A good night had by all...
I've barely scratched the outer surface the last 6 months. Dogged by ill health (that pesky viral infection that hospitalised me late last year has long overstayed its eviction notice but fails to leave my body) and restrained by life's responsibilities, my gig-going has been somewhat minimal. I did, however, manage to make it out last Saturday night for that wonderful set of performances shown above, and I was a man impressed. Whilst my head has been stuck firmly in the sand, there appears to've been a particular "scene" a-brewing in Melbourne, one which claims equal inspiration from the likes of Flipper, Anal Cunt, Burzum, Whitehouse, Sunn O))), Void and various other anti-social low-lifes. And whilst you might consider such a grab-bag of sounds to equal nothing but a major downer, one couldn't be further from the truth. This is some fun shit, a really lively grouping of scum/punk/noise/doom/grind/kill/metal sounds, and I witnessed some of the best of 'em.
Pissbolt - best band name ever, and one which anyone not hailing from Australia will likely not comprehend its meaning - are a 3-piece vocals/guitar/drums unit w/ Dad They Broke Me folks who belt out a mean and unrelenting din in the crossworlds of Burzum and Discharge, and their drummer's flailing arms left me goggle-eyed as I witnessed his limbs turn into a blur throughout their set. Collapsed Toilet Vietnam are a new-ish 4-piece featuring veterans from other bands like True Radical Miracle, Whitehorse, Grey Daturas and literally dozens of others who hammer out an absurd, grunting din which sounds like Half Japanese or the Happy Flowers playing Drunks With Guns' first LP. Primitive shit-rock with a beat you can almost dance to. I like their style. There will soon be a split cassette release from CTV and Pissbolt. Yes, a cassette. Pathetic Human I had actually witnessed the week previous at an all-ages afternoon show held upstairs at Fitzroy Bowls Club. You heard me right. I attended an afternoon all-ages hardcore bill at an inner-suburban lawn-bowls club. You can't say I don't like to get out and enjoy myself on occasion. The gentleman working the door jokingly asked if I was there to pick up my son. Nice one. People said I'd like Pathetic Human. I did. So much so, I knew I had to see 'em again. Don't know too much about who they are or where they came from. They look like four young subruban layabouts who like to pull bongs and spin early '80s HC platters from the US of A, and if I'm wrong, I apologise. With a sax player on a couple of tracks, my estimation was that they were caught between the out-of-control HC breakout of Void and the dirges of primo Flipper. Someone told me they were copping moves from Siege. You can split the hairs where you please. They are a dynamite outfit you'll be hearing a lot more from them. They've got songs with real riffs you can take a bite out of. Coming from them soon is a - gulp - cassette-only release, and whilst I appreciate the luddite charm of this ancient sound form, I also feel that it is my duty to inform the people involved that many stereo systems these days don't even feature cassette-playing capabilities, cappice? Some of these sounds can be heard on local labels such as Sabbatical, Stained Circles and Sweat Lung - you got me: they're all owned and operated by friends of mine, but that's not why I'm writing this - and so if you foreigners are under any impression that good Australian rock music stopped dead in its tracks once Dog Meat closed shop, then you're doing yourself a disservice in not giving them an earful.
Speaking of sabbaticals, I try to leave at least one entry per week here, but I can't make any promises for the immediate future. In between juggling full-time work and domestic life, as well as working on new releases by Dark Tooth Encounter, Ten East (plus an Australian tour for August), Castings and three The Scene Is Now reissues, this music thing is just killing me right now. I need a break.