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hitmen

  • chris bookFaith and Practice in Bedlam
    By Chris Masuak
    (High Voltage)

    The rock and roll biography, usually ghost written within an inch of near life, seldom rises above the squalor of tabloids in terms of literary merit. A chronological narrative structure occasionally framed as a flashback is as good as it gets.

    Think of sports biographies with guitars.

    Unsurprisingly, reviews of Chris Masuak's new book have been thin on the ground. Firstly, because the book will probably upset his old band mates and their wrath has become legendary.

    Secondly, I suspect, because - like its author - this book is quite the odd duck.

    When confronted by the unusual, most pundits wait for someone else's opinion before voicing their own. Especially when they don't want to miss out on the chance of potential support slots.

  • niagar chesshire
    Rick Chesshire cartoon

    January 27, 2008 - If the impending (2008) return to live performance by premier Detroit art-punk chanteuse Niagara isn't enough to get you excited, you're browsing the wrong website or you're a cadaver.

  • room 101 single cvrConcrete Box b/w Crazy For You – Room 101 (Lost in Pyrmont Records)

    This particular Room 101 were the first band to use the name that I'm aware of; there is now a chat show (dear God), a band from Lansing (Michigan) and a post-hip-hop outfit from Nuh Zuhlund, which explains why this band's bandcamp addy is https://room1011.bandcamp.com/

    "Concrete Box" is a slice of simple, socially-observant venom articulately snapped out, with zipping twin guitars in sharp sync with bass and drums, with a lyrical trajectory perfect for the physically active lead singer. Granted the pop world had moved on somewhat from guitars (so the industry thought at the time)  but the crowds in Sydney thronged to hammering bands like Room 101. Given some of the rather woeful "punker" type bands which appeared each Sunday night on 'Countdown', Room 101 would've cheered you up no end. 

  • the 31stCopies of these four songs have been circulating for years and two have surfaced on compilations. The balance were re-recorded by members’ subsequent bands. But don’t kid yourself that you don’t need this vinyl only 12-inch EP.

    The 31st started when future members of Died Pretty (Ron Peno and Chris Welsh), the Screaming Tribesmen (MIck Medew) and the Hitmen/New Christs/Screaming Tribesmen (Tony Robertson) started playing shows in a strip club and anywhere else that would have them. Evidently, they played no one style of music - which must have been confusing for the Brisbane punks, boogie-heads and blues fans to pin a tail on.

    The 31st were a future supergroup before those things were called that in Australia. They kicked around the undergrowth of Brisbane’s downtrodden music scene in the early 1980s, and fell to pieces before anyone outside of it saw or heard them.

    Future Hoodoo Guru Brad Shepherd was to briefly become a member although he's not on these recordings. 

  • kn40 front smCanadian-expat Aussie Chris “Klondike” Masuak’s the kind of guy who likes to put pictures of his guitars (Strat! Robin! Perspex Dan Armstrong! Firebird!) on his records (like his pal Deniz Tek did on his back-from-the-Navy career restarter “Take It to the Vertical:). One gets the sense that Klondike’s the kind of cat who just purely loves to play, and is as much of a fan as a muso.

  • lovegrinderLovegrinder The Album – Lovegrinder (self released)

    There’s a popular theory - perpetuated by a few fans of Junkie Rock from Australia’s southern state's capital city – that the so-called salad days of Sydney underground rock and roll were a farrago based on an overdose of second-rate Radio Birdman copyists. 

    Call it a typically defensive Sydney response but while the "Detroit" handle became a tag of convenience, most of the Harbour City’s bands of the 1980s/early ‘90s had tenuous musical links to the Birdmen. There was a handful of short-lived clones, but for the vast majority it was the energy and undeniable fuck-you-we’ll-do-what-we-want attitude of the Radios that were the hand-me-downs, and not their unique, impossible to replicate mutated musical mix.

    Which brings us to Lovegrinder, yet another in the long line of Sydney bands that never progressed higher than the lower support rungs of the very crowded local live scene ladder. Not that there’s any great shame in that. For many, headlining the Tivoli or Selina’s wasn’t the goal because they had no interest in being on the rosters of the omnipotent Dirty Pool, Nuclear or Harbour booking agencies. Playing music was more about knocking around with their mates, consuming beers (or something illicit) and having a good time.

  •  Chris Masuak at Resurrectionfest 2022 by Santiago Carollo 1

    Chris Masuak at Resurrectionfest 2022 by Santiago Carollo

    CHRIS KLONDIKE MASUAK’S TOP SEVERAL FOR 2022

    Is it really that time again? 

    I can never summon up the ennui to diss Christmas. I get that it pushes some people’s buttons but I’m bucking the buzzkill. 

    This is the time to be relentlessly cheerful, if not for your sake, for those that  need it.  

     So, put “A Christmas Gift For You”, “Rockin’ Little Christmas”, and “It’s Christmas Time Again” on high rotation.

     At mind numbing volume!

  • workhorse-smIt is actually quite hard to review the work of someone you know and I tend to avoid it wherever possible.

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