Mike Rep's got about a good've set of ears as I know, so when he sends us a record for perusal, we respectfully peruse. The guy's credentials are right on, whether it's on the topic of the Quota's, Vertical Slit, the 'Propeller' lp, Times New Viking, you just can't say enough. It's the stuff of legend & not just in his mirrors. But there's also the side to Mike that will honestly tell you that Nico was great right up till that last bike ride, or that Lou Reed might "still surprise us". Sentimental? No doubt, but the man believes & while I don't share his Quixotic notions I'll still give him props for holdin on. I suspect this was the side of him that wanted me to hear this debut lp by Mors Ontologica called 'Don't Cry'. Why the hunch? 'Cause if I didn't know better I'd guess the record was 30 yrs old if it was a day. Mors Ontologica chug out gravel throated, sax fueled, mid tempo rock that's aggressive in a pre dawn punk sort of way, not unlike the halcyon sounds of earlier fellow staties such as Rubber City Rebels, Bizzaros, Tin Huey or Numbers Band. Challenging but not in your face. Not yet anyways. If I close my eyes when this is playin I can still count the mile markers on 77 between Cleveland & Akron, the smell of molten rubber flarin in my nostrils. A room full've flared jeans, down vests, earth shoes & feathered hair comes flashin back. And them's the girls! Not the most pleasant of memories, but what the hell? Somebody was pushin the envelope. And it was fun. Then. I don't know that I need a reconstruction now but I appreciate the spirit emanating out've of 'Don't Cry'. It's challenging-again-but this time there's plenty of water under the bridge w/many swimmin holes to choose from. I ain't the same hopper I once was, fuelled on Black Label & Marlboro's, boogie'n down to aggressive strains of forward motion barroom rock. But maybe this is the current that floats your boat. Mike Rep's got his skipper's hat cocked at a jaunty angle & is on board w/Mors Ontologica. And while we obviously saunter w/2 different set've sea legs I'll have to agree w/his cabinboy on this; he might not always be right, but he's never wrong. Toot, toot, thar she blows!
(contact Mors Ontologica at; email@example.com & ask for their limited edition cd while your there)
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
A long layoff I know, but it couldn't be helped. The saying goes "absence makes the heart grow fonder" so let's see about that. How's come I was shutdown? John Law, that's how come! I got pinched in some sting operation transportin liquor (3 cases of almond tequila) from Delaware across to Pennsylvania. I know'd that PA has a hardon for such activities, so imagine my suprise when I got pulled over by Delaware statey's & was asked to show the contents of my trunk. I couldn't believe it. So I was taken in, processed, made my phone call & then went directly before the judge what sentenced me to 30 days in the hole. But it weren't no regular jail. This was more like some experiment, they called it a concentration camp. Seriously! No, not like them one's the Nazi's had, this was a real concentration camp where all you'd do is ponder-and be reminded- about the raw hand you was dealt. It was like one of them Quaker penetentiary's in the olden days, but w/jello & tuna fish."Think, Woodbe, concentrate, con-cen-trate" the omnipresent guard would bellow all day long, "what error in judgement put you here? Admit the truth & the truth will set you free"! Error in judgement...fuck that guy! I thought alot, that's for sure, thought about all then delicious RJ's* I wasn't drinkin on account of bein locked up in a hillbilly nuthouse. This shit was harshin my mellow somethin fierce! Then this past Saturday the cell door opened & I heard a voice over the loudspeaker say "Roland Woodbe you are now free to move about the country". Corny I know, but that is the wit of America's 1st state. Outside the "prison walls" (basically a cyclone fence. The camp wasn't nothin more than a converted Tower Records shop either. I didn't notice when they put me in cause it was night. Talk about funny.) there was Miriam waitin w/a hired limo & dressed to kill. Bein the thinkin lady she is, they'd 1st swung down to Maryland & picked up a case of the contraband hooch for some celebratin up Fishtown way. I don't remember the ride back at all as we was busy w/our own version of the Kama Sutra there in that spacious backseat (if you's know what I mean). Once we was delivered home, I noticed somethin nailed into the front door. Behind a note readin "welcum bakkk" (it appeared to be written in snot & smeared across the paper w/a finger) was this here Violent Students cd. How'd they know? I looked over to Miriam & she just shrugged her shoulders. Well hell boys, thanks alot! Now we had somethin to play while we slung our drinks. And man was it ever an appropriate soundtrack for democracy, freedom & cocktails. Listenin to the crunch 'n gutterous thud of 'Street Banger' (not to mention a few belts into the 'Mr H'* action) I got to thinkin; what if Oscar Goldman had decided to spend that six million dollars turnin Steve Austin into a human cement truck? Garglin all that gravel, limestone & concrete mix in slow motion woulda sounded alot like the sub industro-metal ejaculate spewed out durin 'Flying Priest'. And who wouldn't want to see a remake of Godzilla vs. Mothra but w/Highrise & Boy Dirtcar dukin it out in them roles this time? I would! And by the sound of things on here, so would Violent Students. On this ep these guys have got a tiger by the tail. And when I say tiger, I mean as in Tiger Tank. And where does a Tiger Tank rumble? Anywhere it fuckin wants! You know that scene in Frankenstein where the monster picks up the girl & throws her in the lake? It's alot like that, except now it's a Tiger Tank runnin over Mecht Mensch in a wheelchair flattin them to bits. Next time you play their 'Acceptance' ep, imagin hearin it comin from 'the other side' & mangled almost beyond comprehension. Or just buy the Violent Student's 'Street Banger' cd ep instead. Same difference but this time the warts are genital. Dig it, it's not just the toad that's off the hook on this one. Buy & behold.
(contact http://www.aquariusrecords.org/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further info)
* The RJ (aka "The Mr. H"); a cocktail named after the actor, Robert Wagner. Wagner claims no knowledge of the drink, hence it's origin & inventor remain unknown. Recipe as follows;
1/2 oz almond tequila
3/4 oz medori liqueur
a splash of orange juice
a spash of lime juice
1-fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
2- add tequila, medori, orange & lime juice to blend & chill.
3-strain into a old-fashion or martini glass.
4-garnish with orange twist.
(Supposedly this was what William Holden was quaffin back when he gashed his head on the side of a nightstand & bled to death in Nov. of 1981. So remember; DRINK RESPONSIBLY).
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Since we was just harpin about goins on in the land down under, now's as good a time as any to keep it up. To reiterate, the Aussie Punk basket has been spilling over w/steaming eggs of greatness since the inception of said genre & if you weren't there at ground zero when any one of the immortal platters was unleashed on a pickle-eyed public, there have been many upon many compilations released so's to catch up & be astounded by such a sharp 'n dapper output. For instance, the two 'Murder Punk' volumes & the 'Can't Stop It! one are indispensable as cream skimmers for both the deranged & detuned. Then just when you'd thought they'd covered it all came a Bloodstains entry ponyin up w/some very curious omissions that was as bewilderin as they was breathtakin, especially the entries by Just Urbain (aka Section Urbane), Young Identities & Bodysnatchers. Seems these bands was all from Brisbane & was buried in the shadows of Radio Birdman & the like, but their brand of D.I.Y. halitosis was the breath of severity I'd been looking for. After some investigatin & favor callin I come to find out all these bands was on a label called Savage Music/Shake Music & any of the records I'd be wantin weren't likely to come around anytime soon. Then I got an email from Rich Stanley at Dropkick informin me that his label had flogged together a cd compilation entitled 'Shakedown; Original Brisbane Punk 1979-83'. On it was everything from the Savage/Shake discography, meanin all the cuts by Just Urbain, Young Identities, Bodysnatchers & most've a cassette release from a band called Kicks. What can I tell you? Wrappin my brain around the sheer awesomeness of this collection is staggering. It easily ranks at the top as one of the all time BEST of ANY label comp, but also matches up completely w/the whole of the Messthetics/H2D series which is one tall order if you's ask me. Granted, after a while the Kicks tracks start to resemble a bridge over the river Goth, connecting Bauhaus to Ronald Koal & The Trillionaires but I'm usually so blown away by then it don't matter. Readin the liners & stats, you realize that if you wasn't from Brisbane-or in one of the bands-chances are you'd never come across any of these records. Pressed in runs from 100-300 they wasn't gettin anywhere fast & didn't really give a shit to begin with. These was for the fried 'n few & if you didn't dig it, fuck you anyways. What they turn hands for nowadays who knows, but Dropkick has solved that dilemma for those of us not married into money or inheritors of trust funds. Like I said, great recollections from label honchos David Holiday & Peter Miller (both of whom was in Just Urbain) some photos, plus a track listing that won't quit, really just an incredible assortment of crud that I'd reckon most folks had no idea existed. If you've ever wondered what it would take to connect Door And The Window to Mentally Ill, here's your blueprint Franklin. Bottoms up.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The (punk) rock action of Australia is so timelessly formidable that's it's no surprise that a band such as Eddy Current Suppression Ring would call the continent home. Personally I've always preferred the rampant insanity of groups like the Birthday Party over the rote inanity of Radio Birdman & when the old Saint's vs. Laughing Clowns debate rears it's head I'm firmly in the latter's camp, though I have yet to fall asleep (EVER!) while listenin to the 1st Saints lp. Not that none of that has a thing to do w/ECSR. They don't sound like any've the above. Rather, as debut launches go, ECSR seem to comet along the same vaporous galaxy as Th' Faith Healers 'L' & Alternative TV's 'The Image Has Cracked' which if you'd ask me, ain't a bad (imaginary) pedigree. I'd even throw a nod towards countrymen (& fellow Melbournians) the Sick Things too, seein as how they was ATV fans once upon a time. And while this debut ain't expellin the same toxic bile as found on the 'Sound Of Silence' comp, you can be sure ECSR holds'em in high regard nonetheless. How could they not? This cd (also available on lp format) follows three 7"ers that I was unaware of but am eager to investigate forthwith. I don't know what I'll find there, but the blat on this eponymous full length release is so disparate from the run-of-the-mill punkabee's congesting the US scene that I can't imagine bein disappointed. There's a reason why I counted this as one of the best of '06. Cause it was! Check'em out at http://www.ecsr.com.au/ or www.myspace.com/eddycurrentsuppressionring
& if you can tell me the time (& fur) don't fly, I'll gladly chop off your head for inspection.
(For label contact write; www.dropkick.com.au)