Record Reviews

Can’t Stop It! II

This is a wonderful compilation. I’m far too young to remember any of these bands and even though their tracks have been taken from cassettes more than two decades old, they still sound vibrant and alive. Not surprisingly, the range of sounds collected under the term ?post-punk? is broad: off-kilter dance songs with horns and synthesiser, rattling, guitar-driven punk rock and demented 1980s pop. Essendon Airport’s spoken-word ?I Feel A Song Coming On? is full of percussion and looping horns, but still feels eerily minimalist. Did it sound so alien when it was released? It’s hard to imagine Asphixiation’s ?The Crush? being recorded today. ?I’ve got a crush on you,? the singer winces out, halfway between a laugh and a sob, over a primitive, bouncing synthesiser melody. It’s like the tune to a deranged aerobics video. Apparently it’s quite intellectual, and was inspired by a multimedia installation at the University of Melbourne.

The amount of effort put into this release is admirable. Music journalist and owner of Chapter Music, Guy Blackman, has written 300-word biographies of each band in the CD booklet, with more spark and twice the knowledge of the usual liner-note filler. The most readily available equivalent to this release is Rough Trade Shops? Post Punk 01* (featuring Gang Of Four, The Slits, Pigbag, etc), which focuses on London and New York. Chapter’s *Can’t Stop It* series easily matches it in quality. ?*CSI and other likeminded projects may have eased Australia’s famous cultural cringe,? Blackman writes in his introduction. More of it, please.