Monday, October 05, 2009

BoldSLUB - Barracuda 7" (Death Valley/1995)
The band known as Slub were quite the big deal in the "underground" down here (and elsewhere) at some point in the late '80s/early '90s. They put out an ace cassette in 1987 through Au-go-go (not officially an Au-go-go release, I think, but released through their channels somehow) which showcased a lo-tech grime-rock which, whilst not far from the '80s pack of noise-rakers popular at the time (Big Black, Buttholes, Flipper, Scratch Acid et al) in approach, also lent a heavy debt to a vast array of '70s rockers (from Hawkwind to Pere Ubu to Can to the riff-rock of 'Sabbath and Zep') and post-industrial units such as Nurse With Wound, Coil and all those Limey self-mutilators. It was quite the brew, and they fitted in snugly w/ fellow compadres of the time such as King Snake Roost, Thug, Venom P. Stinger and co. (all heavily touted by the great B-Side 'zine: the essential 'Strine rag for the latter half of the '80s). Dr. Jim - the man who released their debut LP in 1990, Roottmann - and I have often thrown around the idea of putting our collective skulls together and releasing a Completely Discography CD pack of Slub's wares: the cassette, LP, comp' tracks, Sympathy 7"s, etc., and whilst we're both convinced that such a nice public service would give us a free pass in the next life, there's also the fear that such a grand folly would only help empty out our bank accounts and contribute to the landfill known as the current CD-buying climate. Thoughts?
Anyway, the band went through a zillion line-up changes in their life (approx. 1985-'95) - for many years they included celebrity multi-instrumentalist, comedian and man-of-a-thousand-bands, John Murphy, and apparently even featured the Dirty 3's Warren Ellis in their ranks for a period - but somehow managed to be never anything less than pretty darn good in their recorded output. Slub aren't the kinda band you're gonna put on at your next barn dance; Vikki Riley's screeching howl assures that. The thick coats of guitar squall, electronic FX and pounding drum beats also likely don't contribute to most humans' idea of a "good time". But there's this one exception in their catalogue: their rendition of Heart's '70s megahit, "Barracuda". It's surprisingly faithful to the original, not a butchering by any means. Whilst not possessing the massive FM-radio production of the original, it still crunches with a BIG sound: the chugga-chugga guitar riffs, Riley's awesome note-perfect wailing and a sense of momentum which never lets up. You could play this at yer next Blue Light disco and likely walk out w/ all bodily parts intact. There's no getting 'round it: it's an excellent interpretation. The B-side tracks are from '89 w/ a different line-up; "Blind Owl" is the kinda bruised guitar dirge they perfected at the time, and "White Panda" (a traditional Chinese folk tune, sez the liners) is a more experimental piece and churns like a Current 93 track before Tibet went off w/ the faeries (fitting, since John Murphy was in an early line-up of the C93). Only 300 of these were ever made, then they're gone forever... worth all the pennies.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any chance of getting an email w/a d/l link? I'd love to hear this! ihascheeseburgers@gmail.com

Dave said...

D-d-d-download??!!! What about PAYING for it?? It's still available: go to the Death Valley link. You also get a FREE copy of the Slub cassette. Bargain!

Anonymous said...

Dave, do you have an email address that I can email you about some potential music/reviews?
Ta,
Laura

Dave said...

Yup... lexdev@yahoo.com.au

Anonymous said...

Completely Discography CD pack of Slub's wares - Yes please!

Dave said...

Sonke from the band might be doing it. I've got copies of the 3 CDs' worth of material he intends on releasing. Should be great, if it ever happens...

Anonymous said...

Great news! Also on the cd reissue front possible Stretchheads 2cd set remastered etc - fingers crossed! And Dave have you picked up John Robb's Death to Trad Rock book yet?

Dave said...

I'll DEFINITELY get the Stretchheads 2CD set. Who's doing it? I actually ordered the Death To Trad Rock book yesterday, and the CD (actually, I'm the label manager for Cherry Red down here, so I've got special inroads...).

Anonymous said...

Not been decided yet still up in the air need to sort out the masters from Moshka if still exist? get these remastered possibly? Sort out contractual stuff with EMI/Mute
Iron Lung might put out a vinyl edition of 1st lp again one of those things, money interest etc I'm probably trying to run before I can walk but really excited just about the idea Phil from the band is doing all the hard work I just nagged him for years and wore him down! I'm dreaming one day of a Bogshed discography aswell!

Vikki Riley said...

The SLUB Cd will happen this year. With myself and Peter Kenny in the Northern Territory working on it and Sonke and Stephen in Melbourne. Just waiting for Mr Murphy to make contact from Berlin. Then it will be a collective task in line with the band's commie philosophies folks.
Meanwhile anybody interested can BUY the stuff as Dave recommends.Missing Link has the singles.
Vikki

Anonymous said...

Hi Vikki,
I know you (and Sonke) but haven't seen you for years! Invited Sonke to my wedding and never heard from him again ;-)
I'm really eager to buy the Slub complete disc cd if it comes out. My LP copy of Roottmann is full of skips, ruining an otherwise great record.

best wishes
Chris

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and hi Dave, haven't seen you in years! Used to be a friend of Neil's, don't know if you remember me. [You might remember me turning you on to Red Noise years ago?]

best wishes,
Chris