad thing? This is s a double-seven-inch pack of five songs from the 1972 pre-production and recording sessions for “Raw Power”, none of which made it to the album in these versions, and all celebrated in true Easy Action style.
There’s plenty you won’t have heard here even if you have the Easy Action “Heavy Liquid” box set. In fact, only one of these versions ("I Got A Right") has been offcially rleleased; “Tight Pants” is a Scotty and James instrumental run-through of what would become “Shake Appeal”. “Gimme Danger” is an early version of the album track that still resonates.
Real Gone - The Naked Lunch (Aldora Britain Records)
Surf punk pop is alive, The Naked Lunch has a new single out - and what a bloody good tune it is. “Real Gone” is so catchy. A different version was recorded and released by an earlier line-up back in the 1980s and the song was written by Tony “The Kid” Robertson and Died Pretty legend Ronald S Peno. Play it loud. This is what Sydney’s underground surf rock was/is all about.
The line-up of The Lunch boasts some of Australia’s finest musicians: Tony Gibson on guitar, Murray Shepherd on drums, The Kid on bass and Steve Beaves on vocals. It’s a brilliant single to follow 2019’s “The Naked Lunch” album. The second album is on its way and has the same name as the single. “Real Gone” is real gold and I am so looking forward to hearing the long player. The song is available in digital format here.