In-Frequencies #11: Bad Aches, Per Purpose, Terrible Truths, Old Mate
TIM SCOTT rounds up the latest cassette, 7” and CD-R releases including tracks from Negative Guestlist’s Brendon Annesley; Australia’s best named band Old Mate; and Diät, a German-Aus collaboration.
(7”, Every Night is Saturday Night)
Melbourne three-piece who have been making waves in garage rock and punk circles for taking the style in its purest form and kicking some beer can-crushing fun into it. Stand-up drums, aggressive bass, blown-out vocals and guitar. The title track moves at hyper-speed with guitarist/vocalist AL shouting/slurring through the chorus. Fun cover art by Andy Lang from Bits of Shit.
Big Richard Insect
The phrase “meat and potatoes” usually has negative connotations but when it comes to this kind of solid garage-based rock, it’s the best way to go. Big Richard Insect don't pretend to be anything but three friends who just pull their baseball caps down and play hard. They've probably played Adelaide's Metro way too often but small spaces and loud amps seem to be the way for a song such as 'I'm So Bored'.
Pick A Line/No Accent
(7”, Iron Lung)
OK, so not only is this record “single of the year” it's also got a pretty cool story behind it. A German and two Aussie expats including Onton from Golden Staph reportedly form a band with the sole purpose of playing with Total Control in Berlin. Not only do they get to play with then, but they end up releasing a 7” on their US label Iron Lung. To top if off the two songs of argy synth punk come close to topping Total Control's menacing energy. Post punk with more of an emphasis on the punk. As I said, single of the year.
Full Ugly/The Stevens/Omi Palone/Sauna Youth
Four Way Split
(EP, Paradise Vendors)
Two bands from Melbourne (Full Ugly and The Stevens) and two from London (Omi Palone and Sauna Youth) unite for this split on Paradies Vendors Inc, a London label run by the guys behind Male Bonding. All tracks lean towards the broken indie pop vibe. The Stevens’ track ‘Weaving a Basket’ has been released before – it’s off their debut EP and is probably the strongest track here. The Sauna Youth track 'Ripping Leather' has a buzzy garage vibe.
This is essentially Melbourne hardcore band Kicked In joined by the inimitable Meatdog from Reckless Aggression. They lace up their boots then go on a wild street punk/weirdo guitar/fast US hardcore rampage. Recording is of dubious quality but with song titles such as 'Be a Skin' you get the sense they don't particularly care about audio finesse. The best song here is 'Mind Corruption' which starts off with some slowed-down, art-damaged dirge before it picks up with a faster spaz.
Hissy Miyake/Terrible Truths
(7” Bedroom Suck)
Terrible Truths, who have been receiving some well-deserved attention of late, team up with Hissy Miyake for two sides of early ’80s post-punk junk. The Terrible Truths side includes live favourite ‘Don Juan’, which has a percussive bounce that first drew the band comparisons with Pylon and ESG. The TT sound is more than that, of course, but the song is killer. Hissy Miyake – including twin sisters Mai and Lei Gryffydd on bass and guitar, respectively, and drummer Matthew Jonas from Aoi – smash a more no-wave vibe. 'Ghosts', with handclaps and off-time guitar, is a bit more “arty”, while 'Modern Life' has Mai and Lei sharing vocals on chorus and more of Lei's angular guitar.
Box Of Wine/Feel Good
(7” Negative Guest List)
The late Brendon Annesley from Negative Guest List/White Cop along with Matt Kennedy (Kitchen's Floor) and Jimi Kritzler (Slug Guts/White Hex) drop two tracks of downer rock that also happen to be quite brilliant in their simplicity and honesty. Anyone familiar with Annesley's previous work in either Meat Thump or White Cop will know that, although it sounds bleak, there is also a sense of humour. “I'm going to drown myself in a big wide box of wine,” he sings on ‘Box of Wine’, “Tell my women don't you weep and don't you cry.” With Brendon's passing it's difficult to not to try and read into some of the lyrics or sentiment, but he would’ve written these songs today and tomorrow. It’s a great bummed-out, mid-tempo pop that brings to mind a scuzzier Sebadoh mixed with a slower jam from his good friend Kevin DeBroux from Pink Reason.
Word Is Bond
One of the finds of the year. Led by Pat Telfer from Bitch Prefect, this band nail a loose slack indie-pop that seems to be oozing out of Adelaide at the moment. 'Bad Situation' and 'I Got Fired', in particular, stick in your head through the addition of sax on the former and Telfer's dead-pan vocals, where he mentions Gawler Station and asks, “Do you have any credit? Can I borrow your phone?” 'I Got Fired' is an anthem for all those stuck in a casual labour agreement. 'The Alma' is about the punishment that is going to work drinks. “Dudes in t-shirts and it's 10 degrees. I gotta get out.” I love this tape. I love this band.
(7”, Bedroom Suck)
A ripping new single from one of Australia's best bands. The addition of Josh Watson (Sewers) on violin duties, a song called 'Warbuton' and the direct vocal stylings of Glen Schenau combine for a Blundstone boot/Drones vibe. This is still an aggressive punk sound that is still different to the bands earlier other work. Call it musical growth but the A-side a rec-recording of an older demo is a big step up. A grade.
(7”, R.I.P. Society)
A collaboration between Angie Bermuda (Circle Pit/Straight Arrows) and Nic Warnock (Bed Wettin Bad Boys/Model Citizen) with a swirling psychotropic sound like it could have come from the Lower East Side of the late-’90s. The guitar on ‘Bull's Eye’ shreds while the b-side 'Hope Diamond' has a wild bass line that Nic aptly compared to “somewhere between Fang and The Go Go’s”. Owen Penglis recorded and drummed.
(7”, Iron Lung)
Australia's best hardcore band is back with a release on Seattle's Iron Lung (Total Control, Useless Children) records and DX, Al, Gash and Em bring more of their mean and spiteful sound over three tracks. The opening 'Nice Talk' rips new holes into your idea of what hardcore is all about. Vocals are surlier than previous records – if that is even possible. Things are stripped back so far all is left is a shredded throat and black eyes.
(LP, Urban Rage)
Massive 25-track compilation put together by Adam Coyle (Ill Brigade/Vigilante) that does a pretty thorough job of covering the current Australian hardcore scene. Some of the bands are amazing and some are utter shite. But that's the nature of compilations and hardcore punk. Some of the better tracks come from Reckless Aggression, Hurt Unit, Sick People and Civil War. Good liner notes with lyrics and photos. Limited to 250 copies. If it hasn't already, this thing will probably sell out faster than one of the guitar riffs contained within.
(7”, R.I.P. Society)
Menacing and uncomfortable punk that reminds me of visits to the old Flinders Lane Missing Link store when I was young. Older punks would hang outside and smoke cigarettes. They didn't look particularly “punk”. There would be Mohawk-ed clowns and the occasional skinhead hanging about, but the most intimidating were the “normal”-looking ones who'd listen to Venom P Stinger and talk about Chrome and No Trend. Whores play a similar style of punk. Slow and hateful dirge. Recorded by Andrew McLellan from Cured Pink. A great record.
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