Do The Pop! Redux, Part One
LPs (2007, Savage Beat Records)
Related: Do The Pop.
At a time when it seems that anyone who ever strolled across a stage has the glittering digital vanity plate of a reissue CD to play to their grandchildren, this collection flexes some real muscle. Spanning the country during the period from 1974 to 1981, it builds on the original 2002 volume to explore every aspect of Australia’s punk and new-wave history in all its sweat-soaked, beer-stained glory. Along the way it takes in everything from scratchy punk to sharp power pop, as well as tracks that are simply unique, like X’s ‘Home Is Where The Floor Is’, or the Lipstick Killers’ ‘Mesmerizer’.
The big guns are present in spades. Radio Birdman anchor disc one with an incredible live version of ‘New Race’ from 1977, while pre-Saints combo Kid Galahad & the Eternals close proceedings, running through a prototype ‘(I’m) Stranded’ that dates back to a 1974 rehearsal. There is plenty on offer from the whole post-Birdman/Citadel Records diaspora, too.
As well as the sonic history lesson and the rarities – including obscure releases by Babeez, the Last Words and the Chosen Few, and first recordings by many who went onto to bigger things, including James Baker, Garry Gray, Ollie Olsen and Ron Peno – the two discs offer some odd snapshots and sly glimpses of the times, such as when Razar mention going to a “local dance” that costs a dollar, during ‘Stamp Out Disco’.
The sound quality varies somewhat from track to track, of course, but that’s part of the charm. It’s a tough call, but the pick of the bunch is probably ‘Time Moves Fast’, by legendary Brisbanians The 31st, a track that’s been lost for too long. Compiled by David Laing, and coming with a fat booklet of notes that are informed by deep personal knowledge as well as excellent research, this series – planned to run to three volumes – will be hard to beat for depth, accessibility and value.
by Trevor Block