Tuesday, 24 December 2013

3 Musketeers - The Drop 7" Ginsling, 1984


Hello all, here's this season's reindeer turd.

Context - U-Bombs and Nervous System related new wave who decided to get ugly for one song off their two 7"s.

Silent Night [Download]

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Coupe De Ville - Live At Leichhardt Hotel 7" Lost 13468, 1983

In the end there's not many Australian records that qualify as pub rock, by which we mean in the style of Dr Feelgood, Ducks Deluxe and Little Bob Story (all of whom had their vital records released in Australia). You could make a case that parts of the Carlton scene fit the bill, and you'd get some sympathy here. There's one or two Adelaide records and a couple from Sydney, which we'll get to in a moment, but the Australian concept of pub rock is generally beer fuelled dross which just makes us want to glass someone. 

Sydney spawned a couple of bands who fit our more refined view of pub rock - from early years there's the Mangrove Boogie Kings and the Model Husbands, and then there's this one, by Coupe De Ville. Recorded at Leichhardt Hotel, it's pub rock both literal and figurative. The two A-side tracks can be heard below. The original is a decent piece of revved up R&B, and the Flamin' Groovies cover is made unique by some pretty good sax by Pepper, Ted. Side B has a jazz instrumental and a lacklustre cover of Just A Little Bit. 

Coupe De Ville played around for a few years around from 1982 to 1984, making one tour to Melbourne and this one record. Bandleader was Cub Callaway who briefly appeared in the Chris Bailey Saints, and wrote and produced the first New Christs 7". The rest of the band was Brett Stevenson (vocals), Bruce Tindale (Maton guitar, later Decline Of The Reptiles), Phil Sommerville (bass, ex-Hitmen), Joe Breen (drums, later Bam Balams) and Ted and Charlie Pepper on sax and piano. Bailey produced and the record appeared on Lost Records, home of Paralytic Tonight Dublin Tomorrow and The Monkey Puzzle.

Coupe de Ville [Download]


Teenage Head [Download]


Coupe De Ville, a coupe, and a pub.
Melbourne tour poster.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Nitro - Blues In My Shoes 7" Warm & Genuine 2079 028, 1973

We're off to an inauspicious start with that title, inasmuch as blues in anything is seldom a good thing. The Warm & Genuine label, erstwhile home to Jon English, is another turn-off, not to mention the fact that the (Stephen) Housden credit you see on the label is the same fella from Little River Band. Yikes. That pedigree can be heard all over For Me Or For You, the weak flipside to Nitro's only single. Not so the A-side, a neat boogie/glam rocker with its titular 12-bar chug offset by a chorus that's no riff and all embellishment, and bonus nonsense lyrics about starchildren and stardust - the latter being a missed opportunity for the title, says us. Housden contributes some nice guitar work throughout, particularly as he starts to unclench from the last verse on, and the rhythm section of Mal Wakeford (drums) and Peter Deacon (bass) is suitably solid and understated. Housden and Wakeford's hard-rockin' side presumably sprang from their brief tenure in Rachette with a post-Easybeats/pre-solo Stevie Wright; sadly, there seem to be no recordings from that period. We wish the same could be said for later collaborations, investigation of which will require stronger stomachs than ours.

Blues In My Shoes [Download]


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Gestalt - √−1 7" Pyrrhic 001, 1982

We've made our feelings on Sydney's North Shore known before. We admit though that there was a pretty good punk scene up there that spawned some of our favourite records; oh, and Progression Cult too. There was other stuff as well, and the leafy bush around Church Point (almost as far North as Sydney stretches) produced a strange experimental record in 1982.

The 300 press was split equally amongst the three members. Each member's 100 copies has label and sleeve designed by that individual member. We haven't seen enough copies over the years to be sure how much variation thus ensued but the three we know of are pretty different. Anyway, as explained in the booklet which comes with some copies, the common denominators in each copy are the bandname Gestalt, the label and catalogue number (Pyrrhic 001) and the song titles: Adventures Of A Flea, Chained To The Floor, Of This Men Will Know Nothing and Latent Doings.

The packagings are labours of love - from the 1/2 inch thick piece of foam matting above to the found photography and art here, down to the hand altered blank white labels.

The care extends to the music - analog synths, electroacoustic tape manip and so on. We're no experts on this kind of thing though it's unpleasant enough, if lacking the kind of anti-social edge we could hang our coats on.

As to the protagonists - they're unnamed. How did they come to make music like this? John Blades in his memoir speaks of the importance of Double Jay in proselytising mutant sounds. M-Squared's first half dozen releases precede this and they had decent distribution, on the East coast at least. There's a probable M Squared connection, at least by communication - MxM gets a thanks, and the the Shane in the thanks list is Shane Fahey, Gordon is probably Gordon Renouf (Slugfuckers, Wild West, M Squared engineer), and so on. The recording wasn't done at M Squared though, but at the "now demolished Roscoe St residences" - most likely in Bondi (but perhaps in Newcastle), over Easter 1981.

Adventures Of A Flea [Download]


Chained To The Floor [Download]


Of This Men Will Know Nothing [Download]


Latent Doings [Download]


Another sleeve variation, front...
...and back.

It was cheap...

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Lightwell Jones - Magazine Scene 7" Tramp TRSP-0002, 1973(?)

Look, we know nothing about Lightwell Jones, but we have even less clue what they're on about with Magazine Scene, a succession of fluff headlines from women's lifestyle magazines set to an equally lightweight boogie backing. On planet Htrae this might be the theme to Bizarro Paper Giants, but back here on Earth the juxtaposition of manly grunting and lyrics about being single and pregnant is pretty damn awkward. In other words, it's pretty great. "It comes out on Tuesday with a free plastic cyclotron" - inspired free association, or a reference to the kind of plastic cyclotron given away by Creative Recording And Sound Services? Nah, in all likelihood they're describing one these doohickeys, which makes it all disappointingly mundane. I guess grillfat-lite about Women's Weekly is one of those things that's better if you don't think about it too much.

Magazine Scene [Download]


On the flip, Jeffery - whoever he is - shows his more serious side with stab at the more succinct end of West Coast psych rock. Not bad, but let's be honest, Tripsichord Music Box it ain't. Probably shoulda reserved side 2 for a sub-Quo boogie about Reader's Digest.

Christina [Download]


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Trans 262 7" EMI Custom 13174, 1981


I've been revisiting this for a week now and I'm still not sure that Kill City To New Values Through An Australian Lens was a suitable thesis topic for these guys, or anyone, to have tackled. Mine the motherlode, I say. Still, I'm hard pressed to think of any other band who engaged in such mimickry of the Ig's post Stooges work so more power to them. 

Trans 262 started as ME 262, named after a song on the Blue Öyster Cult's Secret Treaties LP. You can hear a 1980 demo, Gonna Die, on Do The Pop! Redux Part One. There you'll also find a complete summary of their existence which we'll summarise here: in the thrall of Radio Birdman (the elephant in the room we won't mention) they were born and played around. For reasons not obvious they were seen in competition to MEO245 so changed their name to Trans 262, also using The Ruse for a while. In 1981 they recorded this EP with Sherbet guitarist Clive Shakespeare. Seems they were disappointed with the result and didn't last much longer. Members went on to The Chosen Few (not that one), Decline Of The Reptiles, Howling Commandos, Rattlesnake Shake, Naked Lunch, The Screaming Tribesmen and The Fishermen. They reunited in 1987, as ME 262 again, to record I Got Nothing (natch) for Hard To Beat, AuGoGo's Stooges tribute double LP.

Band members were Tony Gibson - guitar and harmonies, Ally "Pink" Marr - drums and perversion, Andy Newman - bass and keyboards, Mark Roxburgh - vocals and wanking.

Don't Hold Me Down [Download]


Never Ending [Download]


Ice Trip [Download]


Happy [Download]


A variety of sleeve colours exist, this black and white one is unusual.
Warning: The "Wanking" credit role does not appear to match the credit list

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Dave Warner - Half Time At The Football 12" no label DW-1-A/B, 1981

Being the first punk band in Perth is like being the guy who invented planking - sure, you might've been first, but who gives a shit? Still, that hasn't stopped the mantle of Perth's First Punks being bitterly (and publicly) contested. Dave Warner has no time for such trivialities, announcing that his first band, Pus, was not only Perth's but Australia's first punk band, treading the boards at future Perth punk haunt the Governor Broome Hotel as early as 1974. Putting aside the tiresome argument of "first", the fact that Pus took primary influence from The Fugs and felt gazumped by Skyhooks' shtick suggests that Pus was one of those pre-Punk bands that was punk in intent rather than sound. That's never been of much use to us, being people who listen to music with our ears and all. Given that no Pus recordings seem to have survived, in this case we can't even do that.

The closest we get is Dave Warner's first single (Suburban Boy/Donna, EMI Custom PRS-2499), recorded in the UK at Spaceward Studios and self-released in 1976 under the name From The Suburbs. Suburban Boy was a Pus song, and though this version is less polished than the recording we all know as Warner's first release for Mushroom in 1978, the differences are pretty superficial. It isn't punk, but it does establish the parameters for Warner's subsequent work - tales of football and suburban ennui, delivered with a broad (Western) Australian accent. Those themes were also carried through in the label artwork of his next pre-Mushroom single (Summer '78/Australian Heat, Bicton BR-001, 1978), which also hints at the Perth cultural references that would come to characterise his songs, Bicton being the East Fremantle suburb where Warner grew up. The self-applied genre tag "suburban rock" encapsulates those elements, but if you want to know what Dave really thought of punk, go no further than his song of the same name.

The Mushroom releases by Dave Warner's From The Suburbs litter dollar bins from coast-to-coast, so exploring those records is easy and cheap (go and do it!). What brings us here today is a timely re-examination of the post-Mushroom, self-released Half Time At The Football 12" - timely in that Warner, like me, would be grinning from ear-to-ear after the Fremantle Dockers' preliminary final win over Sydney on Saturday night, sending Freo to the AFL grand final for the first time. If I was to really twist the blade, I'd add that half time was about the point when Sydney Swans supporters could have switched off their TVs (sorry, Professor). A live favourite and something of a career constant, Half Time At The Football is quintessential Warner, bringing to the table all of his usual thematic concerns but with a relentless, sloppy two-chord attack that would sit much more comfortably among Spaceward's credits than the '76 recordings.

Half Time At The Football [Download]


We can't leave before tying up the last of Warner's punk-era self-released records, especially given today's theme. To your right, you will see the East Fremantle Sharks' team song, released in 1979 with a blue-and-white label to echo that club's colours - that year saw East Freo defeat the South Fremantle Bulldogs to take out the WAFL premiership. Warner gets a songwriting credit and his voice is allegedly on the recording somewhere, but who can tell with the boofheads from the '79 Sharks caterwauling over the top? No sound files on this one - hell will freeze over before the East Freo team song appears on this blog. Carn the Bulldogs in 2014, and go the Dockers!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Clint Small - Crack In The Wall and On The Fourth Floor 7"s Au Go Go ANDA-2 and 5, 1979 and 1980


Clint(on) Small was a contemporary of Rowland S. Howard and Au Go Go label chief Bruce Milne at the Swinburne Community School. His first named band, apart from the various freeform jam bands that played at the school, was Tootho and the Ring Of Confidence, shortened to TATROC, in 1975, with Howard on sax and Graeme Pitt of Champagne Edge on bass. You can see photos in the extras on the DVD of Autoluminescent.

After that Small remained a somewhat mysterious figure. We don't think we've ever seen anything written about him contemporaneous with his early records, which seems strange given his connections with the Melbourne punk mainstream, such as it was.

The facts are thus thin on the ground and are deduced from the record covers. Small played in an early lineup of the Little Murders, he's on their second 7". His own first 7" from 1979 is a great record: high energy, tough riffing, good solos and impassioned vocals. Clint plays guitar and sings and Wallaby Beat favourite Jarryl Wirth (News, Lonely Boys, etc.) is on bass and guitar - his classic guitar sound can be heard on Wyvern Parsons, Where Are You?, which also sounds like it could be a News song. Mark Graeber plays drums.

There's two sleeves for this one, both feeding off Milne's taste for 3-D postcards - he used to ask people to send them to him in the early shop mail order catalogues. The horse sleeve seems to turn up less then the camels sleeve, althought we're told there's equal numbers of both.


Crack In The Wall [Download]


Have You Got The Feeling? [Download]


Wyvern Parsons, Where Are You? [Download]


The same lineup put out a second 7" in 1980. It's a slightly more relaxed affair but still worthwhile. The A-side, On The Fourth Floor, is most similar to the previous record, but really only cuts loose for about ten seconds at the end. Daeng sounds like an outtake from The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. After that Small's next release was the Steel 12" from 1983 - it starts moving in a more hard rock direction and suffers from Jarryl Wirth's non-involvement. There were more self-released records through the eighties, which we've never investigated.


On The Fourth Floor [Download]


Daeng [Download]


(I'm) Hep Up To Here [Download]


Clint Small: "Photography by Wyvern (Yes, We Found Him!) Parsons"

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sharp Toys - Nuclear Daisy from Goldfields Rock LP Goldfields Records MA 12304,1980

Before the Cosmic Psychos, there was Rancid Spam. That's some crucial science we learned from the new Cosmic Psychos documentary, Blokes You Can Trust, screening in all discerning theatres around the country. Rancid Spam featured a teenage, pre-Psychos Ross Knight plus - according to Knighty - the two other punks in the small town of Kyneton, rural Victoria. Along with some cool happy snaps, the film also shows a tantalising glimpse of a 1977 Rancid Spam demo tape. Surely we can't be the only ones wondering what treasures might be found on that cassette. The fine fellows at Aarght are giving the early Cosmic Psychos records the reissue treatment - perhaps they might be persuaded to look into it.

The last of those records, Go The Hack, is notable not only for featuring the best Australian song ever to sport a D-beat, but also for being the last release by the line-up with guitarist Peter Jones. Jones was soon replaced by Robbie "Rocket" Watts, allegedly after an audition at which Watts blew up two amplifiers. You won't often find us quoting Ian McFarlane's Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop, but his conclusion that the change in personnel didn't alter the Cosmic Psychos' sound might be the most insightful analysis in that book. Yup. Watts had previously played in I Spit On Your Gravy and the Quivvering Quims. And, before that, Sharp Toys.

Um, who? Just as Rancid Spam included the only three punks in Kyneton, Sharp Toys must have been the four biggest freaks in neighbouring Castlemaine - the kind of freaks Rancid Spam would have beaten up as a matter of general principle. Among said freaks were Robbie Watts and older brother Rex. The only trace of Sharp Toys' existence is a handful of tracks on a 1980 compilation LP, Goldfields Rock, released as a fundraiser for community radio station 3CCC-FM in Castlemaine. Of the four songs, Nuclear Daisy is our favourite, a world away from the wah-drenched fuzz-storm of the Cosmic Psychos, but even at this early stage Robbie possessed a nimble set of fingers and the song really opens up when he rips his solo. A song-ending explosion wins brownie points, too.

There are a number of places on the web where the remaining tracks on this LP can be heard, so we'll leave interested readers to explore that for themselves. On second thought, we'll direct you to the Rock On Vinyl blog, which tells us of the band members that "I suspect they didn't go onto bigger and better things". Hmm, perhaps Rock On Vinyl should stick to cutting-and-pasting its information directly from Wally Beat [sic].

Nuclear Daisy [Download]


Sunday, 11 August 2013

It Never Ends: The Numbers and The Riptides - Sunset Strip 7" Able AB-003 and AB-004, 1978, 1979

One of the finest Australian records of the punk era is this 'un, Sunset Strip by The Numbers. There seems to be some latter day criticism by wooden ears that this is too poppy or sixties influenced. Those critics should take off the dunce cap and listen again - the pace is definitively 1978, the vocals disaffected, and the band smashing into each other in a completely endearing fashion. If you were born on Mars and haven't heard it you'll know straight away it's from Brisbane courtesy of the handclap solo - all the Briso bands feature 'em. Since this is an it-never-ends feature we're duty bound to point out the film like card the boys used for the sleeve and the miniscule chance of finding one without ringwear at this late stage. After a few decades we found the one above which had been stored separate to the record. It still shows a visible scratch though, ugh.


At some point word filtered in from down south about another Numbers and the band decided to change their name. This was not a major problem as they had already used and discarded The Grudge and Neon Steal (rumours persist of recordings from this version of the band). The Riptides were born. The Numbers single had been taken to Melbourne and Sydney by Robert Vickers and had been well received, so first point of business was to reissue the record under the new name. 
 

There's been much supposition over the years as to whether this version is re-recorded, remixed or simply remastered. Starting with the easy ones even the tinniest of tinnitus affected ears can hear the recording is the same. Remastered is a yes - The Numbers has a DB matrix scratch indicating Don Bartley at Studio 301 in Sydney. He captured the energy well. The Riptides version is an EMI Custom pressing plant job - new plates and a softer mastering job. Which leaves remixed. After some intense A/B-ing plus study of the waveforms we're gonna say yes. You can compare below but at the very least the hi-hats are way more prominent on the Numbers version. Mark Callaghan explained in Andrew Stafford's Pig City:
The main difference with the remix was we turned off Dennis’ hi-hat microphone, because at that stage he didn’t realise you were supposed to clamp the hat down when you did a drum roll, so you have the cymbals spilling out over everything!
Once again the band went with easily scratched glossy stock and even with 2000 pressed finding one without ringwear is a frustrating exercise. Bomp took 300 copies so our American readers should be well placed. Ours above still has the slightest hint, ugh. After the band moved to Sydney the last few copies were sold through stores there with the stamped sleeve below, a nice piece of it-never-ends to end with.

Well not quite - don't neglect the two b-side tracks! 

Sunset Strip [Download]


Magic Castle [Download]


Rules Of Love [Download]


Sunset Strip (Riptides) [Download]



In case you haven't seen it - the video. Handclaps at 2:26.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Third Annual Report

To address our new most frequently asked questions: Yes, the Ulsers records are still coming out; yes, they'll be available soon; and yes, they sound amazing. Like a turd filmed in high-def, Mikey Young's tasteful (re)mastering has elevated Remember Them's every shouted profanity and atonal blurt without in any way fucking with the sound of the original, while fans of UK DIY, Black Eye nonsense, Flipper/No Trend fuckyouness, and barking dogs will be left joyfully brutalised by Forget Them's 10 previously unreleased tracks. Watch this space.

So, to our annual top 10 most viewed posts, and this year brings something of an aesthetic watershed: a grillfat record in the number one spot! The Ulsers in a close second place restores the natural order.
  1. Strutter
  2. Ulsers
  3. News - I'm So Confused
  4. Last Words
  5. Voigt/465
  6. Ginger
  7. U-Bombs
  8. Microfilm
  9. Numbers
  10. News - Dirty Secrets
Fans of those records may wish to consider the following less well-patronised posts of the past 12 months. In particular, we direct anyone that dug Strutter's bong-fuelled Kiss worship to our favourite Westie idiots, The Ash Band, while Ginger fans should proceed to Maureen Elkner's great first single, post-haste.
  1. Maureen Elkner
  2. The Ash Band
  3. Rick Huxley
  4. Merv Megastar
  5. Systematics
  6. Systems Go!
  7. Bent Elbows
  8. Eleven Eleven
Contrary to the quality level of certain recent posts, the well is far from dry. We'll be back in business from Sunday August 11 with a stack of killer unknowns in our greasy mitts, and a new semi-monthly posting schedule to help us preserve our remaining sanity. As always, a big thank you to the regulars. See youse all next month.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Jump Vision - Can't Get Used To You 7" Basilisk BAZ 004, 1980

If by choice or circumstance the subculture you swam in was Sydney mod revival, then we hope you have a good memory of the time. Mind you, if the purple hearts did do a number on your bonce, you can relive it all through the excellent Stark Raving Mod book and website. We say all that because the physical records (i.e. discs, 45s, singles) of the scene are, by and large, an underwhelming lot. This is typical of scenes which are backwards looking, and where the music isn't the prime aesthetic focus.

One particular example which slightly pre-dates the more formalised union jack/scooter scene is Jump Vision's only recording. Though commonly described as a soul/ska band, the prominent bass, echo and guitar effects on the A-side come across more as a slightly (more) anaemic Cure fronted by a pre-tantric Gordon Sumner. The Sting inflections aren't as obvious as on fellow scenesters The Personnel's effort, but still there. It's alright though. The flipside is a ska instrumental; you know by now we'll save you the few minutes.

The band were Richard Knott on bass, David Rowley on drums and Mark Bradridge on guitar. All shared vocals. Rowley ended up in the last line-up of The End, and all three went on to Watusi Now with Peter Mengede. Organ was provided by Russell Handley of Popular Mechanics.

Can't Get Used To You [Download]


Jump Vision collared, from Inner City Sound.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Frank Savage And The Citizens - Ordinary Persons Rock And Roll 7" Mambo 503, 1980

Usually we'd jump at the chance to be smart-arsed pricks about an apostrophe catastrophe, but in describing themselves as "ordinary persons rock and roll" we reckon Frank Savage and co. knew exactly what they were doing, pub rock being music made by ordinary people as much as it is music for ordinary people. Besides, you don't get to play in not one but two bands with Johnny Topper without being something of a smart arse yourself. Little Boy Lost is a decent Sports-a-like, but the punkier Helicopter is the real winner, its near-perfect 60 second length spoiled only by that same smart-arsed-ness - a jokey label plug tacked on at the song's end.

This is the best of the three records known to us on the Mambo label, the others being singles by (in descending order of listenability) Japanese Comix and the Dynamic Hepnotics.

Little Boy Lost [Download]


Helicopter [Download]


Sunday, 9 June 2013

It Never Ends: The Victims - Television Addict 7" MX46813/4, 1978

It's time for an it-never-ends on one of the great worldwide punk records - The Victims' Television Addict / (I'm) Flipped Out Over You 7". Released in an edition of 1000 in early 1978, every copy of this is effectively in a unique sleeve. That's because each one is hand stamped with kids' block stamps. However, there's still a lot of room for variation with such a scheme. So, in the spirit of the Flipper Sex Bomb sleeve blog (or the definitely NOT safe for work Nubees blog), today we'll start giving visuals for some of the sleeve variants for this hallowed record.

Sometime in early '78 our boys, James Baker, Dave Flick and Rudolph Vee, sat around a table and started stamping sleeves. A combination of red, black and blue ink was used, and most sleeves contain some combination of all three. For us, the nicest ones  just have the band name on the front of the sleeve and the titles on the back. The red and black sleeve on top of the post, paired with the tricolour reverse to the left, is a nice example. Some copies, and these seem to show up in America, only have the band name on one side and are blank on the reverse.

Flick outlined the process in the liner notes to the Sleeping Dogs Lie album:
We used a children's toy rubber stamp set to label each of the paper sleeves individually. In fact, as we had only bought a couple of sets there weren't even enough letters to spell out the band's name and the song titles so we had to leave a couple of gaps and fill in the missing letters later (we also stamped those ones with a different colour).

A cool variation, perhaps from the start of the process, is the all black version seen to the right. Now is probably a good time to point you towards Ross Buncle's Perth Punk website. There you can read about James Baker and Rudolph Vee's pre-Victims exploits with The Geeks, where Buncle and Baker had written (I'm) Flipped Out Over You. Flick had previously played with high school bands and, while starting a university degree, had decided to see just how far he could get playing music. He had joined a blues band called The Beagles on keyboards and toured around Western Australia. Having proved to himself making a living was possible, and having heard the Ramones album, and liking it, he hooked up with Vee and Baker and the Victims were born.

The record really needs no introduction. We can't think of many people who don't rank it in the best three Australian punk records. If you haven't heard it, well, it's been booted thrice in the US (black printing on white sleeve, then on pink sleeve, then on yellow sleeve, all with large holes) and recently legitimately reissued by 1977 records in Japan. We won't even start on the various compilations with the two tracks, just get yourself to YouTube. For now we'll just show pictures of some other versions:
Many copies have the band name and one of the song titles on one side.
We love the spelling mistakes, part I...
...and part II.
Television ADD/ADHD. A particularly cool variation which came from James Baker - note the different typeface. Perhaps done as a test run - a literal proto-type.

To bring things to an end for today we have to cover the photo inserts. These are the little fuckers that send collectors spare. They appear either by themselves or in pairs in odd copies. So far we've been able to round up seven different ones which you can see below. Particularly cool (and hard to find!) is the band under a Live At CBGBs poster, but as always, we can't imagine not wanting to own all of them.


We'll be happy to add any sleeve variations, (or, god forbid, inserts), not pictured here if you want to send them to us at the usual address. Thanks to those who already contributed scans.

Sounds, 6 May 1978
All afflictions catered for: here, double vision

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Leap In The Dark - Samurai 7" Sundown SUN 0087, 1984

It was about 10 years back - a heady time when people actually read music blogs - that Dave Lang coined the useful phrase "record-collector-rock". Back then, he used the concept to mean music that is "drool fodder for collector/obsessive dorks: you know, not the kind of music 'regular' folk buy" (or more succinctly, records that are "good to show off but not to listen to"). What he didn't anticipate was the emergence of "meta-record-collector-rock": music made by record collectors, released by record collectors, for a target audience largely made up of record collectors. It's not exactly news that there is overlap in the collector/musician Venn diagram, but that kind of closed cultural feedback loop is a relatively recent phenomenon, right? Hmm, what of the Australian punk collector who, in 1983, created a limited edition of his own band's record with a cover directly referencing the Victims' handpainted 7" EP? What could possibly be the point, other than to amuse said collector and appeal to the OCD of similarly afflicted obsessives? Three decades later, that party trick has worked a treat - the self-aware tribute is even tougher to find than the Victims' original.

We'll come to the Victims EP and its simulacrum in due course, but what intrigues us today is the "anti-meta-record-collector-rock" of the Leap In the Dark 7". Vocalist Mark Overett was a year-zero participant in the Brisbane punk scene, documenting future legends in real time in his fanzine, Fad. These days, Overett is a self-described "anoraky guy who collects Aussie punk records 1976-1981". We applaud the tightness of those parameters, but dig the recording dates of Overett's own work - December 1983 to January 1984! Talk about hiding your light under a bushel. Luckily for Mark, others find worth in music made outside the classic '76-'81 timeframe - Samurai is a neat, punky powerpop track, and yet another example of the endearing tweeness that pervades many a Brisbane record from the Go Betweens on. The EP's two remaining tracks sit at opposing extremes of the tweeness spectrum, and are less endearing as a result. Other band members were Wayne Harvey (drums), Bob Reeves (guitar), and Adrian Mengede (bass).

Samurai [Download]

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The End - My Confession 7" 13199, 1981

The Gap is a suburb in Western Brisbane named after the hole in its inhabitants' aesthetic sensibilities. It takes just one person to break the cycle and that person was Gap High student and guitarist, Brett Myers.
I used to play bass in high school bands. The End started in late 1979, I had just bought my first electric guitar.  I had a friend called Andrew Massey who was a bass player and he lived in my street. He came over and asked me if I wanted to join a band. I said as long as it wasn't with the guy down the road. I used to hear him playing Led Zeppelin songs!
The guy was drummer Colin Barwick, who with Massey on bass and Murray Davis on keyboards formed the first line-up of The End. Barwick was re-educated. Myers :
I wasn't into jamming, so to play anything I had to teach them all these Velvets songs. We played lots of parties, but we'd finish an average of about one song out of ten. It was a real thrash but it was coming from a different direction to everyone else. In those days no one was playing the sort of music I liked. If there had been another band playing it, I probably wouldn't have started.
In the end though, there was.
We used to do a lot of Stooges stuff as well, and New York Dolls. Then I saw the Fun Things and they were doing that stuff really well, so we stopped.
The new, "wimpy" End, started exploring space and dynamics rather than power. In most cases such a development would have us running fast in the other direction, but if there was one guitar player whose non-obvious choices we enjoyed the challenge of watching through the eighties, it was Mr Myers. The End took on Malcolm Cole on violin and keyboards, and swapped Massey for Johnathon Liekliter on bass. Their only single is a sometimes tentative, sometimes assured venture. We like its indirectness, though will champion their more powerful tracks like Birthday Boy, which saw release on a posthumous cassette that Citadel were due to issue on CD last decade before the arse wore out of the pants of the reissue market.

The End moved to Sydney and Myers got together with Ron Peno in Died Pretty. With Peno he could marry more direct rock and roll (and shred with the best of them, 2:42 on), with his more delicate sensibilities.

My Confession [Download]


White World [Download]


Thanks to X-change #4 (1981), and DNA #49 (1986) for the quotes.

October 2013 Update The long promised CD on Citadel is now out. It's not exactly the Hot cassette but it looks great, and Birthday Boy is disc 1 track 1. Buy it here.