Woollen Kits-Maths/Out Of Town (RIP Society)
BvS-Ah, muffins!. The scent of baked blueberries. So lovely. But wait.......I see a man, he is dressed....haphazardly. I am in someplace called....Olympia.
BvS-Would this man wear capri pants w/a hunting cap?
BvS-So! It is him. But only in voice. The music......I am in swinging London....it is perhaps 1984. Creation...yes... Jas-
RSW-(excitedly interrupts) Jasmine Minks! Bunzo, you are a piece of work!
BvS-Shut up idiot! This is to fool me. No.......this music is from elsewhere. Another continent. I see snakes, toads, vast desert, kabobs & pasty vegans......
RSW (shakes his head in disbelief) Right AGAIN! They's called the Woollen Kits. From Melbourne,Australia.
BvS (Visibly exhausted, she tosses the record into RSW's lap. She is sweating profusely & is feebly trying to hide a hand that belies a faint but steady palsied tremor)-Mein Gott, Roland Woodbe! I am finished with this foolishness. Gulliver! Please, let Mr. Woodbe know his time is up.
Suddenly the entire space filled w/the most penetratin voice, like a talkin fire alarm what had gone off;
Gulliver the Parakeet-'Rous, Esel! Rous! Rous! Rous, Esel! Rous! Rous!' (over 'n over, over).
You don't have to tell me twice. Plus my ears was gonna start bleedin if I didn't vamoose.I gathered my records & bid farewell. Now that was a day-spent! Even El Jeffe'd won a couple bucks on a pick-four. On the way back to the complex I's tried to tell him about that scene. He wasn't havin none of it. With the lucre won, he'd 'invested' it in a bottle've Cathaca & was hell bent to get home 'n muddle some limes. I mentioned that Bunny had a gift, that she could see the future. El Jeffe retorted "I can see the future too. And it's this car in my driveway in 10 minutes"!. And so's it came to pass. We's rolled up w/time to spare. And them Caprihina's is goin down smooth. "Faith" as they's say, "is a passionate intuition".
Saturday, November 19, 2011
'Drunk Elk is an experience of a forgotten place. Each track a cracked sermon for those spoilt by a lifetime of drums. The lesson we can't have it all. 'Pieces of People We Have Known' was unhinged, 'Under Neon Lights' fills out; has more rage, more range, and focuses to describe the madness as something clearer, louder and more felt. Picture Father Yod, disrobed, and dispatched to a very different island, landing in the hands of a mischievous Current 93. Drunk Elk have the driving stare of the Pin Group, the sideways hit of early Terminals and sound like they've only heard Joy Division described.' - Paul Garcia.
"Much anticipated full length LP from VT faves Drunk Elk who come out of Hobart, Tasmania. The trio use vocals, organs, bass and guitars – no drums – to navigate the kind of beautiful edge-of-the-world tuneage of NZ/OZ faves like This Kind Of Punishment, The Garbage And The Flowers, Builders et al. Vocalist Dave Askew is as distinctive a stylist as Richard Youngs, Pip Proud or Alastair Galbraith while sounding like approximately none of them. Tracks vary from slow-motion organ-led heartbreak to crude DIY avant-folk in a way that is as staggering as anything by The Scrotum Poles but the overall atmosphere is of late 80s/early 90s underground moves cut with a time-lag/lost in translation vibe that is hard to put your finger on. Drunk Elk somehow combine earnest, sad, heart on your sleeve songwriting with a ton of avant smarts and a crude underground aesthetic that is just totally beguiling. Heart-stoppingly beautiful, peerlessly inventive to the point that you keep throwing names at em – Kiwi Animal?! – but none of em stick. Only wish we could’ve caught these guys live when we were in Tasmania ourselves. Edition of only 300 copies. Very highly recommended" -David Keenan/Volcanic Tongue
Another Wave from the Aussie Underground
by Kevin J. Elliott
by Kevin J. Elliott
If you weren’t already aware, there’s a glut of excellent, if not unbearably ugly, punk being produced in Australia these days. And though there’s been a long lineage of mordant riffs from the Saints, Radio Birdman, the Birthday Party, and lesser-knowns like Feedtime borne out of the desolate outback and cretin-filled ghettos, a lot of these kids would rather snub Nick Cave’s influence than build the man a statue. If anything, this latest surge in exports from Oz owes as much to the Columbus, Ohio pantheon as it does to homeland allegiance. First, there’s the Negative Guest List. Not only is the DIY label and zine named after a Thomas Jefferson Slave Aparments’ song, it contains a monthly column dedicated to keeping up with the current underbelly of Ohio’s capital city. Then there’s the unhealthy obsession with the Cheater Slicks. Among Australian musicians, the Columbus band’s output has become a genre all its own, so much so it’s puzzling why the trio hasn’t already migrated to the southern hemisphere to ride out their twilight years. It’s like there is a pipeline between the two scenes—that or circles in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney are actually universes parallel to Columbus. Hell, down under they celebrate the Unholy Two with reissues and two-page centerfolds of Chris Lutzko. Mighty bizzaro indeed. But even in this age of internet and instant satisfaction, the Australia underground still feels far away, hard to access without postage stamps and mysterious as to how it continues to thrive. The first half of this year brought us Circle Pit, Slug Guts and Kitchen’s Floor, but in this latest batch from Australia, it’s apparent the junk-punk abscess is still bubbling wildly, fueled by bad smack, crude culture and the government’s dime.
Dead Farmers, “Out the Door” b/w “Never Enough” (RIP Society)
From the label that introduced the world to the hellish biker groove of Circle Pit comes the debut single from Dead Farmers. I made the mistake of missing them when they last checked in, but judging from these two songs, Dead Farmers sound as if they’re put together with more time and care than their peers. That doesn’t always guarantee dazzling results, as the charm of most of these bands comes in their crummy fuck-off abandon. Dead Farmers are instead stylized with rootsy clarity. “Out the Door” relies on a faux roadhouse racket made famous by bands like X or the Mekons. I’m sure the Gun Club and The Cramps are more suitable psychobilly aspirations for what the Dead Farmers aim to play, but in the end, exasperating as “Out the Door” is, it seems neutered of any sign of danger. Though the male-female blooze damage of the aforementioned Circle Pit can be found on the flip, “Never Enough,” the whole thing is a centimeter away from giving love to Uncle Tupelo.
Low Life, Sydney Darbs EP (Negative Guest List)
It would be remiss to exclude the downer nihilism of Flipper when referring to what is so energizing about this mass movement of Australian half-speed hardcore repossession. Low Life is the perfect representation of what makes junk-punk such a gnarly revelation. The Sydney trio displays such a classic tone on their debut that it’s like discovering some lost pocket of proto-sludge from the early ’80s. While Black Flag and Bad Brains were searching for speed, Low Life’s inspiratory mainline is filled with Drunk with Guns records and, as expressed in “Atomised” or “Rewire,” Wire as pigfuck. This is heavy face-melting metal, really, just bypassing actual metal in exchange for AmRep aggro. Think Cows and Cherubs, rhythms so blatantly bashed to a grind it’s like being dragged by the leg on hot asphalt, with skin flayed to reveal the gory details of the circulatory system. This is the grimiest twist on the Aussie underground’s already soiled underbelly, perhaps the Australian doppelganger to the sonic rape provided by the Unholy Two. That’s definitely apparent on “Down Under,” which ends the EP with their distinctively abrasive structure, but soon devolves into brown-acid psych or some nightmarish PiL mantra driven into oblivion.
Of course this next wave is not limited to these records. For more pummeling examples of the chum coming from Australia, one need only to pay the extra cash required to get the Negative Guest List in their hood or check out other releases by like-minded labels, like RIP Society and Bedroom Suck Records, currently being distributed in the States. Going forward, I’m eagerly anticipating Degreaser’s Bottom Feeder LP and the further disintegration of no-wave though this jenkem-coated lens on Scraps’ Classic Shits album.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
9 11 2011
ROYAL HEADACHE, another in an endless stream of fantastic new Australian groups, delivers an essentially flawless pop record in long form on their first shot. While their debut single totally impressed, they truly shine here, making the kind of record that folks from a wide array of genres will likely embrace. The performances are top notch across the board, complete with actual singing that’s so proficient and downright awesome that it sounds totally fucking jarring. The production is perfect, fuzzy in all the right places, propelled by a stabbing guitar sound that recalls the most powerful moments of classic UK DIY punk rock. The soulfulness and excellent songwriting exhibited throughout brings to mind a speedy, punk SQUEEZE, which I hate myself for saying, but fuck it, it’s there. Much like stateside heroes HOME BLITZ, ROYAL HEADACHE is capable of conjuring up a monster hook out of chaos and making a whole lot of other current pop bands sound terrible in the process. (RIP Society Records)