This is a strictly limited edition (250 copies) double-headed tribute to Aussie icons Beasts of Bourbon and GOD that hits the spot like a depth charge in a bathtub.
Simon Juliff flanked by Jimm Sfeftos (left) and Joel Silbersher with Greg Bainbridge on drums.
Simon Juliff might be the best Australian songwriter you’ve never heard of.
Not that he’d ever be so egotistical as to suggest that. Or that it’d be easy to find evidence of Juliff’s songwriting. Indeed Juliff’s career is as sporadic as it is enigmatically impressive.
Juliff formed his first band, The Evil Dead, in his teenage years in hometown Melbourne, in the shadows of more prolific and now legendary Melbourne bands such as GOD, Powder Monkeys and Hoss, vehicles for Juliff’s high school friends Tim Hemensley and Joel Silbersher. Some years later Juliff joined with his younger brother Felix, bass player Dave Bryan and future Dan Sultan collaborator Scott Wilson in the three-guitar, country ’n’ rock band The Roys.
Their ranks included Sultan for a while on drums and they released two criminally underappreciated records on Bruce Milne’s Infidelity Recordsbefore fading from view.
It would be more than a decade before Juliff’s songwriting rose to the surface again, this time via long-time fan and Dog Meat Records boss, Dave Laing. Indeed Laing was so impressed with Juliff’s unrecorded material that he decided to release his debut solo album, "Stars", on the rejuvenated Dog Meat label.
Patrick Emeryspoke to Juliff about his origins as a musician and recent re-emergence.
As ethereal and otherworldly as when it came out on CD in 1995, “Tendrils” continues to defy easy categorisation on LP.
It was the first album for the pairing of Joel Silbersher (Hoss, GOD et al) and Charlie Owen (New Christs, Beasts of Bourbon and, again, many more) and married seemingly disparate guitar approaches to restrained vocals against an background of minimal percussion.
By then, Joel and Charlie were two of the so-called underground’s best-known players. Owen was - and still is - a consummate guitar player’s player and had had national success with the Beasts; Silbersher was the diminutive and cocky ex-GOD rocker whose current band, Hoss, seemed poised for much bigger things. He should be internationally lauded to thsi day. Putting them together in a studio was always going to produce something interesting.
Melbourne’s Baby 8 has delivered a smashing album full of songs about drinking, drugging and horrific nights out. It cuts straight to the bone. No love songs here, folks; just pure “boobs-to-the-wall” rock ‘n’ roll with some punk-pop thrown in.
“We Hate Each Other But We Hate You More” just kicks from the first track, “Nights Want to Kill“, which is the single. And what a cracker song it is.
Rachel Lendvay (vocals) shines throughout. Katie Dixon (Powder Line Sneakers) on guitar, Maureen Gearon (NQR) on bass with Matty Whittle (ex-GOD) on drums round out this powerful rock band.