fantastic mess - The I-94 Bar
She’s Back b/w The Other Side – Bored! (Fantastic Mess Records)
Discerning people like their diamonds ijn the rough. These are cast-off gems from Bored!’s “Feed The Dog” album sessions, released on a short run 45 by Fantastic Mess in the run to their re-issue of the 1991 record on vinyl. It’s the three-piece version of the band, led by the late Dave Thomas.
“She’s Back” sits back on the groove and shows off Thomas’s singular guitar tone. The vocal is buried deep in the mix but audible enough to give you the idea. Keep it sleazy! “The Other Side” is an obvious nod to Dead Boyswith more steamroller guitar and a tsunami-like feel from the ending room propelling things along.
Issued in clear and pink vinyl (the latter is already sold out) with the usual Fantastic Messtrimmings of inserts, sticker and postcard, it won’t be around long. Glenno Smith’s stark artwork suits it to a ‘T’.
Laughing Up a Storm - Baby 8 b/w Boys In Town - Penny Ikinger (Fantastic Mess Records)
This is a double A sided single from two of the best female-fronted/dominated and/or comprised outfits in Melbourne town.
First to Baby 8 and “Laughing Up a Storm” which is brassy and bold, over-the-top pop. It’s immediately appealing with its rambunctious three-part harmonies with sax and trumpet parts kicking up a storm. A lick of synth casts an oddness into the soundscape that befits this vengeance song. There’s a sharp lyrical turn that’s like the twist of a knife and Kat Karamitros sells the vocal like she means it. Wonderful. Don't cross her.
The late Chrissy Amphlett was a mentor to Penny Ikinger and she brings plenty of conviction and feeling to her cover of Divynils’ “Boys in Town”. Three guitars give it more crunch than the radio-friendly original single, with Penny’s guitar howl leaking through the more conventional attack of Julian Heid and Sam Billinghurst-Walsh. Not content to sound just like the original, Penny and Co have bent the song out of shape, just so.
It’s the usual Fantastic Mess run of other clear-spattered or ruby red vinyl in a limited pressing. Grab it here.
1/2 - both
It's a single by Deathwish, precursors of The Chosen Few (the Aussie punks - not Ron Asheton's early band) on new label Fantastic Mess, an independent spin-off of Buttercup Records. This recording is liver than you'll ever be, both sides from a gig in a hall in country Victoria in December 1976.
"Night Creature" is light on for lyrics but well-refined in its proto-punk intent; future Chosen Few engine room of Cal McAlpine (drums) and Ian Cunningham (bass) lock into a serious groove. The song hinges on a repeated guitar figure and sounds like Link Wray on Melbourne Bitter.
Status Quo never rowed my boat even before they sold out to the Red Right Hand of an Australian retail giant, but Deathwish's faithful rendition of what was then a Top 40 hit once more underlines that the considrable punch The Chosen Few packed didn't develop overnight.
Of course this one won't last long and naturally it comes in five editions. Drop Scotti a line at his label's online HQto procure.