Nothing Is For Everyone – Drugs in Sport/Sound of Speed – Lachlan X Morris (Outtaspace)
Split records can be problematic. Too often the vehicles of economic convenience for cash-strapped but otherwise disparate bands who pool their money and patch two sides together in order, just to get a release out. And there are splits like this one where some pop-rock magic works together.
Drugs in Sport and Lachlan X Morris both come from Newcastle in Australia. A onetime hotbed for blue collar rock and roll, the former Steel City has gentrified and diversified. This shared release on Central Coast label Outtspace is five songs from DIS and four from Lachlan X over two sides of 12-inch vinyl, and proves that there’s still rock and roll life in Newie.
At Least We’ll Always Have Rock n Roll to Fall Back On – Drugs in Sport (Outtspace)
Effervescent and tough guitar rock-pop from Newcastle, Australia, will not be the Next Big Thing for the nmatiomnal yewf network Triple J. But it can be in your own listening space, and here’s the proof.
Drugs in Sportdo cranked-up guitar pop exceedingly well. It’s a genre that’s been milked and relegated to the mainstream’s back blocks in favour of sanitised, autot-uned pap. Anthony (bass), Errol (vocal and guitar), Geoff(guitar) and Jez(drums) apply their own twist. You can’t beat humans playing real instruments, especially (even if) they’re, ahem, older chaps or lasses.
10. Fifteen blokes of a certain age in a dodgy bar somewhere.In the latter part of 2022 I quipped on FB that our (Joeys Coop) lot in life appeared to be to play to the same 15 blokes of a certain age in a dodgy bar somewhere. I got a bit of feedback from some of my musician age peers that I’d pretty well hit the nail on the head.
Now my quip might sound like a bitch about bands with a collective history, but no heritage, not being able to get a decent gig – and to be fair in part it is – but in truth it was also a celebration of the fact that after 40 odd years of playing we could still get a gig in a dodgy bar (my favourite kind) somewhere and we could rely on 15 blokes of a certain age to turn up to support us. That sure beats the fuck out of playing golf, going to fancy restaurants with pretentious retired couples, playing bridge, accompanying the better half to a musical, or other age-appropriate activities.
So, to Keith, Graham, John, Ian, Murray, John, Kev, Dan, Tony, Chris, Ben, Jeather, Henny, Sue, Diane, Adriene - OK that is 16 and some of them are gals of a certain age but you get the idea – we and every other band of a certain age thank you for joining us in not acting our age. We love youse all. You make it all worthwhile.
Ten Things, Bands and Albums that have caught my eye in 2022, in no particular order.
The Square Tugs – “Monster Hits “This LP is a cracker. The Brisbane-based trio started out as a Circle Jerks cover band (hence the name), but this isn't a one-dimensional release: 16 tracks that channel everything old school (the Ramones, The Damnedetc) into a great album that gets better the more you listen. Its an old school sound without sounding jaded; it still manages to sound fresh with great production and a mix of songs which are funny and also political. Most of the songs clock in at under two minutes - the only disappointment is that they're over. Check it out.
The Dark Clouds – “My Way Or The Highway”It's taken forever for these slack bastards to get an album out, and as a consequence many of these songs will sound familar to those of you who have seen ‘em live. It's been worth the wait though as this is a belting rock ‘n’ roll record. Led by a larger-than-life frontman, a wicked lead guitarist and a tight as a fishe’s bottom rhythm section – they’re just as good on record as they are live which is no mean feat. They are one of the most under rated live rock bands in the country. Uf there was any justice they would be filling big venues. If you are fans of rocking proto punk, or balls-to-the-wall Aussie pub rock you'll find something worth your while here. Buy the record, catch them live (they're old - every show could be their last.)
Mark Fraser with Blackie of the Hard-Ons
Ten best albums for 2021… no particular order.
HARD ONS- “Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken”Is it pop? Is it Punk? Who cares, its fkn perfect.
THE QUICK SIXES – “Swamped”Swampabilly meets surf in the most perfect of ways.