matt ryan 2021Josie Jose photo

Best Albums of 2021 (not in order)

Blowers – “Blowers”
In the tradition of Jay Reatard and the Oblivions, Blowers are 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 Civic release. 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.

Pat Todd and the Rankoutsiders – “…there’s pretty things in Palookaville”
One of the greatest voices in rock ‘n’ roll, Pat Todd is one of the few people that really nails the blues, rock and country all into one mix. Whether it’s the Lazy Cowgirls or Rankhoutsiders, the man can do no wrong. If Hank Williams was around today playing punk/garage, it would sound like this.

The Interceptors – “Here in the Moment
Been seeing these guys round the traps for a few years now, so feels wonderful that the Interceptors have finally dropped their first full length LP. Catchy pop punk with ‘77 UK punk, any band that writes a song about the suburb Murrumbeena is worth checking out.

Grindhouse- “Sex Punk Power”
Another sexy release from Geelong’s finest. Business as usual for these guys, tunes about cars and partying; throw in some great pub rock riffs and  it’s a winning forum worth repeating.

You Am I – “The Lives of Others”
“What’s the worst thing an established band can say at a gig? We’d like to do a song off our new LP” is what Tim Rogers said to the punters at the St Kilda Triangle gig.  Some bands from the ‘90s that are in full nostalgia mode, who weren’t that good in the first place, would be lynched if they did a move like that. You Am I on the other hand, could do nothing but songs from 2010 onwards, and it would be the best show in town that night.

Hard Ons – “I’m Sorry Sir, that Riff Is Taken”
Must admit, I found it an odd pairing at first, Tim joining the band, but the more I think about it, it makes total sense. In fact, unless Blackie took over vocal duties, no one else could have filled that role. While the voice may be different, its still the Hard Ons, - meaning splendid riffs and nothing but pure world class rock’ n’ roll.

Dave Graney and Clare Moore – “Everything was Funny”
Like last year, Dave and Clare’s Thursday night Stage It gigs were always a highlight and something to look forward to. Another great release from Clare and Dave: 13 tracks, including a few instrumentals and a good mix of genres. You never know what you’re going to get with these two.

Belle Phoenix and the Subterranean – “The Glorious Dead”
She’s one of my favourite singers, Belle and her crew of misfits give us this blacker-than-coal LP, singing about life death and all the stuff that happens in between. Some happy, some sad, all true.

Clamm – “Besseech Me”
Brilliant debut from this Melbourne three-piece, with Incredible bass and straight-forward, arse kicking rock n roll. Can’t wait to see what these guys do next.

Best books:
“Girlsville: the Story of the Delmonas and the Headcoatees” by Saskia Holling
“Execution Days, the Life and Times of Spencer P Jones” by Patrick Emery
“I Wanna be Your”s by John Cooper Clarke
“Master of the Ring” by Tim Hornbaker

Best film:
“Escape from Gilligan’s Island” (Just saw it for the first time.)

Best TV show:
It's always Sunny in Philadelphia,
Roger Mellie the man on the Telly (again just saw it).

Best Pub:
Misery Guts
St Kilda Bowls Club
The Old Bar
Surabaya Johnny’s

Prediction for 2022:
Collingwood for the flag. Goanna keep saying that till I get it right.