Open Season - Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers
Firstly declaring an extreme bias and a conflict of interest with this one, Mick’s second offering from the Mesmerisers is even better than the last. The addition of ex-Tribesmen tub thumper Michael Charles has added muscularity to the band and they go from strength to strength. Some Sydney and Newcastle Birdman supports really won them some new fans. Brian Mann created a stunning sounding record. My fave album of the year.
Address to the Nation - Chris Masuak and the Viveiro Wave Riders
Again, another declaration as I’ve worked closely with Chris over the past thirty years. My second fave of the year… beaten by a short nose. Chris writes killer songs… plays guitar better than any player I have worked with and has a band so tight I couldn’t slide a fag paper between it. A great album, and it gave us a few wry smiles.
The Festival of Sue (X, New Christs et al)
The shock of Sue Telfer’s passing pulled together a stellar line up talent who delivered on an emotional night. There were some killer performances but my top two were the New Christs, whose emotion tinged performance left no doubt that they are a top echelon act… but man of the match for mine was Steve Lucas and X. It was a blinding performance, Steve sang and played better than I have heard the band in years, Kim Volkman & Geof Holmes snarled and snorted like a beast. The Barman and Tiffany Palmer did a great job getting it all together, and we raised a great sum of cash for Support Act. I’d like to think Sue would’ve approved.
amyl and the sniffers - The I-94 Bar
Open Season - Mick Medew and The Mesmerisers
BARFLY TOP TEN: Steve Lorkin, bass player for Buffalo Revisited and the 4 Stooges, session gun for Bob Short and the Light Brigade, guitarist-vocalist for The Cool Charmers and occasional I-94 Bar reviewer
I thought I’d take a unique approach to this year’s Top 10 by actually listing my top music highlights of the year which didn’t involve myself.
So you won’t be reading about my killer gig with the mighty Buffalo “Revisited” at the Bald Faced Stag in Sydney, where we performed the astoundingly cool Buffalo album "Volcanic Rock" from top to toe to celebrate the record's 40 years in existence.
You also won’t be reading about the one and only show by The Four Stooges at the Marrickville Bowlo that was in a word “devastating“.
Also you won’t be hearing about The Cool Chambers who struggled against a few odds in finishing recording and mixing our super duper originals for a planned release in 2019...nope...no...none of that rubbish.
But you will read my Top 10...that has in fact become an explosive hits Top 20 (not in order):
1) Pink Floyd The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Record Store Day Mono re-issue. This sounds as great as I’d always suspected (having never heard a proper mono mix). It’s punchy and dynamic! Psychedelic being invented for many.
2) Amyl and the Sniffers LP Big Attraction/ Giddy Up - real punky rock - see my review on I94bar somewhere and go and see them play a show...the kids are alright
3) Mark Taylor 2 x 7”. If only more records were like this. Lipstick Killers, Psycho Surgeons guitar destroyer steps out front with a really brilliant double 7” with insane packaging, great songs and playing.
4) New Christs at the Marrickville Bowlo. Great band, great sound. Still explosive.
5) Bikini Kill - The Singles LP. Finally out on vinyl. The later day BK 7”s on one record...real punky rock #2!
6) John Foy book - Snaps Crack Pop. John is a true rock and roll dude be it his artworks, music fandom or his time challenging the biz with his Redeye label, his book tells his tale with words and pictures. Keep well John.
This may well be the only review of the Amyl and the Sniffers LP that makes no mention of mullets, sharpies, bogans or moles.
(I must mention, however, that one of the best mullets I have ever seen is the bass player from the mid-period line up of The Angels as seen in the film clip of that "No Way Get Fucked" song...although he is no match for Bob Spencer who in the same video has no hair and a monster rat's tail! Awesome!)
Amyl and the Sniffers are a young Australian punk rock band from Melbourne...and they play like they really mean it. Unlike some fake punky rockers over the past 40 years who, despite having the right shoes, clothes, haircuts and an obscure Killed By Death seven-inch that sells for $800 on eBay, were just trendies with no guts, heart , soul or songs.
Mark Fraser with Blackie of the Hard-Ons
Ten best albums for 2021… no particular order.
HARD ONS- “Sorry Sir, That Riff’s Been Taken”
Is it pop? Is it Punk? Who cares, its fkn perfect.
THE QUICK SIXES – “Swamped”
Swampabilly meets surf in the most perfect of ways.
The Barman’s Best Albums of 2021, in reverse order of release.
1. Back For More – The On and Ons(Citadel)
Perfect rocking powerpop from Australia’s most consistent exponents of the art. If you haven’t heard them yet, shame. Start here and track backwards.
2. Snake Pit Therapy – Sonny Vincent (Svart)
New York punk’s (almost) last man standing bounces back with his best-sounding and arguable most well-rounded album ever. Sonny has been hidden in plain sight for the many for far too long.
3. You’re Class, I’m Trash – The Monsters (Voodoo Rhythm)
Beat-Man and his buddies have made trash an art form like few others before them. This record should make a junkie of you.
Oh my God. It happened. I can't believe it really happened.
During a speech in Dallas at Southern Methodist University’s George W Bush Presidential Center this month, the man himself, George W Bush, did the best thing ever. I am pretty sure it is the single best thing that has ever happened. I do not believe I am exaggerating when I say that.
While criticizing Russia for having rigged elections and shutting out political opposition (which would already be hilarious coming from any American in general and Bush in particular), the 43rd President made the following comment:
“The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq. I mean, of Ukraine."
And then it got even better. After correcting himself with a nervous chuckle, Bush broke the tension in the empire-loyal crowd with the words, "Iraq too. Anyway." He then quipped that he is 75-years-old, leaning harder on his "Aw shucks gee willikers I'm such a goofball" persona than he ever has in his entire life.