So it’s that day again and the first Friday of the month and Bandcamp gives 100% of its fees to the artist so we want to give you a few pointers of what we would recommend you throw your pennies at. This month I’m heading down under for a trawl through the best music you might not have had the pleasure of hearing from Down Under. Sure you’ve been spending your Smoko time with Amyl & The Sniffers and The Chats but we’re going deeper than a ditch dug by The Cosmic Psycos down on the farm. Never mind the classics like The Saints and Radio Birdman check these beuts out Speed week are first up with their trashy punk rock Garage vibe and a release from September last year. ‘Hey Hey It’s Speed Week’ Available Here
Melbourne noise makers dish up a fantastic seven-track album. “Formed during a chance encounter at Carrick Speedway, Fronted by part-time amateur clairvoyant and nail technician Brandt Domingos, former child actor Tarquin Les Smith III, Brad McDermott and some other cunt on the drums, Speed Week invites the listener on an auditory journey into a theoretical dimension where things often don’t seem as they appear.” Charming. But wait the tunes. Starting off with the old school post-punk of the late seventies early 80s sound that Iggy was knocking out well, that’s the ‘Cost Of Living’ then from there it kicks off with ‘Echo Chamber’. Some great bass thumping and Numans Tubeway Army for inspiration on ‘Phishing’ it’s great stuff and every bit as fucked and essential as your Idles for the style of delivery on the vocals. the next few tunes are brief but who doesn’t like ‘Speed Week Theme’? sounds like Bullseye or Dusty bin right there the mad fuckers. These reprobates are dipping their toes in the past and dragging the sound into the here and now and I like it – I like it a lot so check em out Here
Next up the delights of Private Function and a live recording they did for PBS (Available Here) Its available for free or give what you want and considering these nine tracks were Recorded for the annual 2019 PBS 106.7FM Melbourne Drive Live program, Private Function’s set captured everything involved in the band’s reckless performances and broadcast it live across the airwaves of Melbourne. It’s all killer and certainly no filler and post-Covid these guys need to get over to Europe for some sweaty fun in the dive bars of the UK. It would be awesome to sip a cold beer and bang your head to ‘Duct Tape’. Don’t believe me? Turn it up and get it on these guys are fantastic and imagine filling out the small clubs for a night in with these, Grindhouse and Clowns. Now drink that in for a moment…there I told you. They have two albums available and some singles you can thank us later for helping empty your bank account with more imports. Originally this was on hipster format of choice or one for the ladies as us UK people knew cassette tapes. But it’s 2021 and anyone can play so fill yer boots with their all energy punk rocking tunes.
If that wasn’t enough for you try out C.O.F.F.I.N. and their album ‘Children Of Finland Fighting In Norway’ (Best not ask I guess) whilst its more of a refined taste with the vocals being less of a vehicle for melody and more a pissed off grizzly bear sat up with its paws drawn waiting for pray.
Came out in September of 2020 these hairy bears might be responsible for chasing Covid into the sea and banishing it from the island of Australia because any Man Woman or virus would be a little apprehensive when confronted by some loud obnoxious Punk Rock and Rollers charging outta the speakers yelling like you stole their Top Cat DVD. It’s fast it’s frantic and at times it’s filthy and it’s certainly pissed off. Monster riffs, relentless beats it’s not for the faint-hearted but once you get it you just get it. ‘Average Death’ is anything but whilst having three guitarists is just showing off and fair play to vocalist and drummer Ben Portnoy kicking the shit out of the drums isn’t enough I love it and so should you head over to their page Here
Grindhouse – Can I Drive Your Commodore’ Of course, I had to include Grindhouse. They should be no secret to a lot of RPM readers we’ve interviewed them and they’ve been to Europe and we’re just about to head overseas when Covid hit. Melbourne is their yard and playing as fast and as furiously as possible is the name of their game. Mick ‘2 Fingers’ Simpson is the caped speedo wearing leader of the pack and beer drinking, hard rockin motherfuckers is the name of their game. They’ve stood toe to toe with some of our other favourite garage punk rockers on the Demolition Derby volume two but ‘Can I Drive Your Commodore’ is where we’d like to send you. Its got songs about Hot rods ‘Shit Cocaine’, ‘Cheese’, ‘Gary’ and the death of the Australian Car Industry. Grindhouse kick-ass everyone knows it and if you’ve not investigated then this is your chance to play catch up. Get involved Here
Civic – ‘Radiant Eye’. Another favourite of mine from Melbourne is Civic. How about a single from them entitled ‘Radiant Eye’ and a really impressive couple of songs. With the lead track being a really punchy proto-punk number that soars. I love the horns that enter the game before making way for that glorious wah solo. The B Side sees them cover The Creation, as they shake off the trebley grit for a really excellent version of the 1966 hit, ‘Making Time’ that was also splendidly covered by Stiv and the Lords.
You can take from that what you like but I think it’s fair to say that’s the calibre of artist were dealing with. Don’t be a dummy dive in and get some Civic Here
The Unknowns – ‘Nothing Will Ever Stop’ We head up to the sunshine coast where you’ll find The Unknowns. After releasing some demos which are available on Bandcamp this trio got their act together to record a raw as fuck album late 2020. Its got melodies over the top of some loud punk rock and they leave nothing behind as they speed off with the mixtape being the album ‘Nothing Will Ever Stop’ it’s just some loud Rock and Roll. There is no studio trickery going on here it’s not big and it’s not clever but it is Rock and Roll and we certainly like it. They pinch plenty of licks and scales from the good and the great and rattle the floor toms as they kick up a storm sounding like they’re having the best of times. I love ‘Dressed To Kill’ its carefree noisy Rock n Roll. Check em out Here
Pist Idiots – ‘Ticker’ Mixing it up a bit let me introduce Pist Idiots and you might think they are just another runaway train of a boozy punk rock band from Australia. Well, you’d be wrong. sure they look like they enjoy a beer or two and the name isn’t big or clever (to some) but the tunes on this album we recommend is big boys Rock and Roll. With a really punchy bassline its got a phat sound and they lean from genre to genre but not in a lost sort of way just listen to ‘Roundhouse’ which sounds like Bruce Foxton has joined Thin Lizzy. ‘Sweet Headache’ is melodic as is the rapid ‘Is That What You Want’. Whilst the title track is a twisted fucked up number that veers from some Nirvana style acoustic song with some emotional vocals before kicking right off, top tune indeed. Sydney is where these cats sleep and these seven tracks are varied and a really enjoyable ride. Check em out Here
Next, we op over to Byron Bay to check out Skegss who have one preview track from their up and coming album ‘Rehearsal’ and judging by ‘Valhalla’ its got a lot going for it and with a really catchy melody I love the five-track EP ’50 Push Ups For A Dollar’. they remind me of one of my favourite bands out of New Jersey – Crazy And The Brains but without the xylophone. Carefree rock and roll played with a variety of instruments but loudly and with verve. Check out ‘Hell’ off the ’50 Dollars’ album then ‘Heart Attack’ with its laid back feel. Just a bunch of top tunes and I’m sure the new one will be at the very least more of the same. Check em out at the link
Mini Skirt – ‘Casino’ I was tempted to investigate Meth Leppard just for the name but was so disappointed that they were a growly grindcore band, shame that. So instead let us introduce Mini Skirt again residents of Byron Bay. they released the ‘Casino’ album back in May of 2020 and from the off, it was an album that drew me in as ‘Pressure’ leaned on some of the alt post-punk of Husker Du. ‘Give It Up’ rattles along with a hypnotic rhythmic driving beat. But as it hots up it’s captivating stuff. ‘With Your Hands’ is one from the Stooges handbook and when it’s done as well as this what’s not to like? Don’t be fooled by the laid back nature this is a furious raw and rockin’ album seriously give it some volume and tell me ‘Face Of The Future’ doesn’t hit you right in the guts in a good way but leave enough to get you through ‘Tissue’ but the six minutes of ‘Animals’ is epic and a cracking way to finish off the album – simply awesome. top record.
Zig Zag – ‘Do Better’ An epic 7″ single from Zig Zag with a song that has an ebb and flow that is every bit as emotional as the back story of the singer Kelly. Melbourne is where they’re at and both tracks are excellently produced slabs of epic post-punk. The band are perfectly described as Half garage rock extremists, half disco junkie night cats, careless and free and flaming with pride – and that’s exactly how they sound go check it out.