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Sunday, October 23, 2011

volcanic tongue has a bunch of NGL releases


The Lost Domain
Blondes Chew More Gum
Negative Guest List 1020

Staggering and timely reissue of a 1995 cassette from this legendary Australian underground free rock group (back then known as The Invisible Empire) that oughta re-write goddamn history. The Lost Domain were and are one of Australia’s best kept secrets, the centre of gravity for a whole scene, with a revolving membership that has at one time featured a buncha key underground players – Leighton Craig, Eugene Carchesio, Ian Wadley – and who re-wrote the free rock manifesto as radically as The Dead C. Indeed, The Dead C might be their nearest bed-fellows. Blondes Chew More Gum features a six-piece line-up, with the core of guitarist David MacKinnon and guitarist/vocalist/mandolin player/organist Simon Ellaby joined by Greg Hilleard on guitar/FX and vocals and the ‘drum orchestra’ of Dina Bojic, Bettina Graham and Ian Wadley. The drums dunt all over the place, now beating doomy cultic tattoos, now staggering through endless repeat guitar breakdowns like wounded soldiers, now raising the skies like the Ya Ho Wha Orchestra. The guitar playing is ferociously minimal, working weaves of frazzled steel into hypnotic registers that spill over into euphoric repeats while the vocals mix dying cross-eyed hillbillyisms with Michael Morley does “Sister Ray”. Indeed, the ghost of The Velvets flits throughout this massive double set, particularly the kinda atonal squeal of “Black Angel’s Death Song” but it’s perhaps more accurate to say that they build on the kinda furthered VU sound of units like Vibracathedral Orchestra, combining amplifier worship with DIY ritual and an approach to The Blues that emphasises its potential for musical freedom as much as Harry Pussy. But really, as Jon Dale puts it in his eloquent sleeve notes, “Blondes Chew More Gum fucking ROCKS.” This release turns alla your contemporary rock histories on its head. Singular, bloody-minded in its pursuit of the zone, massively psychedelic destructo rock of the kind only the Southern Hemisphere can deliver. Comes in a gatefold sleeve with liners, snaps and fliers. Highly recommended!

Monday, October 10, 2011

another new one

Dead Farmers - Out the door 7" (r.i.p. society)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

couple new reviews
Royal Headache Royal Headache LP (R.I.P Society)
Goddamn… no sooner do I convince myself that it is statistically impossible for another Australian group to completely blindside me with their greatness than Royal Headache show up and knock me senseless. Looks like a pretty boring record, what with the “band in an empty lot” album art and sparse information, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t the best traditional punk album I’ve heard this year. It’s like a perfect blend of The Jam, Buzzcocks, The Circles and Nasty Facts, with maybe a touch of The Housemartins for good measure. If you are familiar with Nasty Facts, you know they’re not a comparison to make lightly, but seriously, Royal Headache are right there – speedy, Mod-ish punk with an endless, precise energy and a vocalist who would make any band sound better with his mouth behind the mic, the type of confident singer that sadly seems to have fallen out of punk rock fashion. It’s kind of thrilling to hear a band be this good. And they even throw in a song like “Surprise”, ripped straight from the first Strokes album, and incorporate it into their own style. I know underground Australian rock is a cool trend for us Americans to be into and all, but Royal Headache surpasses all of that; it’s a record anyone into punk rock needs to hear. I’m not making this up!

Woollen Kits Maths / Out Of Town 7″ (R.I.P Society)
The curiosity I felt toward new releases from R.I.P Society has quickly turned to eager anticipation in the wake of a number of smash hits from this great label. Beats me who Woolen Kits are, surely just another good (if not great) Australian rock group, so let’s check it out… “Maths” opens with a sunshine-y guitar riff and bouncy drums, the sort of thing that would be melodic pop-punk if they played it at twice the speed. The vocalist seems to like this laid-back tempo though, slowing and deepening his vocals to a Calvin Johnson-esque bellow, sung from the gut with a rose in his teeth. “Out Of Town” picks up the pace, kind of a standard garage number if it weren’t for the even more prominent vocals, culled deep from the well of indie rock (or maybe The Trend’s “Band-Aid”). Pretty cool single overall, although in the presence of Woollen Kits’ R.I.P Society peers, a soft backboard layup amongst so many 360 dunks.