Archive for the ‘Australian punk rock’ Category

On Friday night, I was at The Tote hotel watching Leadfinger do their album launch for their brilliant new CD, “We Make The Music”, and before the gig, I was talking with Stewie Cunningham (Leadfinger main man) and James Cassidy (Muscle Car’s lead guitarist) when a discussion turned to the most important singles in Aussie rock history. Now, of course, anything like this is going to have people complain, voice opinions and argue with the choices below but these are some that we felt should be in every fan’s collection of Aussie rock n roll. Feel free to add any notable worthy additions in the comments below. And keep in mind, this isn’t a list of just songs we like, this is a list of singles that for some reason or another should be in your collection, whether in a reissued form or the original, it doesn’t matter. Let’s get started…

GOD – “My Pal” (Au Go Go)
An obvious and no doubt cliche’d decision, but let’s face it, the song kicks every amount of ass that’s handed to it. Whether you care to admit it or not, My Pal, is an anthemic piece of work. That repetitive guitar riff is instantly recognisable and Joel Silbersher’s adolescent vocals has many new listeners amazed in disbelief that this 17 year old sang with such strength, heart and balls. Oh, we haven’t even gotten to the B-Side and reality is there’s a good chance it may take you hours to get there from the repeat listening of side A. And rightly so. But don’t stop at just this one song, the band recorded a whole slew of great material but truth be told, My Pal is definitely the cream of the crop and deserves to be a part of your collection if you have any taste at all.

THE HARD-ONS – “Girl In The Sweater” (Waterfront)
The first day I heard this single, I couldn’t believe my ears. From that opening pick-slide to the woo’s at the end, this song is infectious and perfect in every single way. I have only dreamed of writing songs this good. The 3 kids from Punchbowl, NSW, totally killed it on this record. Another perfectly written tune that many bands have tried to copy and failed. It’s hard to better something that is already the best. The B-side, “I Heard Her Call My Name”, while not as instantly catchy as it’s A-sided counterpart, it still fits nicely on the flip and shreds away in a skatepunk thrash style.

FUN THINGS – “Fun Things” (???)
I feel inferiour including this because I don’t even own a copy of it myself but I have heard it and I know how important this record is. It’s the only thing they released and if you can find it, get your mits on it. A classic 4 track 7″ vinyl from 1980 that is made most famous by the song Savage. If you haven’t heard it, you need to search this song out, STAT. I don’t know what else to say besides this being as essential as air and water, which would explain why I am always sick. Somebody please help me find a copy of this that’s not going to cost me the earth. Oh, what’s that? Collector scum want me to pay $50 or more? Well they can fuck off. I want to listen to the thing, not put it in a cupboard for years to sell later on at a profit. Meh, you and I both need this. Unsure of the label of the original but I believe the re-issue was on Pennimann, a Spanish label.

THE EASTERN DARK – “Julie Is A Junkie / Johnny And Dee Dee” (Waterfront)
Let’s be quite blunt and honest here, if you truly claim to be a fan of Australian rock music then you should already be quite familiar with The Eastern Dark, and in particular, this single. I will never understand people who say they love Australian music but have no idea who The Eastern Dark are. I mean, it’s like your birthright as an Australian to hear these tunes upon leaving your mother’s womb. I have an excuse, I was born before 1985, but still, I got into this as soon as I could. Kids today have no excuse except their own ignorance. The first day I heard the song Johnny And Dee Dee I couldn’t believe such a song existed. Not only was it possibly the catchiest single I had heard at the time, but it was about 2 guys who were in the coollest punk rock band of all time. What’s not to like? Sadly, The Eastern Dark’s lifespan was cut short with the tragic death of singer / songwriter, James Darroch. At least we will have these songs to remember him and just how good Australian music can get. You need this… more than you need your next beer.

BORED! – “Satisfaction” (Dog Meat)
OK, so with this last entry, you kind of have a small excuse to not own it being that there were only 1200 copies pressed… BUT, the songs have been reissued on their Chunks and Negative Waves albums so technically, that excuse is still kinda void. Bored! came out of Geeling with all wah-pedals blazing, creating a storm of wailing solos and screeching vocals. This 3 track single not only tore stereo speakers apart with the blinder of an A side in the song Satisfaction (which has one of the coollest wah pedal tapping solos you’ll ever hear), but the 2 B-sides were just as shredding and found themselves on the many mixtapes I made for friends in the following years. Armed with the dual guitar talents of future Powder Monkey, John Nolan, and future Magic Dirt member, Dave Thomas, this single was and still is a killer record of rock proportions. BORED! gave a whole new meaning to the Cry Baby Wah Pedal. Aussie rock doesn’t get much more awesome than this.

Just sayin’.

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It’d be hard to find fault with any CD that displays the torso of a hot babe covered in blood, wielding a chainsaw, on the cover. I mean, really, that’s kind of like a winning formula in my book. I could go with not even hearing the actual CD and just displaying this cover on my mantle piece for all to see but my curious mind had me spinning this 5 tracker within seconds of getting this home after just seeing the band tear up the stage here in Melbourne.

You see, the Chainsaw Hookers hail from Perth; the home of a Bon Scott statue and a gazillion hot women. Is it any wonder they sound the way they do? Ballsy, heavy, hard and fast! Basing their songs and whole schtick on horror movies, these guys deliver 5 tracks of motor punk ala Zeke, Speedealer, The Nerds, The Hookers, etc. and they shred like fuck. Their knowledge of movies is as prominent as their love for punk rock. Songs about Snakes On A Plane (“Ride The Venom”), An American Werewolf in London (“Nazi Werewolf”), “Christine” (one of my personal favourite horror films of all time – a kickass car and soundtrack and Buddy Repperton slices open Arnie Cunningham’s lunch with a switchblade), “Black Christmas” (self explanatory) and Friday The 13th (“Death Curse”). Plus, they took their band name from a movie starring the hottest B-Movie actress of all time, Michelle Bauer. I could watch her wield a chainsaw all day slicing up dudes as she listens to Elvis but alas, there are reviews to write. Like this one. So I really should get back to it. So where was I? Oh yeah, the production sounds slick and doesn’t lack any guts or brutality. It’s chock full of wailing solos, butchered vocals and pounding drums. In other words, what I’m trying to say is, it’s pretty awesome. Did I mention the cover art has a hot babe covered in blood holding a chainsaw? Well it’s worth mentioning twice.

I dunno how long these cats have been around but they’re here and they’re worth your time if you’re a fan of good ole fashioned punk rock or dig horror films. Both thumbs are up; one for the punk rock and one for the horror films. Yeah! Dig it!

Aussie Brazillian rock n roller scores himself a French release and kicks out the jams. This best of retrospective collects 15 of Simon’s best tracks from his solo career, post-Vanilla Chainsaws, and bundles them up with liner notes, bonus videos and the whole kit and caboodle. If you’ve been following Simon’s work, you’d know he’s prolific in his song writing; pumping out more albums in the last few years than most bands do in their entire musical careers. Pretty impressive stuff. So with a back catalogue as extensive as Mr Chainsaw’s, how does one narrow it down to just 15 songs? With great difficulty but it seems he’s done it and this album is a great collection of punk rock n roll should-be classics.

The album begins with my personal fave of his, a song called “Deaf Ears” that reminds me of Junk Records-era Dragons so I knew I was gonna be diggin’ this from the get-go. This is perfectly structured punk rock. Kinda like the song the Dead Boys never got around to writing, know what I mean? It’s good shit! “Be Your Drug” is both melodic and gritty and another catchy number that’ll be an instant fave. He slows things down on the track “Bruna” but they don’t stay slow for long as he shreds in the suckerpunchin’ “Born To Die”, which almost borders on late 70’s metal which I found quite surprising as after being on tour with Simon, I didn’t think he’d pull off such riffage being that metal isn’t really his forte’ no matter how much he was subjected to the likes of WASP in the van. The album finishes with Simon’s anthemic “One For The Road”; a song for those residing in Dumpsville. After 15 tracks, you’re not bored. You’re rocked… like a HUSH record. This album just keeps you boppin’, groovin’ AND kickin’.

Now, granted, I got around to enjoying the majority of these songs night after night on Simon’s 2010 European tour so my bias could be a little, if not totally, one-sided but don’t let that stop you from dabbling outside your comfort zone and judging for yourself. In fact, if that’s all too much trouble, and in this day an age everyone wants everything right here, right NOW! No waiting! Well, just click the link below for the 2010 tour video I made to the track “Deaf Ears”. Have fun! Support real punk rock.

“Eight Times Lucky” is out now through Kicking Records.

Simon Chainsaw’s Official site.
Simon Chainsaw’s Myspace page.
Kicking Records’ Myspace Page.

I hadn’t received a release from Boomtown in ages. I gathered they were pissed over the review I gave of the Copeland album they released, but alas, here on my desk is the newie from Brisbane’s own The Amity Affliction. As soon as I saw this I knew what I was gonna get: Screamo, Emo or both. Well, funny that, I was right. Geez, I am quite the psychic these days! ANYWAY, I plonked the disc into the player and started it up. Within seconds the pro-tools laden barrage of metal jumped out at me with heavy riffs and screaming vocals interspersed with melodic harmonies and guitar licks. I was so expecting to throw this at the wall and think “meh, rubbish” but you know what, it grew on me. As the disc went from track to track, I enjoyed it more and more. Which is weird for me cos I so don’t usually listen to these sorts of bands… ok, that’s a lie, I have been caught listening to the likes of Killswitch Engage. Actually, to be honest, I own all their albums but that’s besides the point. Granted, this album isn’t gonna make me grow a crap fringe, wear a grey hoodie and get sleeve tattoos with Vegan done across my neck any time soon but I will happily spin this album quite a few times in the coming weeks. Hell, I span it like 5 times today.

In the album’s title track, I thought I heard vocalist Joel Birch scream out “Fuck the ravers!” and I was like “hell yeah, screw those fluorescent clothed glowstick waving wankers!” but I was wrong… he says “fuck the reaper”. I dunno why he says that, Blue Oyster Cult made it perfectly clear that you don’t need to fear the poor guy so I dunno what beef these guys have with him. I think the Reaper is pretty cool. Remember that episode of The Young Ones where they show the 4 horsemen talkin’ about stuff and one of them says “Travel Scrabble, Death?” and they throw the Travel Scrabble at him and he falls off the horse? Always cracks me up. ANYWAY, the other dude who sings all the high vocals sounds like Mark Hoppus from Blink-182. Yeah, really. I was expecting him to bust out lyrics to Dammit or Josie each time his turn to sing came on. And if you are reading along with the lyrics book, you know exactly when he is gonna sing too cos all his lines are written in brackets. For example, “I hate you and screaming makes my throat hurt! (my tatts are new and in Hot Topic I lurk!) There is no god you fucking fuck! (well I guess this is growing up!)” Know what I mean? So when you read along with the lyrics, you’ll have no troubles sharing vocal duties with your mates. That’s quite innovative. And the booklet looks pretty cool too. It’s printed on some rough paper and has arty photos and stuff; my favourite being the chick in the skateboard helmet. Why? I dunno, cos it’s better than the others?

The production values on this are as slick as you can get and the big beefy sound I am sure was a product of recording in New Jersey (home of Bon Jovi… hell yes!) and being produced by this dude named Machine (I’m not making this up, he really does credit himself as Machine). He did albums for Every Time I Die, Lamb Of God and the band, Four Year Strong… which says it all really… cos, you see, when I was on tour with Simon Chainsaw, Nasty Sammy (the lead guitarist) played Four Year Strong’s album in the tour van like 5000 times in-between spurts of Paramore… so I am now quite familiar with them and the signature sound that Machine brings to his recordings. The only thing that irks me here, and this is just me being a super tech geek, but the use of pro-tools is so obvious. Now, to a kid who digs this band and more than likely wears his girlfriend’s jeans half hanging off his ass whilst drinking coffees at Gloria Jeans, he won’t give a shit. But to an uber purist geek who loves analogue recording, I’m sure they’ll be quick to dismiss this. But hey, that’s just a preference thing and doesn’t really hold any weight these days cos it’s only rock n roll that should always be recorded analogue anyway.

Youngbloods is 10 tracks of melodious anger and positivity. And bust this, I even liked it. Yeah, true story. I can dig a good riff and good song structures and this album, thankfully, has both… but I will admit that if this album was screaming the whole way through and those melodic verses were absent, I would have been bored shitless. I just don’t dig being screamed at for the length of an album. I dated this girl once and she had this annoying habit of screaming at me all fuckin’ day for no reason except, I guess, out of sheer boredom, so when I hear music, I like to be serenaded with an awesomeness of riffs, solos and vocalisin’. The Amity Affliction are THE band with the kids right now and I can see why. They have it all. Fans of Parkway Drive and Killswitch Engage are gonna be all over this. Guarenteed to be heard over the speakers when shopping for lip rings in Off Ya Tree or Dangerfield.

The Amity Affliction on Myspace

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!

THRUST

Posted: February 12, 2010 in Australian punk rock
Tags: , , , ,

THRUST were a melodic punk band from the Gold Coast, Qld. Drummer / Vocalist, Brendan Creighton, was originally in a band back in 1981 called The Dead Rats which featured Blackie and Keish who went on to form the legendary Australian punk band, The Hard-Ons. He then moved to the Gold Coast and put together this little gem of a band.

THRUST released a 12″ Mini-Album called “Go Insane” (Grown Up Wrong Records), a full length LP called “Mindless” (self-released, distributed through Waterfront), a 7″ single for the track “Closer”, a CD called “Burnt Out” (self-released) and a few tracks scattered on some compilations. I thought they were pretty damn good so I recently uploaded this to youtube to coincide with the last issue of Long Gone Loser Magazine that features an interview with THRUST guitarist, Theo Hemming.