molting vulturesNo less than Psychotic Turnbuckles elder statesman The Grand Wizard provided the good oil about this Adelaide band, who remain largely unheard outside their home town and more enlightened parts of Melbourne.

You might be surprised, then, to hear that The Molting Vultures have been going since 2004 and have four albums under their belts. “Crowd Surfing” picks the eyes out of the albums and presents them on one disc, with a couple of newly-recorded songs thrown in.

Like their Adelaide cousins who preceded them, The Exploding White Mice, The Vultures proudly wear their influences embossed on their sleeves. While the Mice started life as a branch of the Radio Birdman Glee Club and ended it as peerlessly melodic Ramones clones, the Vultures inherit their DNA from the “Nuggets” album, or maybe the box set. And beer.

Also like the Mice, the Vultures have had a long list of members (there might be one of the Exploding ones in the ranks on guitar) but their sound has been remarkably consistent. It’s gruff acid punk with keyboards to the fore.

Starting life as a party band, the Vultures quickly won a reputation as a high-volume mobile party of their own, honing their act on tiny stages of jam-packed pubs. If you pegged The Molting Vultures as a bunch of footy and surfing guys (and girls) who don’t take themselves very seriously, you’d be on the money. That’s exactly how they sound.

“Drop In And Go” shadows the Psychotic Turnbuckles with and affinity for lyrical borrowings from The Novas, while Birdman surfs on in the toms and keyboard swirls of “The Trough, an unashamed nod to “Decent Into The Maelstrom”.

There are lashings of DMZ in many of the tunes, with the other striking take-out being how much Nick Vulture sounds like Rob Younger fronting The Visitors. Doom-laden chords abound but the mood is sunnier than you may think, thanks to Jamie Vulture’s keyboards burning brightly, right up front.

“Going Underground” is pure Descendents punk pop. “Life Of The Dole” sounds like a precursor of a Jim Jones Revue song with its marriage of barrelling piano and fuzz guitar. Two chords is all fan favourite “Rowley Park” needs to get its smash-up derby message across.

There are 15 songs of unabashed fun to be had here. What’s stopping you diving right in?