Archive for June, 2010

Undertone was a hardcore punk noise band from Adelaide, Australia. When the band started, they were originally called Bile Slime but weren’t really doing much. I met a couple of the guys at the Pizza Hut I worked for (true story) where all of us delivered pizzas. We all got talking about music and then it dawned on us that we should get together and jam. So I joined the band as a guitarist (the first time I ever played guitar in a band) and started writing songs for them and things really started to move. The band was taken seriously and the jamming was done regularly. On the weekends, Grover (singer), Matt (bassist) and myself would go into the city, eat food, talk music and go record shopping. We all listened to so many different things that I think it helped inspire the sounds that we brought to band practice which would explain why our songs seemed a bit mish mash. One song would hear similarities to Helmet while the next was in the genre of crustcore like Infest followed by one inspired by the straight edge hardcore sounds of bands like 7 Seconds and Minor Threat, yet somehow it all sounded like Undertone.

We decided that the name Bile Slime wasn’t so great and searched out a new one. Then after listening to the band Inside Out (Zach’s band before Rage Against The Machine), there was a song on the CD titled “Undertone”. That sounded like it fit us perfectly. As Zach screams “You can’t silence the Undertone!” we figured that it suited our sound just fine and BAM! The new band was ready to rock. After only jamming a short time, playing parties, scout halls and any other venue that shut us down after 15 – 20 minutes, we decided a proper gig would be good and Undertone played our first show with the bands All Flight Crew Are Dead and Price Of Silence at the Crown And Anchor Hotel on the 7th of May, 1995. People started talking and the band started playing more frequently and got established rather quickly in the process. We added a second guitarist, Mark, and completed the line-up. We wanted a heavier, crazier sound and I wasn’t a competent guitarist on my own to make that happen. Along with Craig’s tight and super spazz fast drumming, the band was now cookin’ with gas! On the 17th of September, 1995, we went into the studio at the School of Audio Engineering to record 4 tracks which can be heard at the band’s Myspace page.

Then, something happened, one day I just got fed up and walked out of band practice never to return. Something changed with the band’s direction and my interest. I loved this band, I loved the high energy performances, I loved the insanity and chaos but the band was changing. Crust core had become the “in” thing in Adelaide at the time and that wasn’t really my cup of hot chocolate. I mean, sure, 1 or 2 songs per set was fine but a whole set’s worth? It didn’t do it for me. So I parted ways with the band. Neither me or the band were happy with how things were so it was the best thing to do. I have no idea how much longer they lasted but it seemed like all this happened within a year… but I could be wrong.

I had always proposed to master the recording and release it on 7” for the world to hear but to this day, it still hasn’t seen light. I did a cover and had it all ready to go but the funding was the problem. Then my interest. Maybe when vinyl pressing gets cheaper (if it ever does) I can look into it. Or if someone wants to put it out themselves, let me know. It does need to be mastered though and I think it’ll sound sweet once it is. Maybe I’ll do that part just for kicks so I can hear it at its fullest sound.

Anyway, I have this video on YouTube as it gives a pretty good idea of how Undertone were as a live band. I have a bunch of videos of this band as I tried to film all of our shows but this one especially sticks out for me as my favourite. I may add some more videos later but for now, you can check out this video of these 5 songs all in just under 9 minutes. The songs played are:
1. Reason For That
2. Passing Unnoticed
3. Chunks (a cover tune originally by the band, Last Rights)
4. Your Continued Success At Being A Fucking Asshole
5. Sea Of Shit (a song I heard rumours was written about the crowd at the Adelaide Big Day Out who were watching The Offspring but I can’t confirm if this is true or not as I am no longer in contact with any of these guys)

On a side note, I think if I was ever to be involved with a reunion show from any of my past bands, this would be the one. We just had something that seemed to work. Craig ended up drumming for Gacy’s Place, I went and drummed for the Blood Sucking Freaks, played guitar in Blood Of Others and started Muscle Car, and Mark moved to Melbourne and joined a hardcore band (I think… but I don’t remember their name. Fallout maybe?). Regardless, enjoy!

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In January of 2008, I moved from the land of Balfours (Adelaide) to the land of freezing cold winters and no good cakes but awesome everything else (Melbourne) and upon making such a big decision, I had to think of what I was going to do with the band. End it or just keep going with new people? Well, the last line-up in Adelaide was already a bunch of new people anyway so it made no problem for me to get up and go. Plus, I had wanted to move to Melbourne for many years and finally I made the decision to do it.

I arrived into Melbourne, got myself a job within 2 weeks, and went to the pre-show drinks at the Corner Hotel before the Ozzy gig. While there, I was speaking to a past MC bassist, James and he introduced me to a dude named Riley. Long story short, he’s now the guitarist. ANYWAY, I was stoked that within a few months of living in Melbourne, a new line-up was happening, a tour of the UK was organised and a new recording was booked for April. Only being together for a couple weeks as a full line-up, we went in and nutted out 4 songs.

I made this little film about our time at Head Gap Studios recording those 4 tracks… 1 of which you hear in this film titled “Queen Of Noise”. I originally wrote this song in 1998 and I honestly have no idea what the lyrics are about; it’s basically a bunch of catch phrases from bands I like (Twisted Sister, MC5, Powder Monkeys, Poison, etc.). It was recorded with the original MC line-up (Myself, Adam, Shamus and Paul) in 1999 and to be honest, I never really liked the original recording cos I thought the guitar solos sounded like Slayer and whilst I am a fan of Slayer, I don’t feel that crazy style of solos works with the MC sound. So I have put both versions up so you can hear the difference.

First up, the new recording put to tape in 2008.

And here is the original promo done in 1999 (but not finished until 2000).

This original video was Muscle Car’s first music video… and it definitely shows. Filmed in Damo’s bedroom using a hydroponic light to brighten up the room, and shot on Super 8 film, this video was filmed on a 36 degree day at the band’s residence on Payneham Rd. With the Summer heat and the hydro light, it was about 45+ degrees in the room and we were all dehydrating rapidly. But that’s rock n roll. The dark / light flashes are from the Super 8 film being projected on to a white wall while being filmed with a HD camera. The cam couldn’t pick-up the frame rate as quickly as the human eye can, hence the flashing. Edited at Flinders Uni where Damo and Aaron studied film-making, this was our first real attempt at making a video.

About 10 years ago, Perth was one of those jokes the rest of the country laughed along with. They were so far away from everything and bands touring Australia always left them out. Then something happened. Adelaide became the new Perth. How did this happen? Now touring bands are skipping Adelaide and going straight to Perth. What the? Was there a population explosion over there in the Western part of this beautiful country? Who the fuck knows, but what I do know is that I’ve been there and here’s what I think: Perth has shitloads of hot women. Yeah, that’s it. Why wouldn’t a band want to tour there? I have been there and it definitely gets a thumbs up between the skimpys and the rest of the female population that house themselves in this faraway land. Now the joke is on Adelaide. For years Adelaide punters would laugh at how Perth always missed out on shows. I know this as fact cos admittedly, I was one of them.

When the great table turning happened and Adelaide became the new Perth, I packed up and headed to Melbourne. I was tired of missing out on seeing bands I liked. I was bored with the lack of things Adelaide had to offer. And trust me, between Ashlee Adams, a giant rocking horse, a whispering wall and Balfours custard tarts, it doesn’t really offer that much. Perth, on the other hand, has a Bon Scott statue and a Bon Scott memorial (OK, they’re both in Fremantle which isn’t exactly Perth but play along with me here), they have an awesome beach life, tons of gorgeous girls (including my friend, and one time LGL editor, Josie), the Explosive Pro Wrestling federation, and a band called The Devil Rides Out. If you’ve been collecting your LGL’s, you would remember me reviewing their triple EP set in previous issues. For those not hip, let’s recap:

THE DEVIL RIDES OUT – “Volume I” (Self-Released)
The first in a 3 part series, Perth stoner rockers The Devil Rides Out, play that kind of rock made for long road trips between cities. You know the stuff; cock struttin’ high flyin’ and gear changin’ with lotsa riffs and endless nights of the MansRuin catalogue at full volume. Mix up some Honky, Alabama Thunderpussy, Trailer Hitch, Fuckemos, The Distant Crypts, etc. and you get the idea. “Volume I” dishes up 6 tracks detailing long nights of lovin’ and truck-stops with the last track, “This Is Your Life”, being the winner for me in this set. Sounding Southern but coming from Western (Australia that is), I’d be highly disappointed if none of these guys drive a truck.

THE DEVIL RIDES OUT – “Volume II” (Self-Released)
A huge step forward in sound and song structures, “Volume II” unleashes another 6 tracks in the series by these ballsy blues rock n rollers from the city of skimpys. Kickin’ things into gear with “Rock n Roll Mayhem” and keepin’ the steam roller movin’ for another 5 tracks of life on the road, livin’ large and eatin’ grease. You dig? I honestly felt the song “The Demon” was gonna rip into “Evie” at one stage. So good! I love this truck drivin’ Mans Ruin-esque stoner rock jive. Kozik would love these cats. File next to Kyuss, Rollerball, and Alabama Thunderpussy. Good shit! Even if the opening riff to “Tonight I Might” does sound extremely similar to The Datsun’s “Sittin’ Pretty”… but that doesn’t matter cos it’s all rock ‘n’ roll. Oh, and huge props to the dude whose doing the art and layout for these guys, cos these CDs look fuckin’ wild! Can’t wait to crank “Volume III”.

THE DEVIL RIDES OUT – “Volume III” (Self-Released)
I have to admit, I was eagerly awaiting the final installment of the DRO trilogy. First listens spark a new beginning for these Perth sludge rockers. Kicking off with a track that sounds like a harder edged QOTSA, the inadequately titled “Slow Gun” shows no signs of slowness as it pounds through with double kick drums and lotsa riffage. Riffs are good. Really. They are. Don’t believe me? Pfft, you’re dumb. It’s not just a typical stoner rock band and I am sure that it is all too easy to throw them into the pile with all the others but I dunno, there’s something else here that is just straight up rock and a little 70’s influenced, especially in the song “Meet Joe Blues”. Cruisin’ music for muscle car owners and beach heads. I find a striking resemblance to Alabama Thunderpussy and ex-Kyuss frontman’s Unida, but still, it’s just hard rockin’ music for people whose business is rockin’ and worshipping Ronnie Van Zant. Again, the cover art is spectacular and if you own all 3, you can put ‘em along in a line and see the long leggy babe that adorns their covers. Nice! Lookin’ forward to a full length.

And a full length is what arrived on my doorstep today. The Devil Rides Out have a full length debut album called “The Heart & The Crown” (Impedance Records). I was pretty wrapped when it arrived so throwing it in the CD player took only a matter of seconds. In fact, I think the only thing that was quicker of recent times was the arrival of the latest Hard-Ons album (but that’s The Hard-Ons so that’s totally understandable being that they are the greatest Australian band of all time… besides AC/DC… but that goes without saying).

The first thing one will notice upon first listen is the heightened sound and production. It’s not as raw as the EP trilogy but what it lacks in rawness it makes up for it with its full-steam ahead rock power, fine tuned fuzztoned riffs and dare I say it, maturity. Kickin’ off with a rumbler titled “Watch It Burn”, which could have been written about that time when some friends of mine set a pizza box on fire and then Travis kicked the flames and some of the burning box flew up and burnt his neck, you are pretty sure what you’re gonna get yourself into here. A heavy rockin’ sludgey fuzz truck drivin’ soundtrack. And whilst this album’s cover art doesn’t parade a Kenworth or a Mack, it did make me wanna put a gun rack in my Hyundai. I think that’d go well with the leopard print seat covers. ANYWAY, the album flows through with power, blues and swagger. “Hard Love” sounds like a lost ZZ Top gem, if ZZ Top had gruffy vocals and a big muff pedal while “Right Hand Man” reminds me of the Desert Sessions Volume 2. This is good. Why? Cos I like that stuff. Simple, really.

I did find the slower numbers on the album a little bit on the dragging side (“Phosphorous” and the title track, for example) but hey, I was listening to the Napalm Death Peel Sessions before I cranked this up so maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. Regardless, to a rivethead stoner, these slower numbers could be exactly what they’re looking for when they spark up their next hit and say “wig out man!” Hey, I know people who do exactly that. True story. I was indeed rockin’ bigtime when “Inheritance” took off with its punchy drums and groovy guitarin’. And groovy guitars is what this album is full of. I really like the groove in the album’s finale, “Lost Town”. The video for this should have hot chicks in denim shorts and halter tops playing pinball and showin’ some darktown struttin’ in Vegas or something. “The Heart & The Crown” is full of groovin’ riffs aplenty which is never a bad thing. There should always be more riffs. And even when you think you have John Zorn’s Naked City beat in the riff department, you could always use more. That’s the rules. Simple as that.

Whilst I don’t think this is the band’s ‘Back in Black’, I do think it’s a solid release and they’re well on their way to getting one down on tape. Truthfully, I would love someone like Dave Wyndorf to come in and produce these guys. Why? Cos Dave’s a genius and I think he could elevate this band to the next level. The level that very few get to cos it’s usually reserved for bands like Motorhead and The Wildhearts. Not that I am any sort of authority on music or anything but I think this band have what it takes to be there, now they just need that little something to put them there and Dave’s that ‘something’. Just sayin’.

The Devil Rides Out are heading out on tour in support of their new album. You can catch them at these dates:

Saturday June 12th – Amplifier Bar, Perth WA
with Brutus, Chainsaw Hookers and Blazin’ Entrails

Friday June 18th – Birmingham Hotel, Fitzroy, Melbourne VIC
with My Left Boot

Saturday June 19th – The Lyre Bird Lounge, Ripponlea, Melbourne VIC
with Bitter Sweet Kicks

Sunday June 20th – The National Hotel, Geelong VIC
with Dread

Wednesday June 23rd – The Harp, Wollongong NSW
with The Watt Riot and Buzzard

Thursday June 24th – The Sando, Newtown, Sydney NSW
with Buzzard, Boxing With Ghosts and The Solid Gold Bastards

Friday June 25th – The Tatts, Lismore NSW
with The Smokestack Orchestra, Stone Mountain and Booze Hag

Saturday June 26th – Club Envy, Maroochydore QLD
with The Smokestack Orchestra, New Jack Rubys and Unofficial

Sunday June 27th – The Troubadour, Brisbane QLD
with The Smokestack Orchestra and New Jack Rubys

The Devil Rides Out on Myspace.
The Devil Rides Out on Facebook.
Impedance Records.

I was going through a bunch of old video tapes recently when I came across a Muscle Car video that was never quite finished. It was a celebration of 7 years of the band touring around Australia. I watched the tape back and found that it should be finished and uploaded for all to see. So after much tweaking and fine tuning, I managed to get the video ready for human consumption and uploaded this barrel of fun to Youtube. This here documents the years 1999 – 2006 when the band toured around the country kicking up a storm. For some reason we always ended up in wrestling matches with each other and managed to somehow involve all those who came along for the ride. Antics. I feel this 5 minute video gives a pretty good idea of what touring with Muscle Car is like.

There is also another video from the 2008 UK tour but that hasn’t been finished yet but I will get that done ASAP and upload that for your consumption too. That tour was hilarious. Good times indeed! Stay tuned!

CALLING ALL CARS – “Hold, Hold, Fire!” (Genius A.D./ Shock)
Calling All CarsBack in February this year, AC/DC toured Australia with Wolfmother and everybody was excited. I mean, why wouldn’t you be? It was AC/DC, OUR band on Australian shores doing what they do best. Then one day I was walking to the Corner Hotel in Richmond when I saw one of those huge posters for the show, you know the ones that people always try to rip off the walls but the glue on the back is too sticky and they end up ripping half of the poster off? Yeah, those ones. So we got a photo standing in front of the poster, cos, like, they looked cool. Without even realising it until I got home, I noticed there was another band on the poster. Calling All Cars? Um, who? Never heard of them. This started the debate around tables at many bars (namely the Tote, Cherry Bar and Yah Yahs), “Who the hell are Calling All Cars and how’d they get the support?” Of course this sent a flame war and people who had no idea who they were, started getting all pissed off and bad-mouthing the band (which is a very Australian thing to do so this didn’t seem out of the ordinary to me). I held back my judgement. As I have gotten older, I find little upsets me now cos hey, I know how this industry works.

One Sunday I was at a BBQ with a French friend of mine and I didn’t know anyone so we all just started talking about how we knew each other. It then clicked that I knew these people from emails but had never met them. One of the girls told me that this band called “Calling All Cars” was a band she worked with and said I should give them a chance. So being the adventurous open minded chap that I am, come the day for AC/DC, I got there early enough so I could see Calling All Cars do their thing and let’s be realistic here, opening for the world’s greatest rock n roll band was never going to be easy. The crowd’s tough. Actually, they’re more TUFF than tough. Once 7:45 rolled around, the lights dimmed and the band hit the stage. My opinion? Good show! They nailed it. Some kids behind me were all like “Calling All Cars are shit! I bet they suck!” before the band had started and I was thinking that this is the problem with kids today, making their mind up without even hearing a band first. I mean, sure, if you hear the name Justin Bieber, you know it’s gonna be shit regardless. But this is a rock band. At least give them a chance. Do as I do, not as I write. Or something.

So recently I was forwarded a copy of Calling All Car’s debut album called “Hold, Hold, Fire!” and I gotta tell ya, it ain’t bad. Nope, not at all. It opens up with this blinder called ‘Disconnect’ which had the toe tappin’ and the pen being twiddled amongst my arthritic fingers. Which is weird for me cos I type, not write. I guess I was just fidgety. The album carries through with melodic anthem after melodic anthem. There’s a lot of guts here and you will sing along. Yeah, seriously. There’s a track called ‘Soldier On’ which is so darn catchy that your fist will be punching the air and once it hits the breakdown in the middle, I can picture drunk dudes turning to their mates at the gigs and singing the vocals into each other’s face before breaking out into some air guitar. Yeah, I’ve seen it happen. I know this behaviour all too well.

As each track plays, you won’t be left feeling unfulfilled and for a 3 piece they have a very tight sound. The drums on this album sound really REALLY good (to the point where capital letters are the only way to describe just how good the drums do sound). I used to be a drummer so I can pick up on this kinda stuff and I think the playing on this album is really solid, not just the drums but the guitars and vocals too. The bass tone especially sounds nice and beefy, kinda like Shellac’s sound. “Hold, Hold, Fire!” comes complete with great production and the whole deal. It’s powerful while not being smothered in noise, kinda like Fugazi’s sound mixed with early 90’s Seattle-era minus the fuzz toned big muff pedals. Even the slightly weaker tracks like ‘This Ship Will Sail Without You’ and ‘Accident Waiting’ still pack a punch and don’t let up on the anthemic chorus’ which is good cos I like singing, not that I can, I just like to.

The album’s finale, ‘Little Red Hands’, I felt ends a bit abruptly and I have to admit I was expecting something really huge and epic but the deal with this band is they get in there and out in just over 38 minutes. You know, I read once that some bands like to make their albums the exact length that a good bout of sex takes. This means you can start an album and then by the time you’re both laying back saying “that was awesome!” your album comes to an end. I dunno if there is any truth to that (although the Beasts of Bourbon album, “The Low Road” is the perfect love making album, try it if you don’t believe me) and I don’t know what this has to do with a 38 minute Calling All Cars album but I just thought of it then. Yeah, I’m weird. This album’s good. I’d give it 8.5 outta 10. I have to deduct a little bit cos I think the cover art is kinda plain and a bit too art-student but it’s the music that counts and in a day and age when people get shit off iTunes, they won’t even see the cover anyway so what does it matter?

Oh, and if you were wondering (and I am sure you all were) both Wolfmother and AC/DC were fuckin’ ace that night. Just sayin’.

You can find Calling All Cars online at: www.myspace.com/callingallcars

DOGS BOLLOCKS – “Smokin’” (Helium Records)
Dogs BollocksSwitzerland is one of the coolest places in the world. Really. The atmosphere is awesome. You wander around feeling good about stuff. And when you are surrounded by absolutely beautiful women all day and night, how can you really find find fault in a place that awesome? You can’t and I believe that it’s not just a coincidence that hot women in your country breeds great rock n roll. How much more inspiration do you need? You wake up in the morning next to your gorgeous girl, you go to work, you are surrounded by gorgeous girls, you get home, you have dinner with your gorgeous girl while listening to rock n roll records and then you go to sleep with your gorgeous girl. That to me sounds like the best way to write great music. It’s been working in Sweden and Norway for years so it only makes sense that it would be working in Switzerland too. Trust me.

Dogs Bollocks come from Basel, a city about 50 minutes drive from Bern (Switzerland’s capital). I’ve been there and it’s nice and relaxing; very quaint and quiet and full of gorgeous girls (no surprise there). This CD arrived in the post and I was thinking that with this band name, it would be full-on punk rock but hey, it’s not! It’s kinda like 70’s rock mixed with a little 80’s without the big hair and voice-boxes. Packed with a bunch of hard rockin’ tunes to raise your hands (horns) to while livin’ on a prayer, this album is a real good time. It’s not perfect, but either was Venom’s “Black Metal” and that’s the greatest metal album of all time (hey, I don’t make the rules). I hate to say it but there was a bit of Gotthard in there which is not something any Swiss band wants to read in their review. I don’t know why cos Gotthard are awesome but no self-respecting rock n roll dude seems to agree with me. I guess it’s that bloody soccer song (“Lift U Up”) they did that burnt their bridges even though I don’t mind the song. Yeah, I said it!

There’s a track on this album called “Desperate Kingdom of Love” which has a chorus that was a tiny bit like the Gotthard tune “Come Alive” (off their fantastic ‘Domino Effect’ album). But hey, it might be a Swiss thing. Then there’s the early Iron Maiden-esque “The Court Of Last Resort”. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s really upbeat and each player is more than competent in their role delivering what they do with ease. The solos are shredding and full of wah pedals while the vocals wail away and the drums kick it and the bass randomly plays its way giving a solid rhythm section.

I really got into this album a lot. It’s way cool 70’s metal meets rock n roll and I think lovers of the genre who get into the likes of KISS, Maiden, Gotthard, Dio, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, etc. are gonna lap this up. I do think the band’s name is misleading but hey, it might be a Swiss thing cos Gotthard aint such a great name either.

Nice cover art too. Really catches the eye and yeah, good stuff all round. If they had a Facebook page you’d see something like “Damo Musclecar likes Dogs Bollocks” on my news feed. True story.

You can find Dog’s Bollocks online at: www.myspace.com/dogsbollocksbasel

GRENADIERS – “Songs The Devil Taught Us” (Casadeldisco / Shock)
GrenadiersI used to live in Adelaide in South Australia and I gotta tell ya, it’s boring. Besides seeing my awesome family, there’s really nothing to do there except eat Balfours Custard Tarts, go to Bigstar Records on Magil Road, listen to 3d Radio’s “Smash It Up” on Thursdays (between 11am and 1pm), and look at the giant rocking horse in Gumeracha (trust me, it’s pretty impressive lookin’). Adelaide is one of those places that everywhere else in Australia looks down on and the rumour mill has it that it is the only city in Australia where the convicts were not sent when its colonisation happened (but that doesn’t explain its validity for being the serial killer capital of the world). I moved away from the city where everything appears to be “heaps good!” to the city of Melbourne in December 2007 to revel in the awesomeness that the city brings in terms of everything artistic. And why not? Of course!

Then this album by the Grenadiers arrived in the mail. I had never heard of them before but maybe they started in January 2008 which would explain everything. Alas, it arrived and I quickly spun the disc to be a part of the buzz that is currently surrounding this Adelaide trio. First listens told me “yep, these dudes like Queens Of The Stone Age” cos it is hard to remove the similarities between vocalist Jesse’s style with Mr. Homme’s. I mean, lets be honest here. There’s no beating around the bush, I am sure QOTSA are a big influence on these guys but hey, that’s no reason to write them off cos there’s more to the sound of the Grenadiers than Josh and Co’s drugbuzzed fuzz (even if the Grenadiers do come from the pot smoking capital of Australia).

The album which was recorded at Capital Sound (easily Adelaide’s best studio, Anj is a legend there for his work with any band’s album that sounds good from Adelaide) kicks off with a killer track called ‘Abandon Ship’. The drumming is the first thing you notice and pounds through the song with power while the vocals cry over the top “No! No! No!”; the guitars run on the strings and the bass holds the song in place. An interesting mix and one that carries right on through the album, kind alike the way the bass is a prominent instrument in recordings by the band Nunchukka Superfly or The Mark Of Cain.

I must say that the vocals on the track ‘Nothing To Say’ got me thinking “Danzig!” (which is cool cos that first Danzig solo album is a right classic) whilst the songs “A Song The Devil Taught Me” and “Good Advice” (which kicks off kinda Motorhead-ish) really reminded me of shades of Brisbane’s Giants Of Science which is a great compliment cos I always thought the Giants were one of Australia’s top bands. The final track, ‘Bad Hand’ was one of my faves cos it just had this rumbling drum beat while the guitars did this nice rock progression ala Electric-era The Cult or The Hives. It’s way cool and highly catchy. A nice anthemic way to finish an album after being brutally hammered with heavy noise and I must say that as the album travels on, the QOTSA similarities become less and less and the straight up rock n roll becomes more and more which I think is great. Nothing against the Queens, I’m just sayin’ it’s good to be your own thing.

I give two thumbs up to the Grenadiers CD. Highly powerful songs drive this album and I expect good things to happen for these guys… as long as living in Adelaide doesn’t hold them back like it does most artists from the big country town. They probably should move to Melbourne.

You can find Grenadiers online at: www.myspace.com/grenadiersmusic

MCRACKINS – “It Ain’t Over Easy” (Wolverine Records)
McRackinsI first heard the McRackins way back in the day when I bought this album called ‘What Came First’ purely off some good reviews and the fact it was on a label called Shredder which was the same label responsible for some Parasites stuff and a compilation 7” that had a Jawbreaker tune on it. That was good odds me thinks so how could I lose? I layed down my cash and got the album, took it home and cranked it up. I loved it. It’s kind of funny that two of them think they’re eggs and the drummer thinks he’s a dog. That is clearly insane but you know what? That’s funny. It’s been 16 years and this band have been cranking shit out all over the world in 14 albums which is a top effort. That shows prolific song writing at its best. Then this album turned up. Their latest offering.

I tore open the packet and threw this straight into the CD player. The song ‘Candy’ took off with a chord progression that sprang a similarity to the Hard-Ons track, “Sunny”, except this was ‘Candy’ and they added an extra chord. Nice! Works for me. I was dancing in the drivers seat of my car as I tore around the city visiting friends, telling everyone I came into contact with that they had to hear this gem. It’s feel good music and is perfect for the Summer (which it won’t be for about 6 months here in Oz) cruising around down by the beach with the top down and your girlfriend’s pretty hair blowing in the wind. I tell ya what, I felt good once I heard this. Like really good. I was smiling from ear to ear and kept the album on repeat for much of the 8 hour drive from Adelaide back to Melbourne. That’s a pretty good stint!

The song “Need Somebody” just knocked me on my ass as it was just so damn good and just the song I needed to hear at that particular moment of my life. This band ain’t no one hit wonder (actually, I don’t think they have had any hits, but I digress) and they ain’t a band to write off quickly as they have proved that they’re in it for the long haul and they have the songs, strong songs that will suit anyone at anytime. The whole album runs smooth and is full of should-be hits! That’s a great achievement as these days, how many albums run perfect from start to finish? Yeah, you probably couldn’t count them on both hands and feet. It appears as if the music world got lazy once the MP3 was introduced and the majority gave up on writing quality albums. But not these guys. No, this album has become one of my favorite albums of 2010 and is easily in my top 5 so far. If I had a girlfriend, I’d be makin’ out with her to this for sure. Preferably at the drive-in, in the old man’s Ford or down the basement til she’s screaming for more! More! MORE! Or I’d at least play tracks like ‘In The Year 3000’ to get her groovin’ and boppin’ and hopefully she’d think I was awesome, get naked and dance around the lounge room. Hey, a man can dream!

This new plate of punk rock is served up for your enjoyment. There’s 14 tracks and you’re gonna love ‘em all. High five to the McRackins and to Bil, Fil and Spot, happy 16th birthday cos you’ve most definitely dished up a winner! May the punk rock world embrace “It Ain’t Over Easy” and deliver you the dues you so deserve.

Visit the McRackins online at: www.myspace.com/mcrackins