Posts Tagged ‘Off The Hip’

Going through my archives recently, I have been spinning many different records and CDs and re-realised that there really are some incredible songs out there and sadly, for the most part, they are ignored. Why this is so continues to baffle me and the only reason I can come up with is that there are too many bands and a lot of good ones just get lost in the heap. So what I have done is to help make the next 30 minutes of your day that little bit more interesting by presenting to you 10 great songs that you probably missed out on or just simply forgot about. Turn up the speakers my friends and listen away. Things get better from here on in.

1. THE DEXATEENS – “Down Low” (from the album Single Wide)
I discovered this band many moons ago as they released some records on one of my all time favourite labels, Estrus Records. In 2009 when I was traveling the USA, i noticed they were playing at the Grog Shop in Cleveland the same night that I was in town. Of course I had to get along to that and what I discovered was nothing but cool guitar jams and classic blues inspired rock n roll. A little different to this song but that night, guitar slinger, Elliott, gave me a promo of this album to check out and when I got home, I chucked it on and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now you can too!


2. THE GOODNIGHT LOVING – “Dead Fish On The Banks” (from the album Cemetery Trails)
On the 4th of September 2009, Milwaukee’s very own The Goodnight Loving waltzed into Off The Hip Records in Melbourne and performed an instore to a packed house thus turning so many on to this “new” band. While not new in the true sense of the world, many that night had never heard the band before and were instantly converted to lifelong fans, well, that is until they fell off the radar once they disbanded which was a real shame as they were definitely one of my favourite discoveries in 2009. When I visited Milwaukee in 2012, I ventured to the only two record stores I could find to search out any vinyl that I didn’t have from these cool cats of garage pop n rock. I was a tad successful in obtaining this very LP and it has span consistently on my turntable ever since. Better late than never, right?


3.  TROUBLED COAST – “Patient Hands” (from the EP I’ve Been Thinking About Leaving You)
I bought this record without even hearing a single note from the band. I was on a merchandise website picking up a limited single by The Wonder Years and figured that I should make the postage worth it so I picked up a triple pack of different coloured vinyl variants of this 7″, (trust me, the half white / half blue limited to 200 variant looks bitchin’ and you would have bought it too) and just hoped for the best. What I found was that this song resonated with me in all the right ways and my ears just thanked me from the bottom of their tinnitus-infected heart. I was moved. Maybe you will be too?


4. JEFF DAHL GROUP – “I’m In Love With The GTO’s” (from the album Scratch Up Some Action)
When I saw this record way back in 1989, I was in a music store called Seeing Ears which was in a basement in Rundle Mall. The guy behind the counter there told me that this album would blow my mind. He put the record on for me and this is the opening track from that classic slab of awesomeness. I hadn’t even gotten to the second chorus and I was like “Here, take my money!”. Top notch purchase there and I still see this album around and wonder why it’s in stores and not in people’s collections. This song is a killer.


5. LIZ PHAIR with MATERIAL ISSUE – “The Tra La La Song” (from the album Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits)
There is no way this could fail. What we have here is the one and only Liz Phair backed by a band most have never heard of singing one of the coolest and most enjoyable TV theme songs (which was also covered by The Dickies) from the golden era of children’s television. How could you not sing along? And do I have to remind you again that the vocalist is the sultry Liz Phair? The video is full of good times and features some amusing moments from The Banana Splits and brings back fond memories of a time when Saturday Morning TV was simply fun.


6. WESTON – “Retarded” (from the album Got Beat Up)
I first heard this song on a compilation way back in the day and immediately I was hooked. This song is pure pop perfection of a time when you’d make mixtapes for people and want them to pay close attention to the lyrics for whatever reasons you saw fit; love, lust, anger, frustration, etc. This was an era of life that will probably never happen again. Sure, people will still make mixtapes but it will never be the same. This part of my life was a very happy time for me musically. So many great songs, political correctness wasn’t too overboard (now a band would probably get inundated with abuse for writing a pop song called Retarded), and love really could be found within a mixtape. The lyrics to this song are one we can all relate to at some time of our lives. This song was my life in 1996/7.


7. JETS TO BRAZIL – “You’re The One I Want” (from the album Perfecting Loneliness)
I think anyone who was a Jawbreaker fan was eager for frontman Blake Schwarzenbach to continue writing classics and he did just that with Jets To Brazil. This is off their second album and it stuck with me for quite a while. The album is a little different to their debut, Orange Rhyming Dictionary, but it is still a winner if you are in the right frame of mind / mood to handle such stuff. Blake stings deep with meaningful and emotive lyrics. This song is a perfect example.


8. NADA SURF – “Weightless” (from the album Lucky)
I remember when I bought the album Lucky I was told that this album would brighten up all my dark days as I was going through a pretty rough time. I got home and once I put the needle on the record, laid down on my bed and just lost myself within the music, things started to look more promising again. This song is just one of many feel good anthems found on this record and I suggest that if you are feeling down in the dumps, maybe this album will be a pick-me-up for you just as it was for me.


9. SLUSH PUPPIES – “You’re So Perfect” (from the 7″ titled You’re So Perfect)
Australia’s very own Descendents. A song so infectiously catchy that I find myself singing it at the most strangest of times. I received a mixtape from my friend Jenny way back in the early 90s and this song was on it. Immediately I set out to find this song and low and behold, I found the 7″ vinyl on one of my many travels from Adelaide to Melbourne. I was over the moon as this song, and it’s B-Side (which is also on YouTube), were two slabs of power pop punky perfection that I have always loved and continue to enjoy over 20 years later.


10. BANE – “As The World Turns” (from the 7″ titled Rome 12:58am)
One of the coolest hardcore songs from the last few years. Released in 2009, this classic sound of old-school straight edge hardcore finishes with one of the most epic 65 second brackets that you will ever hear in hardcore music. Fast forward to 2:32 if you don’t like what you’re hearing  at the start and sing it with me: “I took the whole damn ride with my best friends by my side. The days turned into nights and we held on with all our might. Cos nothing stays no way, no how, there’s no forever. The only thing that lasts forever is right fucking now!” Thankyou and goodnight.


So tonight I saw The Domnicks. For those not in the know, The Domnicks combine the guitar twangin’ talents of Dom Mariani (The Stems / DM3 / Someloves) and Nick Sheppard (The Cortinas / The Clash) and together with Howard Shawcross (The Elks / The Jackals) on bass and Marz Frisina (DM3 / The Calhoons) on drums, they make a blend of blues swagger and rock n roll. If you’ve been tuned in to this site, you may recall my review of their “Hey Rock ‘N’ Roller” mini-album that came out on Off The Hip. If not, here it is again:

THE DOMNICKS – “Hey Rock ‘N’ Roller” (Off The Hip)
Dom Mariani (The Stems) and Nick Shepherd (The Clash, replacing Mick Jones when he went off to that Big Audio Dynamite shit) have gotten together to dish up a nice little mini-album of melodic garage rock n rollers. It definitely has that UK R&B soul from the 60’s and early 70’s and the track ‘Already There’ reminds me heaps of Grand Funk. Works for me! I love that shit. Mixed by the team of Rob Younger (Radio Birdman) and Wayne Connolly (The Welcome Mat), they have given The Domnicks a superb sound that is a sure fire hit and destined to be a fave for years to come. You see, truth be told, I am not the biggest Stems fan. I mean, I like ‘em but I am not a diehard “The Stems Are The Greatest!” type of guy so for me to praise this, you gotta trust me that I aint doing it for the cred. I am pissing in these guys pockets cos this is a really good record, well, CD. There’s not a dud track in these 8 songs. That’s pretty good bang for your buck in a world where people are buying singular tracks cos so many albums these days are filled with filler cos bands have gotten lazy. A solid release from these cats and I hope to see a follow up in the not to distant future cos these 8 tracks… I mean, a mini album? Really? Who does mini albums these days? Full length please.

I was pretty happy to hear they were coming to Melbourne to play a show and arrived to the Spanish Club all excited to hear tracks from this CD played live. Sadly, the turn out tonight wasn’t huge. A real shame cos this venue was quite big so with only around 50 punters, it looked quite empty. Plus, a lot of people chose to sit down while the band played which must have made the band feel really awkward. I mean, to be up on stage rockin’ out and getting into it and watching a handful of people dancing up the front and enjoying the band while a bunch of people were sitting 30 metres away against the back wall must make you feel a bit shitty. A bit rude to our friends from Western Australia but oh well… who am I to judge, anyway? Still though, The Domnicks gave it their all. It was cool to see! The songs sounded great and as the gig went on, the show got better and more people got groovin’. I liked it. Really. It was a gas and the tunes were a treat. I was glad to have been there. If they pass through your town, by all means go see them. It’s good honest rock n roll from people who do it cos they give a damn. Hell yeah!

Heaps of reviews today. Some of these were written at the time the album arrived and some of them were written over this last week. Still, here we go with another batch of music that was sent in for review. Songs from these releases can be heard on the Long Gone Loser Rock Show. Enjoy!

AMERICAN UPRISE – “American Uprise” (Full On)
Once this 5 track EP started, I honestly thought I was watching the highlights from a WWE Pay Per View. It just had that sound. You know the one I mean and if you don’t, just watch the end to this years Royal Rumble and you’ll see what I mean. As people fly off the ropes, get put through tables and cop a Hurricarana from Rey Mysterio, this EP’s opener could very well serve as a soundtrack to such pre-determined violence. Once the second track, “She Gets What She Wants” (definitely the best track of the lot) kicks in with its big riffs, you’ll be startin’ brawls of your own in no time… but only within the confines of small bars in small towns in South Dakota instead of the squared circle. Unless of course you’re like me and don’t like violence… then you’re more likely to suck down a brews and headbang and air guitar in front of your stereo speakers while it blasts through at maximum volume (which I am sure I would do… if I drank beer, headbanged and hung up my Flying V for the much lighter kind). The third track, “You Already Know” rolls up and shades of WWE territory flash through my mind again and whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it will be hard to keep this from falling into the genre of progressive rock / metal like Nickelback (which I hate) and Drowning Pool (which I don’t mind). The EP’s 4th track, “Take Me Away” is possibly what Kyuss would sound like if Josh and Nick weren’t in the band but the dudes from Saliva were. Final track, “Long Ride” sounded familiar (could be a cover but I’m not sure) has a big groovin’ riff with off time drumming and chugga chug metal bits. Not a bad effort and I really think these guys should pursue Vince McMahon and push for some WWE airtime… or just sue the fuck out of Rev Theory for stealing their sound.

A YEAR TO REMEMBER – “Targets” (Boomtown)
Brisbane quartet playing emo melodic rock ala Saves The Day, Motion City Soundtrack, The Get-Up Kids and Mayday Parade (without the misogynistic lyrics) and I gotta say, it aint bad at all. Nice and catchy. Good singalong feel good songs of happiness and probably heartbreak. This EP is 6 songs of radio friendly, sugar coated, niceness and bad fringes… but it still rocks. I dig it and I will defend it’s sappyness til the death (OK, so maybe not that far but still). Try not to handclap along to the verses in “Bombs”. I’m definitely lookin’ forward to the album… if they record one.

BILLY GAZ STATION – “Skins And Licks” (Kicking Records)
I reviewed Billy The Kill’s solo album a bit aback and wasn’t heaps impressed by it. I mean, it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t spectacular so I wasn’t sure what I was gonna think of this. His solo album was a bunch of acoustic numbers but this time, Billy Gaz Station is his rock band. I put the CD in the player and got started. I was hit with a bunch of hot licks and big riffs that bordered on metal crossed with punk. Nice! I really dig this album. The songs were a lot better written, the recording had balls, the vocals had good harmonies and it all fit together just right. The song structures would bounce from rock to punk to metal to power pop to even a hint of power ballad glam yet it all came under one umbrella of Billy Gaz Station. Nice work! Think Weezer meets The Wildhearts meets Fugazi meets 80’s rock. Yeah, I’m into it.

CRUD! – “Devil At The Wheel” (Sony / Megaforce)
Never heard of them before but this is Crud! An electronica rock outfit from Detroit that from looking at this bio, they’ve been all over the place, in movies, on TV, yet I just hear of them now. So what does this Crud! sound like? Well, you can file Crud! right next to the likes of Ministry, NIN, Rob Zombie and the first Marilyn Manson album. It’s the stuff you’d hear in those horror goth punk films or something. It’s interesting, not really my cup of tea but it’s ok. I was intrigued, that’s for sure. I think this album needs to be heard while fucking… and probably on drugs. Yeah, that’s what I reckon. Why do I think that? Cos of the beat, man! The groove, man! You dig? It’s jivin’ stuff. So put her on top, crank up the volume and grind away boys and girls. Added bonus: The hot chick on the cover gets 2 thumbs up.

DND – “Flow” (Amphead)
DND hail from London. They sound like they’re stuck in the 80’s playing indie rock with guitar licks drenched in that New Order-esque reverb. Pretty catchy upbeat rock, not really a big fan of this stuff but it’s not bad. The opener is a definite winner and a repeated listen has me finally realising who these guys sound a lot like, think how Eve 6 would have sounded in 1984. Yep, that fits perfectly. If you’re still lost and confused I’d suggest giving them a listen and coming up with a much more accurate description. I did, however, find 14 songs hard to sit through in one sitting. I am a Ramones fan after all.

HELLBATS – “Unleashed ‘N’ Alive” / “One Minute Suicide” (Kicking Records)
Dirty gritty punk n roll ala Peter Pan Speedrock, early Turbonegro, Speedealer and The Turbo AC’s which is a pretty damn fine mix if you ask me. Bordering on metal, these French motherfuckers of heavy rock power their way through 11 songs of sheer fury and regurgitated guts. Fuckin’ nice! Their addition of Anthrax riffs during their tune “Lost Indians (Revisited)” deserves a high five indeed. The opening track to “One Minute Suicide” (‘A Beautiful Death’) had me almost singing Turbonegro’s “This is my final warning!” If you like rock that packs a punch and doesn’t sound like the Hellacopters, this would be a fine and highly acceptable choice for dishing out your bucks. Both of these albums are really fuckin’ good. Nice and heavy, brutal shit and for a taster, head on over to and have a geezer at that.

HIPBONE SLIM AND THE KNEE TREMBLERS – “The Kneeanderthal Sounds Of” (Voodoo Rhythm)
When I first heard this band, I was hooked. I really liked their lo-fi dance hall sounds of rockabilly mixed with 50’s doo-wop and guitar twang. I was all over their previous works and this one is up to scratch and a damn fine album to boot. If you like groovin’ and eatin’ pizza with your dame and then headin’ to a drive-in for some neckin’ finishing with a night at inspiration point to consummate your relationship, this band is for you. I can vouch for their greatness. Have I ever been wrong before? Of course not. This is the shit! And there’s a song called “Dig That Grave!” which reminds me of that scene in The Young Ones episode “Nasty” where the old woman asks Neil who is holding a spade, “Excuse me, do you dig graves?” and he replies “Yeah, they’re not bad actually”. Classic! I guess you have to see it. Still, I loved this album.

HOUSE VS HURRICANE – “Forfeiture” (El Shaddai / Amphead)
They call this band ‘cinematic hardcore’… and yeah, I am just as confused as you are. This band was a hard nut to crack. It was all over the shop. We’d get screamo hardcore, metal and rock riffs and keyboards n stuff with emo singing / crying and then all of a sudden, it’d break out into techno drum beats. I was like ‘huh?’ and after 7 songs, I was still thinking the same thing. It’s weird. Like this is definitely moving forward with the whole crossover of genres thing but that techno shit has gotta go. Or maybe it doesn’t. I dunno, I can see how it works but this band is just insanely chaotic and a tough one for me to get into but I will say that they have put it together quite well. It’s like Alesana or Poison The Well gone keyboards and hippity hop. I didn’t start breakdancing though. After repeated listens, I’m afraid that the jury’s out on this one cos I’m still fuckin’ confused. Listen to it yourself on Myspace or something and make up your own mind. Please note: LGL takes no responsibility if you decide on wearing neon colours, dropping acid and dancing on the spot to Commodore 64 sound effects after indulging in ‘Forfeiture’.

KILL TEEN ANGST – “Kill Teen Angst” (Good Cop Bad Cop / Inertia)
This 5 tracker from Perth’s melodic noisemongers have taken the harmonies from the likes of the Archers of Loaf, taken some timing lessons from Fugazi and throw the whole bloody lot into a mixer with oldschool emo power popsters like Knapsack and Samiam. This experiment in home economics has them developing a style so unique and cool that KTA might actually just become one of my favourite bands this year. For those keeping score at home, they used to be called Ten Speed Racer who I must say, I had never heard before but that’s not really important cos the fact that Kill Teen Angst have released a superb offering to the world of music is enough to have you heading to the record store tomorrow to get a copy of this, their debut EP. I predict big things for these guys… unless of course they break up, then that would be a real shame cos this is some good shit. You should own this.

LAME EXCUSE – “Life. Like. Wild.” (Self-Released / Amphead)
No doubt lumped in to the emo pile (which I can’t do cos the photo of them is obscured and I can’t see their fringes and let’s not be judgemental here), these dudes play melodic rock with a tinge of punk. Lotsa big harmonies, nice catchy radio friendly music that probably doesn’t get played on the radio, but I like it. I know nothing about these guys other than they play catchy tunes and they recorded some of this at a place called Ginger Ninja’s Lair. How fuckin’ cool is that? I wanna record there. If you listen to Burzum and the sounds of, in the words of Ryan Adams, “romantic black metal”, I can assure you now, you’ll probably hate this. It’s very Alkaline Trio and at times crosses paths with Bodyjar (especially on the song ‘Wicked Witch’) so much in fact that I had to double check to see if Bodyjar’s Cameron Baines was making guest appearances without telling me. The likeness is uncanny. The only real difference is that Nursery Crimes’ Phil Rose didn’t write the song for them (as he does all the best Bodyjar tunes). Regardless, Lame Excuse… good tunes. I like it.

LAUREN HARRIS – “Calm Before The Storm” (Demolition)
It’d be way too easy to pick on hot-body Lauren Harris’ rise to fame and glory, what, with her being Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris’ spunkrat of a daughter so I am just gonna be honest here. I went to see Iron Maiden in February 2008 when they toured with Lauren in tow as a support and all my friends were like “She sucks” and I doubt they’d even heard her music. I know I hadn’t heard a single song and her album wasn’t released til June that same year so they couldn’t have been able to judge her by her music either. But being the loyal friend that I am, I hung around with my mates and missed her gig as support band to her father’s heavy metal extravaganza. I then headed to Sydney to see Iron Maiden again, 2 days later. When we got to the venue I decided to not hang out in the bar but to go in and actually witness Lauren live in concert. I mean, I had paid for the ticket, and I don’t drink anyway, so why not, eh? And do you know what? I liked it. I kicked myself, just silently, I might add, for missing her set at the Melbourne show and forgave myself quickly so I could then thoroughly enjoy her Sydney set. And I did, muchly. Time had passed and one day her album appeared in the mail for me to review. I threw it on and listened with open ears and bust this… again, I liked it. Let’s be honest here, the lyrics are pretty crappy but then again, she’s not out to change the world or get all political on ya. The music is melodic hard rock with some cool riffs and some top guitar solos. She’s not the world’s best singer but hey, either is Courtney Love and people dig her bigtime. Lauren Harris’ debut album is 12 tracks of catchy rock that I found myself doing some major toe tapping to. She sings about broken hearts and getting over them, fucking her ex, being a woman whose living life and rockin’. And quite simply, it’s fun. Don’t compare it to the works of her father cos there’s no match and you won’t be happy. Besides, they’re 2 totally different styles of music. Lauren’s a party girl and her music shows she’s just here to have a good time. Works for me. Give her a go. Don’t be all ‘that guy’ and refuse to give her a chance cos you’re too tough to have an open mind. “Calm Before The Storm” is a decent debut and I bet her next album will be a lot better now that she’s toured all over the world, caused a kafuffle, and tasted the rock n roll lifestyle (all under dad’s watchful eye).

LES ANNEES – “Les Annees” (Off The Hip)
I have to be honest here; I was really put off by this album’s cover art. It’s not flash, in fact it’s actually quite boring and there is no reason why I would pick this album to have a look at if it wasn’t sent for review. So I put the disc in and was greeted with psychedelic wig-out rock! Wow, this is cool! The cover’s misleading but this album is great! Reminds me a lot of The Black Angels; a psyche band from Austin, which is cool cos they are one of my favourite discoveries from the last 3 years. It’s fuzzed out melodic pop with organs and slow drum beats. This album would sit nicely in the genre now known as ‘shoe gaze’ and that’s not a bad thing. Really into this! Seriously, fans of the Black Angels take note. You’ll be all over this one. Some albums should only be released on wax… this is most definitely one of those albums. A must-have album for your collection.

MOVIE STAR JUNKIES – “A Poison Tree” (Voodoo Rhythm)
The Movie Star Junkies aren’t the best band on the VR roster but they’re still alright by me. They’re like a 60’s fuzz band and whilst I do like that, this may sound trivial and possibly even pathetic to those pro-digital peeps, but I find that a CD ruins the vibe of this band’s style. They’re definitely a vinyl band cos the clean sound of the CD I feel removes the sonic effect that these cats need to be heard in; the way they were supposed to be. Does that make any sense? I just found the flat digital sound of the CD kinda gave it a drab effect, if you know what I mean. Also, the songs themselves are not instant winners for me, even though I liked them. I just had to play the album a few times before I clicked with it. I really liked the song “The Walnut Tree” although I don’t know why, I just thought it was a good one. These dudes sound kinda drunk, or stoned, or both. Still, it’s alright.

NEWTONHEATH – “Come Together And Unite” (Self-Released)
Kinda like Bodyjar meets Mere Theory. It falls into that bucket; melodic and poppy punky and a bit emo. Not bad though, the opening track was a bit repetitive but the album picked up although none of the songs made me go “yeah, fuckin’ awesome!” and shake my fist in the air or kick out the jams. It was just an album of melodic music. Nothing more, nothing less. Interesting that they’re from Adelaide and I had never heard of them. It shows that I am truly slipping in what’s happening within the music scene these days in my old hometown. Either that or I am just getting old. Probably the latter.

PERIAH – “Conversations” (Amphead)
Heavy riffage rock that borders on metal but it’s put here and not in the metal reviews cos it doesn’t fall into traditional metal but yeah, it’s classed as metal. This is more like screamo hardcore metal. I think musically these guys are gifted but the vocals I found pretty bland. Like there’s no life in them. It may just be me being old but I dunno, the singing is a bit flat (although yes, he does sing a lot better than me). Periah are clearly influenced by Budd, The Mark of Cain, anything Steve Albini has touched, and maybe that band Cog and they absolutely deliver the goods musically… it’s just the vocals. They didn’t grab me.

SIXTYNINERS – “Too Drunk To Truck” (Voodoo Rhythm)
Hilarious country music about truck drivin’, live stock and any other Southern cliché you can fit into one album. This two-piece feed deliver it all, probably in the back of a pick-up truck with a gun rack in the back. I loved it. From the moment the album kicked off with the title track, I was smiling. Probably cos of the ridiculousness of the play of words on the Dead Kennedys track, but this ain’t no Blowfly re-working, no, this is a 100% original number. If you love country and blues played by punk rockers, you are gonna love this one. Put your hair in a quiff, shoot some squirrel, live in a caravan park and eat at a topless diner with the sixtyniners!

SONIC’S RENDEZVOUS BAND – “Live, Masonic Auditorium, Detroit, January 14th, 1978” (Alive / Shock)
This live album by post-MC5 rock n rollers, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, is a raw as fuck, ass kickin’, sonic assault on your ears in every way that you’d want your ears to be assaulted. Led by guitar shredder and MC5 co-founder, the late Fred “Sonic” Smith, this here is 7 tracks of wailin’ solos and real rock n roll. Listening to this, you can definitely see where those first 2 Hellacopters albums found their inspiration. This shit is real and it’s fuckin’ awesome. The set finishes off with their Detroit anthem and contender for one of the greatest songs ever written in the history of music, “City Slang”. This is from a time when guitars were not just instruments, but weapons that could fuel a full scale attack for a rock n roll war. It mattered then and it matters now. If you aren’t listening, you’re wasting your time and you should start asking yourself if anything you say is valid. And to be honest, it probably isn’t. Personally, I hate live albums for the most part but this album sounds so good, it’s like it takes you there. Front row centre. Oh and just like the CD says, play at maximum volume. Fred “Sonic” Smith, the musician of the 20th century, may he rest in peace.

STARK – “The Curse” (self-released)
Stark are a band from New York City. Their singer is a hot and spunky punk chick named Lani Ford who spends her evenings reading the news on some TV station and when she ain’t doing that, she’s fronting Stark. A band that, sad to say it, have no guts. Like there’s just no ball tearing rockers on here and the recording is all just so bland and generic. She swears a bit though and has some confronting lyrics but the music just goes nowhere and I was left feeling quite bored. Good looks just aren’t enough when it comes to rock n roll.

THE BLACKLIST – “Total Blacklist” (Drugbust Records)
Do you like the Hookers and Zeke? If so, meet your new favourite band. Melbourne’s The Blacklist play metal as fuck hate punk and you’re gonna punch the fuck out of random cunts once you get strung out on this, their second album. There’s no stopping once the 3 guitar rock n roll train gets started, a head-on collision of brutality, guitar solos and sluts. Sex, violence, blood and guts. It’s all here and you know you want it. There’s also a nice cover of Gang Green’s “Alcohol” which, even if a gazillion other bands have covered it previously, it doesn’t matter cos it’s a great tune. Real heavy ballsy stuff that is well worth your dole money. Guarenteed to make you unpopular with the ladies but knee deep in whores. Nice!

THE BLACK ZOMBIE PROCESSION – “Mess With The Best, Die Like The Rest” (Kicking Records)
There was a band called Franky Lee that were reviewed in LGL #13 and for a moment, I thought this was their second album. Yeah, the similarities are uncanny. But that’s cool cos that Franky Lee album is awesome. The difference here is these guys are French, not Swedish and the songs are about horror movies and Franky Lee’s weren’t. Really cool metal riffage played by a pop punk band with lots of melodic vocals and harmonic guitar licks. I will say that 55 minutes was a long album to get through especially since I am used to 38 minute albums due to my love for vinyl, but thankfully the songs are rockin’ enough to get you through. Mention must be made of the fantastic cover art by Ed Repka; the mastermind behind Megadeth’s iconic ‘Rattlehead’ and many other classic metal album covers. Way cool!

THE DANGEROUS SUMMER – “Reach For The Sun” (Hopeless)
From the moment opening track, “Where I Want To Be” kicks in, you’re immediately drawn to it’s infectious harmonies and catchy jangly guitar hooks. With guitar stylings similar to UK artists like New Order and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin crossed with the punk rock inspirations of the Alkaline Trio and Jimmy Eat World, The Dangerous Summer deliver an album of sweet melodies to make every emo girl add love hearts to each side of her username on Myspace faster than you dyed your hair black after seeing Refused’s “New Noise” video. Yeah, admit it, we all know you did that. Anyway, there are 11 tracks on this debut and each one is good enough to make it on to your iPod. Well, that is, if you like emo-ish styled music… of course. I’m impressed though and I couldn’t care less if you agree with me or not.

THE JOYSTIX – “…And Joystix For All” (Self-Released)
Hungarian punk rock n roll! These guys smoke! They clearly wear their influences on their sleeve and there aint nothing wrong with that. Think Hanoi Rocks, Backyard Babies, the Ramones, New York Dolls, etc. and you’ll get the idea. I really dig them. Cool and catchy with a fun attitude. Vocalist / Guitarist, Blondie (no, not Debbie), was once a band called The Suckerstarz who I have an EP of and that rocked too. He knows what he’s doing and if you love the bands we write about here, you’ll be right into these cats. This is their second album and it’s a winner. And I am even gonna overlook the fact that “Handful Of Hate” sounds so much like Kid Rock’s “I Am The Bullgod”. Why? Cos I actually like that KR song. Yeah, true story. But I also like The Joystix and you should to.

THE SHIMMYS – “Brunettes On The Rocks” (Off The Hip)
Remember The Pandoras before they went glam rock and released an album called “Stop Pretending”? Well think what an album would sound like if the next album after that came out before The Muffs first record. Confused yet? Well don’t be. It’s a trio of chicks playing garage rock with fuzz and groove. I really got into these gals when I heard their previous album and this, their last as the band have sadly called it a day, is their finest of the 2 I have heard. Kickin’ off with a cover of The Saucermen’s “Danger Boy”, you’ll be groovin’ instantly and there’ll be no stoppin’ the bop ‘til you drop. A really damn good album of fun and non-stop knee high boots and short skirt lovin’. The retro cover art reminds me of a Shag painting and this album comes on glorious vinyl for the audiophiles amongst us. I likey!

UNCUT WHITE NOISE – “Uncut White Noise” (High Voltage / Amphead)
These Melbourne guys cover GOD’s ‘My Pal’ on this very EP. If you’re not hip to that tune then you need some schoolin’. It’s one the great Aussie rock anthems that should have been bigger than the Tatts ‘We Can’t Be Beaten’. UWN’s version isn’t the best but it’s respectable. I mean, how can you better something that’s already the best? You can’t but these guys gave it an honourable try. More importantly though, these guys deliver 4 originals that scrub up nicely as well. It’s gritty, dirty, and smells like a sweaty bar full of drunken derro’s… kinda like The Tote; the greatest rock venue on the planet. Awesome. One of the tracks, “2 bad If It’s 2 Loud” was once a Stiff Meat song but Matt joined these cats and brought it with him after SM went bust. Cool riffage. If you like bar fightin’ punk rock n rollage, then get this EP on High voltage (that rhymed). You’ll be punchin’ out dudes, bigtime.

URBAN JUNIOR – “Two Headed Demon” (Voodoo Rhythm)
If Voodoo Rhythm is known for one thing, it’s the discovery of the many one-man bands across the globe and he’s found another in Urban Junior. A dude who plays every single instrument you can think of… sometimes all at the same time. This dude is one talented soul and this album is a collection of one-take wonders. That’s right, this dude lays it down in 1 go with no overdubs or retakes. Filled with quick catchy numbers, Urban Junior’s third album is a good time fun record of dance numbers that should be spilling out of jukebox’s in pizza parlours around the world. Hell, if I owned such a pizza parlour, I’d make sure this was crankin’. The bio calls it “Swiss-Spankin-Electro-Trash-Garage-Boogie-Disco-Blues-Punk!” and if that isn’t a Dr Seuss tongue twister than I’ll eat green eggs and ham, mate! I love this record. Can’t wait to buy this on wax cos this CD needs that extra groove that only the warmth on an LP can bring. I love this album. One of my favourites so far for 2010. Hell yeah!

VANITY INK – “More Senseless Random Behaviour” (Swedmetal Records)
Female fronted Finnish hard rockers, Vanity Ink, are back with their second album and you know what? It’s good, baby! Following on from 2007’s “On Your Skin”, these guys have grown in leaps and bounds and their songs are right up there, in your face, and they have delivered a balltearer with this new slab. Nice gutsy guitars that pack a decent punch and crunch and some nice solos to boot. It’s ballsy, it’s bluesy, it’s hard rock as fuck. Think Hardcore Superstar, latter day Hanoi Rocks, The Wildhearts, Backyard Babies, etc. except fronted by a cute chick. Yeah, you got it. Vocalist Annabella sounds like she can tear up a storm on the stage and break your heart in the bedroom, always a good combination for fucked up rock n roll. Hell yeah, love it! Granted there are a couple of tracks where you think “why would you put that bridge / chorus there?” but with the right producer (Mike Clink, for example), these cats could be dishing up their own Appetite For Destruction in no time. Check them out at and see what I mean.

Bootleg Booze Records is a label from Arvika, Sweden and is run by a couple of cool dudes who love rock n roll. They have released an extensive catalogue of releases throughout the years on high quality vinyl pressings including coloured and special edition vinyl releases for their “singles club”. Always well worth your money, I strongly recommend this label as they are in it for the right reasons; a pure love of great music. For the most part, the crux of releases are from Scandinavian bands but a few bands outside of the region sneak into the roster and deliver the goods. Here’s my take on the swag they’ve sent me over the last year or 2 that was to be in issue #15 of Long Gone Loser but seeing as there is no issue #15, just an anthology in book form, I have put them here for you.

THE ACCIDENTS – “Stigmata Rock ‘n’ Rolli” (Bootleg booze)
I first heard the Accidents years ago and thought they were amusing, crazy, and cool and it’s funny how nothing changes but the shoes. This 6 tracker of punk meets 50’s rock n roll is a real fun mix. These guys are a riot and I think they’d be a hoot to see live. The only beef I have with this record is the guitars are a bit grating to the ears so I need to fuck with the equalizer a bit so it doesn’t hurt my sensitive half deaf ears too much. Still though, it’s punk rock and it’s great. This is kinda like drunk punk without the drunks and it’s sure to get the kids dancing. One of the tracks, “Lonely Street”, sounds remotely like The Undertones “Teenage Kicks” but alas, it wasn’t to be but instead, it’s a great love song that sounds like it could be on the soundtrack for a punk rock version of The Wanderers (if such a thing was ever made). Think of the Powder Monkeys meets 50’s rock ‘n’ roll and that’s about the best description I can give you. Sounds crazy but that’s what I am hearing. The vocals do remind me a lot of the late Tim Hemensley (R.I.P.) so maybe that’s why I am thinking that. Either way, this 10” record is a lot of fun and is 6 tracks you’ll wanna keep. Enjoy!

BACKYARD BABIES – “Fuck off And Die” (Bootleg Booze)
That last self-titled album from the Backyard Babies was a fuckin’ killer! I loved it. And this here, the first 7” single from the album is a taster of what that album was all about; the Backyard Babies returning to their punk rock n roll roots and delivering the goods. Great songs, great anthemic chorus’, an awesome mix of tattoos, angst and Social Distortion meets the Ramones. “Fuck Off & Die” is simply awesome! The flip has another track from the album called “Zoe Is A Weirdo” which is a classic ballsy number followed by the slower re-working of “Saved By The Bell”, played differently here in a stripped down piano version starring GNR’s Dizzy Reed. Well fancy that, eh? The Backyard Babies are one of my favourite bands and if you’re a fan, you own this already. If not, you should. Yep, rock!

FOUR FLAMINGOS – “Mad Evil Woman” (Bootleg Booze)
One great record label, two sides of hot pink vinyl, three tracks, four flamingos all bandied together on this 7” slab. The A side was a great ass kickin’ punk tune that seemed it was over not long after it started. Quick and to the point. The flip had 2 tunes, the first, “No Rules”, was alright and whilst not the best thing you’ll hear all year, it wasn’t bad. The A side was still better though. The second and final track, “Since I Met You”, was a slower number and I quite digged it. I think it’s still too early to know what I think of the Four Flamingos at this point in time. I like it but am not sure of how much. Need to hear more first and then I can make an informed decision. So far, so good.

MID-LIFE CRISIS – “Cranked Up Really High” (Bootleg Booze)
I loved the first Midlife Crisis 7” single and was stoked when this turned up in the mail. On lovely gold vinyl, this 4 track slab or punk rock featuring the all-star line-up of Urrke T (Mary Slim), Dregen (Backyard Babies), Mans (The Maggots) and Robert (Hellacopters), was always gonna be killer – regardless if the songs were good or not. That line-up alone should get mouths drooling. There’s no originals, it’s just 4 guys getting together and playing killer punk covers from the late 70’s. They are all smokin’ versions too! Just real good solid punk rock with a great sound and excellent playing. Here we cop Slaughter & The Dogs, PF Commando, The Outsiders and The Menace. I had never heard some of these originals so the good thing about this single is, like the first one, it got me searching out the original bands. That’s a good sign. This is really great! I love the title track, it’s a balltearer and well worth the bucks alone. Awesome!

A split 7” featuring 2 ass-kicking motor punk rock n roll bands. The UK’s Black Radio (who I think are fuckin’ tops) deliver 2 speed punk thrashers in the vein of Zeke, Speedealer, Peter Pan Speedrock, etc. and their songs just shred like a motherfucker. I am all about this band. Guts, power, brutality, rock n roll! This is the shit, baby! The Ruling Class are from Sweden and I hadn’t heard their tunes before I heard this 7” and my verdict? Similar style, powerful thrash punk rock n roll like Motorhead meets The Peepshows and Puffball. You dig the sound, I do too. I really need to hear more from these guys. Great stuff! This is a must have record for anyone who digs the genre known as ‘Motorpunk’. Lovin’ it!

VARIOUS ARTISTS – “Bootleg Series Vol. 1 – Up North / Down Under” (Bootleg Booze)
When this LP arrived in the mail, I was pretty darn excited. Behind the awesome Dirty Donny cover art, you will find a comp of Aussie and Swedish bands dishing up exclusive tracks. The problem for me is that when I turn the record over and read the bands featured on here, unfortunately my professional tact is thrown out the window and my personal problems surface. There are 2 bands on here featuring a guitarist I don’t particularly like who happens to play in both. Hey, if he acted like a mate to you but was busy fucking your (now ex-) girlfriend, you’d hate him too. So I figured, how can I review this? Well, I am gonna take the easy way out and just fail to mention his bands. This guy doesn’t deserve any exposure cos he’s an asshole, to put it mildly, and it caused a lot of shit for me in my personal life. I won’t cause disrespect to the other bands on the comp though as they’re all awesome and should be spoken about, so here goes…

First of all, I found it interesting that this comp has a few songs by Aussie bands who have already broken up. But I digress, let’s start with side A, shall we. The album kicks off with a killer track called “Good Times Gone” by The Specimens, a band who I do miss dearly. I used to see these cats all the time. Great songs and great playing. They were always a good time. Tramp I have never heard before but their track was most rockin’. I will definitely search out more from them. The Leadfinger track, “Swept Back”, was exactly what I expected, which was melodic and tops. I love his work. I think he has grown in leaps and bounds as a song writer over the years and his work continues to improve. I have featured his stuff many times on the LGL Rock Show so if you’ve been listening in, you’ve been hearing it. One of my fave tunes on here was definitely The Deadbeats song, “Gets Me By”. It was just so catchy and cool and I was singing along bigtime. It’s reminiscent of the mid-80’s Waterfront Records era of Australian rock n roll with bands like the Spunkbubbles, The Eastern Dark, etc. Top tune and probably my pick of the bunch. Seriously, get into it! Sator seem to have been around for a long time now and it was good to hear that their punk n roll is still kickin’ ass! Their stuff aint so easy to find here in Ozland though so I had forgotten all about them until this comp turned up so thanks for that! And finally, the last band, well, no disrespect to the other 3 but your guitarist can go fuck himself!

Onto Side B and we start with one of my favourite bunch of Swede’s, The Sewergrooves. Their track “Easy To Pretend” was a tasty treat. I really like these cats and feel they put out quality records, just it doesn’t seem like anyone buys them. A shame. These guys are really on it and their guitarist is a shred master. The Sure-Fire Midnights were a bunch of hot chicks from Melbourne who I think have broken up now which is a shame cos their track, “Over The Edge” is a real rocker, kinda like a more rock n roll, less punk version of the Lunachicks. Rio Grande were a new band to my ears and their track, “Eye For Eye” started off sounding like 70’s Iron Maiden but once the female vocals started, those similarities ended. Still, the song was like a blend of 70’s rock n roll and punk. A really good tune and I hope to hear more from them. The Screwtop Detonators were from Melbourne but sadly, have since called it a day. One of my fave Melbourne bands, these guys always delivered but then it all just fell apart and that was that. A damn shame. Great guys and fellow Wildhearts fans as well. Their song, “We Want You” follows their tradition of power pop punk n roll and if you’re hip to these guys, you know what you’re getting. I miss this band. These cats were awesome and you should check out their full length on Off The Hip. What’s a comp of bands from Sweden without including “Demons”? Exactly! So they are featured here with a track called “The Leeches (I’m Getting Out)” and of course, it rules. The bridge and chorus sounds a lot like the New Bomb Turks so that’s a winner in my books. This side of the album ends with a tune by a band that has that piece of shit guitarist so again, no disrespect to the other band members but you ain’t getting the time of day on this site!

So there ya go, besides those 2 tracks I don’t bother with, every single song is a winner on this compilation. Well worth the cash and it’s on glorious vinyl so the artwork looks fantastic. Excellent liner notes from i-94 Bar’s Craig Regan and Sweden’s own rock legend, Dave Champion. Bootleg Booze have been consistently putting out great records and this is another they can chalk up as a win. Although, the Aussie band selection could have been improved and honestly, I would have given the record space to 2 other bands who are a lot better and would have me favouring the whole goddamn record. Examples for next time: Mustang, The Darkest Heartstrings (although they sadly broke-up too but hot damn they were good), Johnny Casino & The Secrets, Bored!, The Meanies, The Onyas, The Hits, Killerbirds, Tigernauts, Wrong Turn, The Dollyrocker Movement, The Blacklist, The Spazzys, Russian Roulettes, etc. to name a few. Just sayin’.

And here are a couple releases from new local Melbourne label, Bro Fidelity.

FIRE WITCH – “Critter / Kritta / I Spit Lies” (Bro Fidelity / We Empty Rooms)
I remember when Muscle Car played a gig with Fire Witch years ago at the Green Room and I remember them being really fucking loud. And they had no guitarists, just bass players and a drummer. It was intense yet you couldn’t turn away. But then, I never heard of them again. Now, god knows how many years later, this turned up in the mail. Nice! I put it on and was taken on an almost 50 minute jam through 4 tracks (which is really just 2 tracks anyway). These are impromptu jams of psychedelic stoner rock ala Om and Boris. The CD’s booklet says the track, “I Spit Lies” comes complete with lyrics written by Hard-Ons guitarist, Blackie, although I must be deaf cos I didn’t hear a single word throughout the 31 minute jam. I think I’m going senile. The second song, “Critter / Kritta”, is a different style 2-part jam and has more of a funky rhythm to it. This is one weird band and not exactly how I remember them but it was a long time ago. For those who dig psychedelic instrumental jams and lots of bass guitars, this is your band! Right here, Fire Witch. You heard it! Limited to 500 copies only in cool hand packaged cardboard sleeve. Way cool? Way!

HOTEL WRECKING CITY TRADERS – “Somer / Wantok” (Bro Fidelity)
The HWCT seem like they never stop playing. Like seriously, if you live in Melbourne, you are no doubt familiar with their name if not their style of instrumental noise, pounding drums and riffs. They seem to play like 2000 gigs per month around the city of Melbourne. I know, it sounds crazy but it’s true. The only band that I know that seem to play more often than they do is another Melbourne band, Sin City, but I am sure the HWCT are giving them a good run for their money. ANYWAY, this 7” serves up 2 tracks of a bassless rummage and my fave of the 2 was ‘Wantok’ as I felt it had a bit more of a tune to it. Sometimes I wonder just when you hit the point in your musical career or there being nowhere else to go but these guys have driven past that and somehow manage to keep making it work, time and time again. For a 2 piece chicken feed of brothers, the HWCT aren’t stopping anytime soon as it appears the possibilities for psychedelic noise are endless. I like the cover too, looks pretty swish with the gold stamped logo on the front n stuff. Definitely for fans of SUNN O))), Monarch, Boris, Desert Sessions, Grey Dayturas, and the entire Southern Lord back-catalogue. Limited to 300 copies so get in quick if 2 piece stoner jams is your kink.

Click here for Bootleg Booze Records online.
Click here for Bro Fidelity online.
Click here for We Empty Rooms online.

A few posts back, I did a review of the Goodnight Loving’s self-titled album and thought it was quite a good one. So last night I played it again and was still amazed at the greatness of this thing. It’s really quite swell and I think if you haven’t heard it, you should get along to Off The Hip and buy yourself a copy on CD or glorious vinyl. This album is a keeper. But that’s not why I am talking about them today. You see, back in September last year (2009, and the 4th, to be exact), the chaps from the Goodnight Loving visited Australia to play a bunch of shows around Melbourne and Sydney. One of these shows was an instore performance at Off The Hip Records. I went along and took my trusty video camera to film this event cos I saw them the weekend previous with Johnny Casino and they were awesome so I had to capture this great band so I could show it to friends n stuff that haven’t ever seen them.

ANYWAY, the reason for this random post is that just recently I made a DVD of that show and you’re all entitled to copies of it. Seriously! I’m not out to make money off the band so all you gotta do if you want a copy is paypal me $4 (USA) to: damomusclecarhotmail.comat (replace the at with an @, obviously) and I will use that $4 to buy a DVD-R, make you a copy and then post it to your doorstep, just like that! That’s a heaps good deal. If you know me personally, just give me a blank DVD and I’ll burn it for you. There’s no cover art but you will get the full 36 minute show. It was all filmed with 1 camera but it is a digital camcorder. There’s no extras cos I don’t know how to do that (plus I only filmed this one show) but this is a show recorded in stereo and the sound and picture quality are both rockin’ enough.

I have uploaded the entire show in a lower quality to YouTube which you can watch here but if you want the full thing on DVD-R, then yeah, I’ll hook you up.

In the meantime, here’s the show on YouTube from start to finish. Enjoy!

Another label batch of reviews for you. Off The Hip is a record store and label based in Melbourne (381 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Victoria. Phone: +61 3 9621 2044) and is without a doubt my favourite record store in the country. Specialising in power-pop and garage rock, the shop is well-stocked full of rock n roll grub for your consumption. And occasionally, we are lucky enough to be a part of the shop’s label parties where they throw free booze and bands for rock n rollers like us to just wander in, browse the swag, eat chips and drink while the trashy sounds are spewed forth from the vintage amps and PA system. Good times! ANYWAY, What I have dished up here is a whole swag of OTH releases that I have been sent since the last issue of Long Gone Loser Magazine. You can hear tunes from these releases played on the Long Gone Loser Rock Show Podcast that is done each week. Either way, here’s a nice taster of what span in my CD player from the OTH label. Read on and then go out and support these bands either at a show or by simply visiting the Off The Hip website and laying down some cashola.

JOHNNY CASINO AND THE SECRETS – “I Am Who I Am, Not Who You Want Me To Be” (Off The Hip)
Johnny Casino and his band are without a doubt one of the greatest live bands in Australia at the moment. Yes, really. If you disagree, you simply don’t know what you are talking about. Now, he delivers us his new album and it’s quite simply one of the best releases of 2009 with its stunningly superb musicianship and songwriting. Again, Johnny is backed by an all-star line-up of Aussie rock n rollers from various bands such as the Eastern Dark, the Persian Rugs, Hoodoo Gurus, and others resulting in an album that is nothing short of awesomeness. Each song, hand-crafted from the very mold used to create the genre known as rock n roll, is dished up with such precision, you’ll be flamin’ groovin’ in no time. Johnny Casino has done it again buckos. Oh and if you haven’t already, pick up his previous effort, “New Clothes, Old Shoes”. This dude’s got it goin’ on. Two thumbs up.

Seeing Johnny Casino and band live is always an experience. You can’t go wrong. His shows are always entertaining, you will always get a solid performance, and most importantly, the music is fuckin’ great. This live on 3PBS album is a 10 track live to air that he did in 2008 on one of Melbourne’s most prestigious radio stations and to put it bluntly, it’s a powerhouse of rock n roll. Kudos must go out to the mixing and production as the quality on this CD sounds fuckin’ great. It’s well mixed and the songs are played with such high energy that you can feel the sweat dripping through your stereo speakers and trust me, at a Johnny Casino show, there’s bucketloads of the stuff being dripped from pores throughout the room. Turn it up, keep it cranked, rock like fuck. Nice work!

LITTLE MURDERS – “Stop Plus Singles. 1978 – 1986” (Off The Hip)
I had never heard the Little Murders until this CD ended up on my desk. I knew absolutely nothing about them. Now, this CD is perfect for me to catch up on a forgotten gem, or in my case, a never knew about before gem. This disc features 27 tracks of some of the catchiest power pop you will hear and won’t be long before you start singing along. It’s definitely got that blend of UK 70’s punk and jangly pop that was so prominent in the 80’s. A good collection of stuff I had never heard before or a great re-introduction to those who heard and may have forgotten. Hit picks: “Things Will Be Different” and “After The Fire”.

MASS CULT SUICIDE – “Mass Cult Suicide” (Off The Hip)
In the mid-80’s, there were tons of indie labels spewing forth great indie releases across Australia. The country was filled to the brim with so many great indie records and each weekend I would blow my pocket money on buying 45’s and LPs of these bands. How on earth does this relate to MCS? Well, they sound like they are from that era and listening to this record reminds me of those years gone by. I can’t explain it too well but I am sure you get the drift if you were there in that time. Their bio says they are influenced by Iggy, The Damned, Bowie and Lou Reed and you know what? That’s pretty fuckin’ spot on. These cats sound like a combination of those 4 at one time or another on this CD, and sometimes all at once… only from Melbourne. It’s not a bad release at all. Groovy!

MIDNIGHT WOOLF – “Tropical Disease” (Off The Hip)
Surfin’ exotica twangin’ garage rock n roll ala the Cramps and a bunch of other cool shit. I saw Midnight Woolf play a show supporting Johnny Casino one night and upon walkin’ in to the Greyhound I saw these 3 hip cats wearing sunglasses at night beating the hell out of their guitars while a chick in a black halter top was pounding the hell out of her drums all whilst the audience, respectfully, cheered for more. I was blown away, to put it mildly. The Woolf rocked and I’m sure Andrew W.K. agrees. For those counting at home, I am told by the way of their bio that this here is their fourth album. Fourth? What the hell happened to the other 3 and why aren’t they on my desk for review? I’ll have to follow that up. In the mean time, you need to hunt this down like Gary Glitter hunts kids at a primary school. “Tropical Disease” has a nice distinct sound that sounds nothing like all the other Melbourne bands I have heard whilst in my first year of living here. This could be due to the fact that the rumour mill claims they’re Spanish. But this is speculative… even if their names do end in Sanchez. If they are in fact following rock n roll’s highway to hell instead of bull fighting in sequined sombrero’s and tights then let’s give them 3 cheers cos this album is some tiki diggin’ sweetness. Two thumbs up and a plate of nachos. Viva!

With a resume consisting of members that were in The Specimens, Kamikaze Trio, Digger & The Pussycats, The Go Set, and Legends Of Motorsport, you know you’re gonna get some quality well schooled musicianship on this debut disc right here from these Melbourne sha-waddy-waddys (that’s a cool word). This some lo-fi garage rock cranked up to 11. Everything here has been recorded in its natural garage state. There are 11 ballsy blues-inspired songs of fuzztoned riffs and jams. I like it! Coulda done without the cover of “I Just Wanna Make Love To You” cos it didn’t match up to the quality of their originals. But who am I to judge? I like Skid Row. Anyway, I have never seen these guys live yet but now I know that must change immediately. For fans of The Mummies, Gasoline, and pretty much every other band on the Estrus label. Niceness!

SCREWTOP DETONATORS – “3, 2, 1… I’m Done” (Off The Hip)
When Muscle Car toured Perth on the ‘Single As Usual’ tour, we shared the stage with local band, the Screwtop Detonators. Immediately I became a fan. They had balls, they rocked like fuck, they brought it and they kicked out the jams. Their only problem being that they lived in Perth… far away from the rest of the country where they laid unknown to anyone outside the Swan Basement in Fremantle. A couple years later this quartet came to their senses and moved to Australia’s capital of rock ‘n’ roll, Melbourne, bringing with them a whole swag of new songs, a new sound and the same high energy they had when I first saw them tear up a stage. As soon as I had heard this album was being recorded, the anticipation of its arrival began growing. And labels rejected this, they didn’t think it was any good or they didn’t think it would sell. That was until Mickster at OTH heard the release and immediately signed the band. I bet he’s laughing now. Screw you labels that ignored them! So readers, are you with me yet? You getting the picture here? The rest of the world needs to see this band. They need to hear this record. It’s one of the best Aussie releases of 2008. The tunes are catchy as fuck with guitar and vocal harmonies so damn good that it’s hard to NOT like them. There’s something very fuckin’ good going on here. Sure, the sound has changed since that time I saw them in 2004 but the songs are still as good, if not better. Everyone matures as they grow and that’s just what has happened with the Screwtops. Catch them live, buy this album, rock like fuck and enjoy good time power pop rock n roll… the way it should be played.

THE CHEATS – “Hats Off To The Cheats” (Off The Hip)
Not to be confused with the 274 other bands called The Cheats, this groovy duo hail from Melbourne, Australia and deliver garage blues rock n roll ala The Dexteens, The Gimmicks, The Black Keys, and The Immortal Lee County Killers, yet still manage to hold that sound that makes you instantly think “Australian band!”… Hell, sometimes Julian Tovey’s vocals remind me of Stewie from Brother Brick and quite frankly, I think that’s a good thing. Love that band. The Cheats have wicked guitar riffs and strong musicianship which makes this two-piece soul machine stand alone in a time when it seems everyone wants to do the duo thing. Damn you, Jack White! Granted it does make it easy for touring and obviously = more cash but some days I just like to hear a bass guitar in my mix. Unless of course the guitarist in the band is competent enough to make the recording sound as though there’s more than just 1 guitar track… as heard in his album right here. Cool shit!

THE CREEP OUTS – “Hopeless Friends” (Off The Hip)
These guys hail from England and have that whole beat R&B thing going on. You know the Nuggets boxset? That stuff. This duo know the vintage sound and how to get it. Staying true to the sound of an era long gone by, these 14 tracks will have fans of bands no ones ever heard of decked to the nines in mop tops and suits handing over cash for this hot number in no time. And why? Cos it’s pretty good, that’s why. “Hopeless Friends” is an ode to the beat generation, a time when record collecting would have been tons of fun and a lot harder than it is these days now that the internet has helped us locate those hard to find gems. While it wasn’t the greatest album of the last year, it had some golden moments that will please most fans of the genre. My only beef was a couple of the slower numbers tended to drag a bit but that’s cos I’m a picky cunt who probably listened to too much Ramones as I was growing up.

THE DOMNICKS – “Hey Rock ‘N’ Roller” (Off The Hip)
Dom Mariani (The Stems) and Nick Shepherd (The Clash, replacing Mick Jones when he went off to that Big Audio Dynamite shit) have gotten together to dish up a nice little mini-album of melodic garage rock n rollers. It definitely has that UK R&B soul from the 60’s and early 70’s and the track ‘Already There’ reminds me heaps of Grand Funk. Works for me! I love that shit. Mixed by the team of Rob Younger (Radio Birdman) and Wayne Connolly (The Welcome Mat), they have given The Domnicks a superb sound that is a sure fire hit and destined to be a fave for years to come. You see, truth be told, I am not the biggest Stems fan. I mean, I like ‘em but I am not a diehard “The Stems Are The Greatest!” type of guy so for me to praise this, you gotta trust me that I aint doing it for the cred. I am pissing in these guys pockets cos this is a really good record, well, CD. There’s not a dud track in these 8 songs. That’s pretty good bang for your buck in a world where people are buying singular tracks cos so many albums these days are filled with filler cos bands have gotten lazy. A solid release from these cats and I hope to see a follow up in the not to distant future cos these 8 tracks… I mean, a mini album? Really? Who does mini albums these days? Full length please.

THE GOODNIGHT LOVING – “The Goodnight Loving” (Off The Hip)
First listen had me skipping tracks looking for an instant catch all hooks driven power pop gem. I didn’t find it. I was probably in a stupid mood cos when I went back to this record and listened to it again on a nice sunny day, I kicked myself for previous idiotic thoughts. This album is fuckin’ fantastic! It’s catchy as all fuck and the songs are so well written and structured with sheer perfection that you wanna get up off your ass and dance around the room… which is what I would do if I didn’t have arthritis in my knees. The Goodnight Loving is totally infectious and boppin’. It’s uptempo power pop with a nice jangly garage sound. Sweet to the ears and the harmonious vocals will have you singin’ along in time. Really great stuff!

THE PINK FITS – “Super Mini Album” (Off The Hip)
Oh mate, we have here 6 tracks of great power pop garage rock n roll on the label that hasn’t done me wrong and these boppin’ jivers from Wollongong are creating tunes that do more than just please these ears. The opener, “Saturday Night Millionaire” is so catchy and melodic. It’s garage punky power popness that is just so damn danceable. And I don’t even like dancing. Hot damn, what a tune! Then there’s the third track, “Maybe Tomorrow”; a jukebox boppin’ a loo boppa-doo little ditty that gyrates, grates and rubs you up in all the ways imaginable. Just like you did to your first date when trying to get to second base. This EP is so good and I can’t wait to hear more. It’s like Guitar Wolf would sound if they spoke clear English and actually spent some money on recording an album. There’s something for every fan of kickass jives and boogaloos on this disc. Heaps good and totally recommended.

WRONG TURN – “2” (Off The Hip)
The second album from duo Wrong Turn finds themselves a drummer change but all for the better as they now have good ole Myles Gallagher (The Zeal, The Double-Agents) pounding the skins. Good jivin’ blues here with harmonica and hand claps. You’d think there’s nowhere left to go for a two piece feed with the abundance of bands doing it but I tells ya now, bass players, who needs ‘em? I mean, really? Well, actually that’s not true. Even the ole White Stripes have snuck in a bass on their albums at times, as have The Black Keys. But for Wrong Turn? Bass players not welcome here bucko! Saxophone’s are invited but you 4 stringers can keep out. No trespassing! Recorded on completely vintage equipment, the sound is real lo-fi without sounding shit like a Mummies record (who still somehow sound awesome, by the way). Combined with 2 pretty suave Stones covers (‘Turd On The Run’ and ‘Off The Hook’), there’s 14 tracks here for your consumption and I think you’ll dig it bigtime.