“The Lipstick Killers were easily one of the greatest live bands I’ve witnessed in my 65 yrs. on this planet” – Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks/Off!!)

“The Lipstick Killers were the coolest and most original band on the independent Sydney scene of the late 70’s” – Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman)


HINDU GODS ARE CALLING YOU!!! Grown Up Wrong! Records is thrilled beyond belief to present the LONG-AWAITED anthology of material by the legendary Lipstick Killers, who blazed a trail in late ‘70s post-Radio Birdman Sydney before gigging with the likes of the Gun Club and the Flesh Eaters in Los Angeles where they crashed and burned in 1981. The Lipstick Killers released just one single in their life time – the perfect ’79 Deniz Tek-produced pairing of “Hindu Gods of Love” and ”Shakedown USA” on their own Lost in Space Records (and subsequently Greg Shaw’s Voxx Records out of LA)  – but a posthumous live album and a couple of archival 7” releases followed. It was all incredible. All that material is included here, as is a plethora of additional stuff, all from the best-available sources (mostly the original masters).

Out June 25, Strange Flash – Studio & Live ’78-81 will be initially available in both black vinyl and orange vinyl – 500 copies of each edition of the 2LP is being pressed. Double-CD  and digital editions, with the extended title of Strange Flash – Studio & Live ’78-81 + Psycho-Surgeons ’76-78 and a significant number of extra tracks, will also be available. 

The Lipstick Killers’ enigmatic and high-energy sound – heavily inspired by the Stooges and the ‘60s psychedelic punk sounds of bands like the Thirteenth Floor Elevators and the Chocolate Watchband – bridged the gap between Radio Birdman and subsequent Sydney groups like the Sunnyboys (whose first-ever show was opening for the Lipstick Killers), Lime SpidersHoodoo Gurus and Psychotic Turnbuckles. And of course they anticipated generation after generation of other bands with similar things in mind, right up to today’s ‘60s-inspired freaks like The Living Eyes and Thee Oh Sees. And they put it across with a wild-eyed intensity; so much so that Circle Jerks and original Black Flag frontman Keith Morris, having witnessed a couple of their LA shows,  later described them as “easily one of the greatest live bands I’ve witnessed in my 65 yrs. on this planet “.

Esteemed American critic Byron Coley, then living in LA, was another fan.  The collection includes a reproduction of a piece Coley wrote on the band for the legendary New York Rocker zine, in he which throws around terms like “high Six-Oh grunge consciousness” and “mind-churnin’ pieces of gunk” in the process of rhetorically asking what’s so great about the band. He answers himself by saying the Lipstick Killers play “some o’ the greatest stuff I ever heard, that’s what!”

Strange Flash will be available in two formats. The double-LP includes the original 1979 single, the posthumous “Sockman/Pensioner Pie’ 45 plus additional studio masters from the same ’78 session, an unreleased album length 1980 demo session recorded by Australian guitar god Lobby Loyde, and the near-complete LA show that comprised the original live album “Mesmerizer” (taken from the original cassette that went in the mixing desk!), adding a number of additional tunes but losing a couple that one band member wasn’t really happy with. The set features liner notes by Ugly Things magazine and Grown Up Wrong! Records’ Dave Laing, some killer pix and flyers and repro’s of the stunning Lipstick Killers posters designed by highly collectable Sydney poster artist John Foy, alongside the previously mentioned Byron Coley piece.

The double-CD includes also this and more, including a near complete live show recorded in Adelaide in 1978, some of which was released on a handmade cassette by members of the band in the mid-‘80s (likely in very low double-digit or possibly even single-digit quantities) and a couple of the tracks of which appeared on a very limited run 45 also released by the band in later years. But a good chunk of it has never been heard, and it is wild. Additionally, the CD edition also includes the revered “Wild Weekend”/”Horizontal Action” 45 released in 1978 by the band that the Lipstick Killers formed out of, the Psycho-Surgeons, as well as a couple of 1976 rehearsal recordings from the Psychos’ very early days, which were released on a seriously limited edition 45 on Blank Records a number of years ago.  The double-CD includes all the liners notes, images and repro’s that are included with the double-LP and adds further notes by Steve Lorkin of ‘80s Sydney zine 48 Crash fame, more clippings, including a ripper feature by Darcy Condon from Sydney’s RAM magazine, and loads more images, including some Psycho-Surgeons goodies.

With original copies of their material in high demand internationally amongst fans of both ‘70s punk and ‘60s-styled garage rock, Strange Flash – Studio & Live ’78-81 (or  Strange Flash – Studio & Live ’78-81 + Psycho-Surgeons ’76-78) will allow fans to hear the full range of the Lipstick Killers’ enigmatic powers – a range that really hasn’t been witnessed since the band last took the stage.  You’ll want to handle it with care; as Lipstick Killers frontman Peter Tillman liked to say, it might sever your torso from your legs.