The Coloured Balls - Ball Power (Aztec Music)
Sometimes you get lucky living in the Lucky Country especially when it comes to popular-gulcha and music. I mean, I must confess, for such a little pisher country, we produce some very fine hedonistic, psychedelic rock n' roll music un-fettered by politics , Political correctness and bad artists in general. Another thing is that I was fortunate to be a city-slicker (well suburban slicker) in my up-bringing, as opposed to 95% of Farmer and Faygel nobs that make up the 'cultural elite' that gives Aussie art and culture such a snore inducing rep in the first place. Well anyway, as a kid, I remember once some family friends of ours son came over, he happened to be some sort of burnt-out drug-casuality who'd been in rehab and mental hospitals and the like, and somewhere along the line he mentioned this bloke LOBBY LLOYD, and was saying things along the lines that Lloyd made (Billy) Thorpie look like a Poonce. He was MENTAL, his guitar was louder than anything on earth, and he used to live in Centre Road East Brighton ( a reasonable, though not ostentatious upper-middle class suburb to boot!), which was around the corner from where I grew up! SO I had Aussie punk rock history in literally my own back yard! Now at the time I was getting into a lot of garage punk music via 80s bands like the PAINTERS and DOCKERS and COSMIC PSYCHOS, and LOBBY LLOYD's name useta get mentioned as he owned or had something to do with RICHMOND RECORDERS here in Melbourne, that was where all these shitty Melbourne punk bands used to record and end up sounding like rubbish. ANYWAY, in the late 80s and early 90s I used to see loud-garage rock bands from Geelong and Camberwell (funny how in Australia you had rich kid dropouts making music with poor drop-outs and they all rocked the same, I guess that's DEMOCRACY in the purest sense, eh?)...But this Lobby Lloyd influence would never go away. He produced the Aussie X, the Painters and Dockers, the megaultrahardcorethrashmetal DEPRESSION and I think a BORED! record or two. BORED! covered 'Human Being' in their live sets, and I was lucky to hear the Cosmic Psychos version of 'Guitar Over-Dose' in the studio, where it sounded great, until I heard the CD version. Then this mate of mine had an art teacher called Phil Brophy, who useta dress up like a 'sharpie' which was pretty much the main subcultural audience of the COLOURED BALLS. The 'sharpies' were this mutant working-middle class youth culture of the 70s here in Australia, that mixed the look of English 60s mods/skinheads and David Bowie Ziggy Stardust(!!!) into one. But instead of them being bisexuals, they'd drink beer and break each others noses and knife each other and shit. Initially the 'sharpies' meant the way you dressed, but this was quickly punched-in-the head, and came to mean the sharpness of yr flicknife you carried, or bottle you smashed to rearrange some bozo's face with. The 'sharpies' existed for most of the 70s until punk came along. The 'Sharpie' look is sorta trendy now, but alot of it moved to the country and mutated into the 'bogen' subculture, which the Cosmic Psychos cashed in on in the 90s. But it was the Psychos who kinda piqued my interest in this Lobby Lloyd bloke, as this 'G.O.D' track was awesome, amphetamine, motoronic pounding psychedelic ROCK. I said to myself meekly that Lobby Lloyd was a legend. And yesterday the stars aligned, the bank balance was in the black and a beautifully remastered, repacked and LOCALLY PRODUCED CD version of the long out-of-print, impossible to find BALL POWER album emerged. In my hand I had the new Bob Dylan record and BALL POWER, and I said fuck-it, I will support my own PRODUCT!!! Bought the bugger, popped it in the car CD abd floored it all the way home as 'Flash' blasted out of my quadrophonic-4 stereo system via the tunes' Who-meets-MC5 propulsive "yeah"! Then you get some so-so boogie-woogie numbers until the Sabbath rifferama of 'Human Being' and a really up-beat version of 'Whole Lotta Shakin' comes along, but Lloyd plays the chords in a higher key that makes it more psychedelic and droney than the usually chugga-chugga style. Album killer is the 10 minute plus neo-Pink-Fairies workout 'That's what Mama said' that features some very nice primal-electronics that sound like Sun Ra's Kahoutek mixed in via a rousing chant like chorus that'll get even the most drunken slob dribblin the words out in no time. There's a collection of six singles as extras, that vary from some dated boogie-woos Oz-Rock vomit, to prolly the best song on the whole albumand the best song the Who never did 'Love me girl' and the very Punk Fairies or High Time MC5 rocker 'Devil's disciple'... Album closes with a totally remastered to get blastered-to 16 minute version of 'Guitar Overdose' recorded live at Sunbury in 1973. You are unlikely to find a more transglobal, psychedelic, elevating, teeth gnashing, smash yr head more than an Islamic Mullah dose of energising rock anywhere in the known universe. And it makes me feel even better that G.O.D lived in my back yard! Amen!
Monday, September 25, 2006
..a proper post soon to come, but here's some filler for the toilet break, random Zen shuffles:
- JANDEK - 28-8-05 LIVE @ AUSTIN bootleg - part of the Perplexed-one's on-going world tour. His guitar meanders down the fret board as he whines about wanting to be loved, really he's not that different to Elton John or someone, ya know.
- U2 - IN GOD'S COUNTRY - Christian rock, it even has that fucken tooty-flooty sort of sound that Briar-butt boys play. Gee the Irish are a pack of cunts.
- MUSIC MACHINE - TALK, TALK - Nuggets gold. Fuzzed out to shit with lotsa keyboards. This one reminds me of THE SHOWER SCENE FROM PSYCHO, that Melbourne 80s band. Could also sound like one of those Timbaland tracks.
- MY BLOODY VALENTINE - TREMOLO - this sounds like the Beatles when they went psychedelic, especially something George woulda done. There's even a timbla or whatever those Indian percussion things are called.
- WIRE - KIDNEY BONGOS - a mate of mine reckons this is perfect 80s pop. It's actually pretty shit.
- ROLLING STONES - SHAKE YOUR HIPS - The guitars on this sound like they were done a four-track. Bloody smart-arse limeys.
- HOWLIN' WOLF - HOLD YOUR MONEY - You can't go wrong with Howlin' Wolf. Sounds like it was recorded in a really small and really packed juke-joint with Negros high on speed. You see, this stuff, it just swings.
- KIM SALMON - YOU GOTTA LET ME DO MY THING - Salmon wishing he was doing soundtracks for John Holmes films, of course, there's a flute in there.
- THE GUN CLUB - GOODBYE JOHNNY - this sounds tinny and shit. It influenced a tinny and shit Aussie band of the same name as the track. Pack of fucken junkie alcoholics. Now there's a band called the Drones who sound even MORE similar, just not as tinny.
- THE MAGIC MARKERS - WE ARE THE MAGIC MARKERS - the youth of the SOnic Youth who have emerged as part of Thurston Morre on-going no-wave social-project. At least they're better than SOnic YOuth. Lots of angry young art-fuckers saying 'fucken' and over-distorted lo-fi blare, they remind me of Black Flag for some reason. It's alright.