Apex b/w Surfing Douche - Prehistoric Douche (Surely Poor Records)

prehistoric douche45They might have started as a jokey Stooges tribute act playing Tuesday nights at Cherry Bar while their other bands were on hiatus but Melbourne’s Prehistoric Douche sound just like the sort of garage-surf monster that most underground rocvk and roll scenes need. Sydney could sure do with them. 

“Surfing Douche” starts out like a de-railed Lizard Train song, with a rumbling bottom end yielding to dual flick-knife guitars and banshee lyrics about going surfing. There’s a significant debt owed to the early Crusaders and The Freeloaders to these ears (your own results might vary) but whatever way you cut it, it’s seriously good. The ludicrous accapella Beach Boys breakdown just adds to the mayhem.

California Dreaming b/w The Real Thing - Fast Cars (Method Records)

california dreamingNil to do with the Mamas and the Papas song, this is from the fab Fast Cars album “LAX” and it’s a lush, string-tinged brooder that’s a great calling card for the psychedelic long-player. 

Remember albums? They were those things where a band put more than one idea into extended pieces of music (aka songs) that became a sum of a greater part. Fast Cars - once a Sydney mod band but these days vocalist Di Levi and multi-instrumentalist Fabian Byrne - sure do, and evoke more in these few minutes than a lifetime of downloads by Taylor Swift clones. 

“California Dreaming” is part of a concept about ambition and star-making in a strange environment and place but you don’t need the back-story to appreciate the 45. 

The flip is a brave take on the Russell Morris song of the same name. No marching jackboots but a heady sonic picture nonetheless. You’d hope Molly would appreciate it because it works all the same.  It’s mastered a little quietly but you can compensate by playing it loud. Available as a 45 from here. 

martiniratingmartiniratingmartiniratingmartinirating

.    

La Crise b/w Le Mot de Trop - Christopher Sourice (Slow Death)

la criseIt’s a vinyl and CD single from the former drummer for French band The Thugs and it doesn’t muck around. Christopher Sourice sings in French but don’t let that stop you if you’re mono-lingual. 

“La Crise” (“the crisis”) is built on chugging guitars, vamping keys and a dense rhythmic backbone. It’s like a “Too Tough To Die” Ramones song with the foot off the accelerator. Repetitive but powerful stuff with Sourice’s urgent vocal leading the charge 

The flip side reminds me of The Trilobites in their “Venus In Leather” days of the early ‘80s (it must be that chorus) and once more it’s a song driven by chunky guitars, a heavy pop feel and a keyboards wash. Who says drummers should stay behind their kit? That's a Bandcamp below so you can try before you buy. 

martiniratingmartiniratingmartinirating3/4
  
Buy it

A Call to You b/w Won't Say it to My Face - The Art Gray Noizz Quintet (Robellion)

art gray noizeThe last time I saw Stuart Gray was in Adelaide in 1990, at a grotty pub on Brighton Road which is now another craft-beer haven for the smug and pointless, and Bloodloss were playing what would be their last Adelaide gig, and the final with that line-up. They'd been hanging out with Stuart, and he'd been persuading Renestair EJ and Martin Bland to join his band Lubricated Goat.

It was quite an evening, somewhat bereft of punters, and The Goat promised, at the very least, overseas adventures. And, possibly, more punters. Frankly, it was a better opportunity for them than slugging out the gigs and LPs of great music to an uncaring town, so Ren and Martin left ...

I'd seen Stu in several bands by that stage; The Bad Poets and The Brats, notably. Each time Stu joined an existing band, he'd lifted them mightily. Eventually, he left for Melbourne and Sydney, as all ambitious Adelaide artists did. I expect you know the rest; he was with Tex Perkins' outfit Salamander Jim and there was a stint with the Beasts of Bourbon.

Computer Girls b/w Renegade - Wolf 359 (Iceage Productions)

computer girlsI love Wolf 359. Excellent stuff. Determinedly analogue-y and old-school riffs and tendencies (if you describe that squelching-with-intent sound some synths make as a riff), it's like a musician visiting from 1978 and eyeing us all with amused disdain. 

And then, realising that this is their future too, snarling with all the repressed eloquence disgust can muster. Love the ’90s beat vibe, with the rippling, pounding synths... not quite yeah hup, but I'll stay here and throb instead.

It’s a digital single, available here.

martiniratingmartiniratingmartiniratingmartinirating

 

Lick My Wounds/Firestorm – SC/TC (self released)

sc tc coverNever became obsessed with that Oz Rock thump-clomp beat to the same extent as many, if not most, around me, but there’s no denying the global impact of the Alberts sound. This two-song CD single contains primo examples of the same, courtesy of the ubiquitous Simon Chainsaw (“SC”) and his new partner in rawk, Tony Currenti (“TC”).

For those about to confess ignorance, Tony Currenti was the session drummer on AC/DC’s seminal “High Voltage” and on hits for Stevie Wright (“Black Eyed Bruiser”) and, um, John Paul Young (“I Hate The Music”.)  He would have joined Acca-Dacca fulltime, too, but for the facts he already had a band and touring on the back of his Italian citizenship would have exposed him to that country’s military draft.

Tony owns a Sydney pizza shop (Torino’s at Penshurst) and plays on occasional AC/DC tribute bills. Globe-trotting Simon Chainsaw has relocated from Brazil to Australia and roped in Currenti for recordings and live shows over a chianti and Pizza Margherita. The result is a combo of that trademark Chainsaw punk-pop roar and good ol’ fashioned Oz Rock.

Currenti’s not big on dramatic fills but drives his big Ludwig kit (the same one he played for Acca Dacca) like a reliable old bus. He fairly nails the feel to the floor on the OK rocker, “Lick My Wounds”, but the second song is where it all comes together. “Firestorm” is wall-to-wall guitars with a seriously solid beat and a rocking hook. The drums were produced by Mark Scully (ex-Ratcat, Deadly Hume) and sound ace. It's a free download here or use the link on the Bandcasmp page to ask Simon for a physical copy.

martiniratingmartiniratingmartinirating1/2