Features

In-Frequencies #4: Pond, NoTV, UV Race, Johnny Casino

As part of an ongoing series, TIM SCOTT* rounds up some recently overlooked cassette, CD-R and vinyl releases. Addition by *PATRICK EMERY.


The Slugfuckers
Three Feet Behind Glass/Instant Classic
(12?, Insolito Records, 2010)

Listening to this 12?, it’s hard to believe that it’s close to 30-years-old. Such is the raw anger and messy fucked up-ness, the shit-fi angsty industrial harshness and scathing humour that you realise that kids doing this kind of stuff today need to step up!

?Abrasive? is a term used way too frequently to describe noise music, but like Pere Ubu, Swell Maps or The Homosexuals, these Sydney guys had a feel and sound that still smashes you senseless three decades on. Listening to this makes you want to do something stupid. Something retarded. Like flipping the bird to a bunch of bonehead steroid bikers outside a dumb ass gym that you ride past regularly. A frantic bike ride with two Banditos chasing you on foot is made better/faster with ‘Schizo Revolution’ pounding on your Pod.


Wonderfuls
Piss Fist
(7?, Negative Guest List, 2011)

Have you seen that [YouTube footage](http://www.youtube.com/watch’v=fwIQlJsD_Lg) of The Cramps playing live in a psych ward? Well parts of ?Piss Fist?, the first vinyl release on Brisbane’s Negative Guest List, sounds like the inpatients picking up instruments after Lux and Ivy have high tailed it in the Cadillac.

On the title track, cousins Bobby (vocal) and Danny (guitar) – there’s no drums – bring some idiot savant acoustic pop that uses every combination of the words ?piss?, ?fist? and ?arse? imaginable. Yeah, there’s some Twin Infinitives/Singles, Live and Unreleased-era Royal Trux going on here, but mainly just the scabs on arms and unwashed hair part.

?Hated Man? is Tom Petty on Quaaludes going through divorce proceedings while ‘Young Hearts’ could be considered a love song – to those who don’t believe in love. I missed these guys when they were in Melbourne, and I’m still spewing, but I’ve heard that those who caught them are spewing more.


Three Toed Sloth
?against the odds
(7?, Unwucht, 2011)

Damn! ?Unearthed treasure? is quite an understatement when it comes to this piece of classic damaged Sydney noise rock. Recorded live back in 1993 to 1/2″ tape by a TAFE student it took seventeen years and a German label to put out these six previously unreleased tracks of racket that hit you hard with their Venom P Stinger-like gutter and gritty post-punk. Drummer Tom – whose band, the legendary feedtime, had broken up a few months before this recording – adds a loose energy to the songs, while the guitar veers to the other side of ?tight?.


Three Toed Sloth – Hangin’ by R.I.P SOCIETY RECORDS


Lower Plenty
Mean
(Cassette, Radio Records Melbourne, 2010)

Pastoral/suburban folk – they were called Doncaster Shopping Town for a minute – featuring Al (UV Race), Jensen and Twoombs (Deaf Wish) and Sarah (The Focus). Lazy and charming acoustic pop where you hear the strum or every nylon string. Music for sitting around campfires or watching cooking programs. Al, Jensen and Sarah all share vocal duties and all bring a sad and forlorn sound to proceedings. The opening ‘Round and Around’ with Al’s spoken/sung delivery is beautiful, Sarah adds a touch of Julie Doiron (Eric’s Trip) to ‘Black Jaguar’ while Jensen adds a latter-day confessional feel to ‘I’m Sorry Ma’.


Brat Farrar
It’s on Me
(7?, P.Trash, 2011)

The a-side on this – the debut record from Sam Agostino’s (Digger and the Pussycats, Russian Roulettes) latest project – mixes just the right amount of melody and fast guitar. Like licking cake mixture off beaters that are still running on med/high, it’s sweet if a little rough. The guitar solo that kicks in halfway through is nutso good, while ‘You Will See’ slows things down a notch (a small notch), adding a more new wave feel to the Greg Sage-like guitar dynamics. Top record.



Mental Powers
Homoh
(12?, Badminton Bandit, 2011)

People over at [Altered Zones](http://alteredzones.com/) are going to be creaming their purple chinos over these Perth cats take on math and psych jams. It makes me want to move to Perth. My dream line-up right now would be Golden Staph, Taco Leg and Mental Powers opening on a beach in South Fremantle.

From the screen-printed packaging to the bookended tracks (?Bodywash? and ?Boogaknee?) this is some hypnotic shit. ?Hamneck? boils the post punk/funk to the surface, simmering it down at just the right moment while Den smashes out some anguished vocal. For some reason I’m thinking of a cute indie girl dancing alone on a beach by the Indian Ocean.


Shock Value
Yellow Peril
(7?, No Patience, 2011)

They sound like young obnoxious thugs from Brisbane – and that’s probably because they are. Even though there are 4000 punk bands calling themselves Shock Value and playing ?80s hardcore in the style of Verbal Abuse, not many are actually brothers and sisters from Laos who call their album ‘Yellow Peril’. Not many write songs about the Canberra Raiders. Gotta give ?em points for that.


Logjammers
Logjammers
(7?, No Patience, 2010)

One of four Australian punk 7?s that No Patience records released late last year – the others being Bloodclot Faggots, Shock Value and War Children. Named after the porno in The Big Lebowski, this is noisy and demented music that will warm the hearts of fans of scuzzy punk rock and will upset/damage those who aren’t into this sort of Flipper, Sick Things, Homostupids squall. Even in the context of punk this is pretty ugly music: the opening track, simply titled ‘Hit 1’, will rattle some teeth, but the minimal packaging and total disregard for what you think of them or their music makes this a winner. Lewis from No Patience is winning hard at the moment.


Johnny Casino and the Secrets
Hit the Ground Running
(7?, Off the Hip, 2011)

With the Secrets on ice for the immediate future, and with a string of other projects in the wings, the criminally underappreciated Johnny Casino has decided to fill the live performance void with a 7?, ?Hit the Ground Running?.

The a-side illustrates Casino’s heavier, but mellower side, adopting a style consistent with Bob Dylan’s ?Ballad of a Thin Man? and The Saints? ?Messin? With the Kid?, both tracks that Casino is wont to cover in his live set. A countrified acoustic introduction sets the backdrop for a chanting chorus akin to a cadre of Volga boatmen holed up in an inner-city pub singing obscure country tracks. A wiry lick rides over the top, supplemented with some increasingly rabid organ lines courtesy of Jeremy Craib and Mr Casino is back in town, guns poised, with no need to blaze away.

The b-side is a cover of Bob Seger’s bar room classic ?Heavy Music?. Casino’s rendition is both true to Seger’s original composition, as well as imbuing the track with an automotive power reminiscent of Seger’s contemporaries in the proto-Detroit rock scene, most notably the MC5. If anyone is going to resuscitate Seger’s reputation after its near death experience in the wake of Risky Business, it’s Johnny Casino. – Patrick Emery


Pond
Greens Pool
(7?, Badminton Bandit, 2011)

Often referred to as ?the dudes from Tame Impala’s other band?, this Perth act bust out some fresh rays of blissed-out sunshine on their latest single, which sees them going in a poppier direction than previous releases. ‘Greens Pool’ starts with some Brian Wilson-inspired keyboard tinkling before building to a psyched-out guitar solo that’s more in tune with their aforementioned other band. The vocal harmonies on ‘Mind at Largening’ sounds like they’ve been listening to some Ariel Pink lately. The packaging/art is rad: pressed in a limited quantity of 300, it contains work by Australian artist Ben Barretto.


Rites Wild
Rites Wild
(Cassette, Faux Friends, 2011)

A follow up to last year’s ‘Ill Health/Rites Wild Theme’ tape, which sees Stacey Wilson home recording with more analog keyboards and friends. ‘Thieves’ kicks things off with some dark tones and delayed monotonal vocal effects. ‘Signs’, the best track here, sounds like it could have been lifted from the first Fabulous Diamonds record. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this Adelaide act and label.


Naked on the Vague/Wet Hair
Naked on the Vague/Wet Hair
(Split 12?, Night People, 2010)

Prime piece of vinyl featuring four songs each from two of the more interesting bands writing the indie pop music at the moment: Iowa City’s Wet Hair and Naked on the Vague from Sydney.

Wet Hair further their exploration of noise pop, while the four songs from NoTV see them return to original duo mode of Lucy Cliche and Matthew Hopkins. The opening jangle on ‘Cryptic Tonsil’ could come from an early Jesus and Mary Chain album, while the highlight ?Making Enemies? staggers out with shared vocals in a minimal gloomy manner that could have been lifted off the Velvets? ?Quine? tapes. Not to piss in their well-tailored pockets, but I’d say that the pair are the best practitioners of the gloom noise/pop that everybody is currently losing their shit over.


Reckless Aggression
Demo
(7?, Six Feet Under, 2011)

Melbourne’s best skinhead band get their 2010 demo tape released on vinyl by a US label. Gruff skinhead hardcore that’s about as subtle as a cinder block to the back of the head. It’s rough, it’s loud and skuzzy – even though the tracks have been re-mastered it still sounds very much like a demo. Led by the inimitable Meatdog – a rugged singer with ?Meatdog? tattooed on his head, who contributes art too – it captures what these boot boys do best: playing oi/street punk with a hardcore edge and getting fucking rowdy. A cover of ‘Wonderful World’ by the 4Skins is included too.


UV Race
Acid Trip
(7?, Sweet Rot, 2011)

The UV Race get their hands on some Jefferson Airplane and microdots and are last seen walking/staggering around Times Square late at night. But not before they got to record/release their latest 7?. This time it’s a live favourite, the one where Marcus falls to his knees and gets all Heaven’s Gate and implores people to go on an acid trip with him; and the b-side ‘Speed Freak’, where Georgia and Alex wrangle the mic off Marcus and drop some street knowledge. Alex Microwave once again takes care of art duties this time with a farting UV Sun person/minotaur anally candy caning another UV Sun person. No doubt [JoeyEnthusiast](http://www.youtube.com/user/JoeyEnthusiastNY#p/a/u/1/nNOMLvTgFkc), the 16-year-old kid from upstate New York is sitting in his bedroom right now learning ‘Speed Freak’.


The UV Race – Acid Trip by warszawarecords

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IN-FREQUENCIES #1: [Absolute Boys, Pageants, Southern Comfort, Taco Leg](/articles/4134517).

IN-FREQUENCIES #2: [Tough Troubles, Lakes, Brainwaves](/articles/4172041).

IN-FREQUENCIES #3: [Kirin J Callinan, Bare Grillz, Hammocks And Honey](/articles/4199599).