There’s a school of thought that says continual exposure to dumb rock and roll will lower your I.Q. by a significant degree. Well, fuck that. You don’t need to be a Rhodes Scholar to enjoy hard and fast, Real Rock Action. But don’t be getting off on your snobbery trip, either.
Rock and roll can be thoughtful, intelligent and insightful. That doesn’t stop it also being thicker than a San Franciscan fog. Chuck Berry had his subversive moments, but “Johnny B Goode” ain’t one of them. Little Richard: “A whop bop a lu lop a-whop bam boo”? What the fuck is that about? Don’t even mention “Ob-la-di ob-la-da”. It’s a shit song anyway.
The point is that you can like smart rock and simultaneously roll around in the swill trough. It shouldn’t be one or the other. They’re not mutually exclusive. The Franklin School were flat out wrong. (Look ‘em up if you don’t know.) High art is one thing but getting high (or drunk) mindlessly at warp speed is another. Even if you're not into over-indulging, rock and roll is as much about fun and having a laugh as anything else. And it doesn’t get much funnier than middle-aged Melbourne punks Grindhouse.
Soaked in beer, sweat and sex, Melbourne’s Grindhouse delivers a loud ’n’ fast album dripping with guitar riffs. This is their second offering.
It sure sounds like Ricky “Pony Club” Audsley (lead guitar), Mick “Two Fingers’ Simpson (vocals-guitar), Adrian’”The Father” Cummings (bass) and Liam “Sticky Wicket” Chuffley are having a blast playing these tunes.
Kicking off this assault on the ears is “I Just Want To Drink At The Tote” (a song about a great little hotel in Melbourne’s Collingwood) is a good, old fashioned party song. “Throbbing Eye” and “Why” keep the album moving along. These are drinking songs…pub songs…fuck Facebook songs. “Old Ship” and “Casual Sex” are more flat-out rock ’n’ rollers - and they do rock, baby. LAMF!
Sex Punk Power – Grindhouse (self released)
Grindhouse – Melbourne’s most sexy band (their words, not mine) - have released their fifth album. Fuck, this band has been busy. That’s five albums, numerous singles and a couple of split singles. And gig after gig, here in Australia and in Europe .All since forming in 2014.
“Sex Punk Power” is just a really good album with plenty of garage rock to keep you, well, drinking VB after VB.
Grindhouse is fronted by Mick “Two Fingers” Simpson on vocals, guitar, grunts and groans. He’s accompanied by Rick Audsley on guitar, Adrian Cummins on bass and Neil Matthews on drums. They’ve also called on the fabulous talents of Shannon Cannon from Juliette Seizure & The Tremor-Dolls on vocals and guitar.
LIsten up, revheads and rock dogs. The exclusive world debut of the video clip for Melbourne punks Grindhouse’s latest song is upon us. “SLR 5000” is from Grindhouse’s second album, “Crazy Pussy”, which was recorded with Red Kross and Off! legend Steve McDonald at his Los Angeles studio, The Whiskey Kitchen.
If you can't work out the narrative, here's how Grindhouse describes their video: "In a high stakes, high octane duel to the finish line Two Fingers and Dick Rider battle it out for the title of the Grindhouse 1000. But who will win? Created by the legendary mind of Mike Foxall at Art Of The Fox, it’s a drive back to a simpler, more dangerous time". Works for us.
“Crazy Pussy” is billed as “12 tracks of blazing idiocy”. It's the second album for Grindhouse and it’s being launched this Saturday at Melbourne’s Cherry Bar from 2pm with an all-star line-up that includes Meatbeaters, Killerbirds, Kit Convict & The Terrible Two, Sheriff Don Fernando, Birdcage and My Left Boot.
You can grab a copy of “Crazy Pussy” on limited edition red vinyl or CD from Conquest Of Noise now. Go here for the red platter and herefor the shiny silver thing.
Bogan Rd – The Monaros (self-released)
Hello I-94 Barflies. The Monaros’ “Bogan Rd” is the latest release from Warnambool’s hardest working band. Shit, this must be their seventh or eighth long-player and it’s chock-a-block full of humour and wit.
Just listen to “Parma”. It’s a classic tune about, well, a Chicken Parmigiana. “Ring A Root’,”Kick It Long” and “Dunlop Volleys” are all so bloody Australian. This is a CD to get drunk to, stoned to and maybe not get fucked to – although the track “King Brown” is kind of sexy.
At the MoshPit Bar in Sydney. Sandra Kingston photo
Celia Curtis’ Top Ten-ish of 2021 (in no particular order)
Pat Todd & The Rank Outsiders - “...there’s pretty things in Palookaville...” Album.
Sixteen songs from the Punk/ Country/ Blues/ Rock’n’roll master craftsman. Pat Todd is the real deal! Sure, it’s not as instantaneously enthralling as 2008’s “Holdin’ on to Troubles Hand”; But seriously, SHOW ME AN ALBUM THAT IS? “..pretty things” grows on you like a stubborn fungus.
Literally anything Pat does in a year is Top 10 worthy. Luckily he put this record out so I didn’t have to rate one of his turds. (Which would have been good shit by the way).
Josie Jose photo
Best Albums of 2021 (not in order)
Blowers – “Blowers”
In the tradition of Jay Reatard and the Oblivions, Blowersare a band that proves less is more. Killer bare basics, as well as plenty of humour. One take, if there’s a mistake, fuck it, that’s the take. This LP is prime example of garage rock at its purists and best.
Civic – “Future Forecast”
After a few brilliant EPs it’s great to finally get a full Civicrelease. Combining elements of ‘90s Melbourne rock and US 2000s gunk rock, this stayed on the turntable for a good fortnight.
Cutters – “Australian War Crimes”
Six tracks clocking in at 10 minutes, including a diss on Rye, a suburb I don’t care for, and the title track, a reaction to revelations of Australian SAS soldiers’ behaviour in Afghanistan. Brutal and superb.
Adalita - Melbourne Town Hall
Adalita performed in the magnificent space of the Melbourne Town Hall, with J.P. Shilo playing the four storey-high Grand Organ. They were accompanied at various stages by Adalita's band, plus backing vocalists Charm of Finches and The Letter String Quartet. Adalita's emotive and well-crafted songs were driven home by her powerful guitar playing and the brooding sound of the swirling organ. A contender for one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen in my life.
Ed Kuepper and Jim White - Rising Festival
Ed Kuepper and Jim White opened the ill-fated Rising Festival in Melbourne at the Comedy Theatre and what a show it was. It felt pretty exciting to be at a gig in another iconic building. There was also an element of fear - in this seated though crowded space, was I going to get out of there virus free? All in the name of rock ’n' roll!!!
The Rising Festival had an eclectic, artistically challenging and ambitious programme of events but unfortunately was closed down on the second day due to you-know-what. Another one bites the dust.
Liz Reed photo
MONSTER THUNDERCLAP’S TOP TEN
1. EAST COAST LOW – “SEAS ON FIRE”
Cause I f&*king like it!
2. LUCIFER STAR MACHINE – “THE DEVILS BREATH”
Cause I F#&king like it!
3. GRINDHOUSE – “SEX PUNK POWER”
Cause it’s SEXY!!
4. SHOWS 2021
Cheers to all the awesome bands we shared a stage with, and a huge shout out to all the venues…. CAUSE I SAID SO!!!
5. LEADFINGER AND SWEDISH MAGAZINES AT MARRICKVILLE BOWLO, NSW
No explanation needed!!
6. TUMBLEWEED 30TH ANNIVERSARY SHOWS AT LA LA LA’S, WOLLONGONG, NSW.
7. SPIDERS – “SHAKE ELECTRIC”
Cause it’s Killer!
8. MONSTER MAGNET – “A BETTER DYSTOPIA”
Cause it’s a mind-blowing album of covers!
9. MARVEL – “LIZARD LOUNGE”
Cause they do it for me!
10. AUSSIE BANDS
All the great Aussie bands putting out inspirational music (WE SALUTE YOU!) F@$k all the lazy MOFO’s, that say there isn’t any good music anymore.
Monster Thuinderclap plays guitar for Wollongong's The Dark Clouds.
THE FARMHOUSE’S TOP TEN
Hello I-94 Barflies. What a shitty year it’s been. Charlie Watts’ passing makes me feel old and I type with a heavy heart with the passing a few days ago of my friend, the great guitarist John Nolan (Bored!, Powder Monkeys, Spencer P Jones and The Escape Committee and more recently Powerline Sneakers.) Last drinks, last smokes. R.I.P.
Thank fuck there is music. There have been numerous great releases this past 12 months, so here we go.