The Survivors were one of the surprisingly few Australian sixties powerpop bands plying their trade in 1977. We're talking about bands paying homage to their sixties forebears via covers, equipment and approach. We'll leave their full tale for another day, but in 1979 bassist Jim Dickson had decided to try his luck in Sydney (ending up playing in the Passengers), so guitarist Greg Williamson and drummer Bruce Anthon spent that year playing around Brisbane as The Credits.
Their only 7" presents as a nice mix of sixties lyrics and sound with a punky energy. Hanging around in the corner is a dash of that striped sunlight sound; that mix of shyness and brashness, innocence and knowing that permeates Brisbane records.
It's You is a cover of an Aussie 60s rave-up by Terry Dean, originally realeased on the Go!! label from Melbourne in 1965. Here the Credits credit it to Unknown. Mr or Ms Unknown was certainly prolific in the Brisbane punk scene - you might remember them from such songs as Wild About You on The Saints' (I'm) Stranded LP, or from the great (Mystery-Unknown) credit for the Bodysnatchers' Mystery (Solve It).
Apart from Anthon and Williamson, the record sees the recording debut of Tony Robinson, who you may know better as Tony Robertson from the 31st, the Hitmen, the first New Christs line-up, etc. "***" who is credited with vocals is actually Bruce Anthon too. Then there's "Spider" on lead guitar. Thirty years later the Brisbane mafia isn't letting on who this is, so we'll posit a theory. The address on the back is the original Adelaide Street address of Rocking Horse Records, where Anthon worked for many years. The Rocking Horse crew always had a strange fascination with Spider Sabich, shot by Claudine Longet in 1976. Maybe it's an in-joke; maybe it was someone else from Rocking Horse; maybe Williamson overdubs; maybe even Bruce himself, again.
We're not sure of the significance of the Yves Montand card from 1970 French flick L'Aveu, displayed on the cover. It's a film about imprisonment under a totalitarian regime. But these are songs about girls, not Task Force - perhaps it's the tyranny of love. Our comments are open if you can help.
Update April 23: L'omerta has been broken and Peter Mengede has been fingered as Spider. Mengede, then working at Rocking Horse, where he was known as The Dude, reached fame in Helmet ten years later. This makes for a more auspicious recording debut for him than the usually quoted Watusi Now.
Think you know a lot about Australian records in the punk era? We promise to astonish you with stuff off everybody's radar. We apply quality control so our powerpop has power, our glam has prominent balls, our punk is spiky and our DIY is far, far out there. We'll also do it-never-ends exposés of sleeve variations and inserts you didn't know existed. Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.