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They're a Led Zep cover band, and they're just note perfect. Whereas the Exploding White Mice, even though they get adoring crowds out of Adelaide, are lucky to draw two hundred people to a gig here.
I think I caught their first or second pub gig. The Spikes were gigging at the time And they went in to record that one song and it turned into seven. So I'm glad that I asked them for a song. They were called "The Ramones Jukebox" when they first started up. A party band. They're off to Sydney, up Headshredder - Terminal Sect - Bread And Wine For The Dirt (CD the Gold Coast and Brisbane in a couple of weeks, and they're touring through until mid December, and then they'll start recording.
That string of gigs, two weeks up the east coast, that'll all be recorded on mobile, and we're hoping that half a dozen tracks can be used as one live side for the next album, and they've got six or maybe seven new originals that will be studio recorded in December.
I understand that it was recorded too loud; everything that went onto tape was distorted, so mixing it was like a salvage job. Played individually each track stands in its own right, but played together as an album its almost a blur. And people have called it monotonous. I call it a classic. I'm very, very proud of it. Not that I don't mind dirt being in there. Nest Of Vipers, maybe. That's a great record. First time in the studio and they slapped that down Nest Of Vipers, yeah.
Color In A Black Forest, that stands the test of time. And like I said, Brute Force And Ignorance, a lot of people are going to realize in time to come that that's a hell of a record. Call the production lousy, but I reckon it's a beauty. The new guitarist is Jack Jacomos. He was in a sort of weird heavy metal glam thrash band called The Lick, and they were most entertaining.
Jack plays a Rickenbacker guitar also. And he's kind of a fan, knew all the Mice songs anyway. I think he used to practice them in his bedroom. So he's in. And hopefully if all goes well he records with them on the east coast tour and in the studio. And then he goes to Europe with them through March, April, May of They've been doing it for five years and wondering where the reward is, I guess.
As you can probably pick from the single, yeah, there is some pretty weird guitar stuff on that single. One review I read of it said if this record was to be compared to clothing then "Make It' would be a battered black leather jacket. I thought it was a very nice analogy. The same review said they had the good taste to leave all the out of tune bits in.
Both Mason and myself said "What!? So we invited them straight back the next week, and over time that turned into the Acid Drops, and I guess I just followed the talent through from there. Chris Willard into the Lizard Train, and Liz eventually getting her own stuff together, with a lot of help from the Lizard Train.
These guys are the three most talented people that I've ever come across. They're currently recording The Ride. I believe that you've heard some demos from it One of their songs, I couldn't believe the intricate timing they have.
I'm impressed. I love their songs. Those guys have got a sense of melody, dynamics I guess The Ride will come out early to mid next year. The earlier the better. I'm pleased with that. I love the drumming on it. Liz's voice is very well recorded. She proved to me on that one that she could actually hold a tune.
I'd actually thought that, forgive me, Liz, I thought that Liz was just a screamer. On Get That Charge she proved that she could sing, and during the recording I recall giving her a hug and a kiss on the cheek a couple of times.
She just sang so well that day. It was recorded exactly one year to the day after Get That Charge was recorded, the 31st of July. The new one somehow seems more rushed; I guess it was recorded in much the same time as Get That Charge, and there's twice as many tracks, so it is a little more rushed. It almost sounds like a good quality live recording. Still powerful, still pretty nasty, and again, Liz is in fine voice.
They came here from Tasmania. And a friend of mine told me that they'd come here to record a record to be released on Greasy Pop, so I think that they'd probably come across my brick wall of "I only release Adelaide music". And they played here for maybe a year or eighteen months, and I saw them a few times and said, yeah, let's go. They know what they're doing and they're very well rehearsed. A pair of very good guitar players, and Guy's got a great voice.
Very easy to record the singer of that band. They started out with this kind of psychotic edge, almost rockabilly at first. I saw them within their first couple of months of playing and I was suitably impressed. A very good band. And I tried to help them through. I guess I did. Released a couple of Headshredder - Terminal Sect - Bread And Wine For The Dirt (CD records anyway. But I had to pass on them when they wanted a lot of money to record the new album, which is called Toast and will be out early next year.
And they needed money to record it properly. They're looking for commercial success in this country, and I wish them the best of luck. With the songs, the arrangements, and the voice of Chuck Scatt they might just get there if they've got the financial back up to promote them and radio to play them.
I wish you luck, Turks, you deserve it. And one of the songs from that demo ended up on Oasis 2. And I still hear Paul Gilchrist in that song. Chris sounds so much like Paul singing. And Paul was in there, suggesting which knobs to push. So anyway, they invited me to produce their second one, and I jumped at it. I learned from it and I don't regret it. I know the end result could have been better. But there's some really nice raw stuff on that record. It was a real challenge in the studio.
I guess the band just wasn't quite ready to record, and I felt like I had to teach them things. Guitar parts that I didn't know. It was enjoyable. Stressful, but enjoyable. And I think the end result is worthwhile. That record will be ignored in Australia, which is unfortunate. They deserve some kind of recognition. I choose not to Doing such short runs I have bare hope of covering costs of manufacture and royalties.
So it's almost like a charity. It was to start with, because I was holding a day job. And for a while Australia didn't seem to want to know. Commercial radio here is pretty damn flat, and there's no room for anything that is not of acceptable "quality". It's like the "industry quality", "the acceptable standard for radio play". Which sucks. And there's no room for advancement, there's no room for experimentation.
There's formula music. You know, like I said earlier, I loved Abba, but it annoys me that it's formula, you know. Waterfront's looking pretty good. AuGoGo just released the Mudhoney album, so more power to them. That's a painful subject. I would like a copy of that record I don't even know what it was called.
It came out in 87 or early I think it was only released in the states. It's got Blaze Of Glory on it. They never gave me a cent for that. And they're also licensed through Germany, Spain and Sweden So it's almost like an exclusive remix they got.
And that makes the Megadisc release of Get That Charge well worth tracking down. I hope to put that record out next year after I've released their next studio recording, which is finished and should come out in February of next year. Nest Of Vipers was also released in England as a sub-lease through Making Waves, which I think folded very quickly and conveniently before paying any royalties. And I believe that was also sub-leased around the place Germany, Sweden.
Never saw those copies, though. My friend John I met John through Liz Dealey. They'd been writing to each other for a while and Liz had met him on an 86 or 85 trip to America, and introduced me to him. I wrote to him and said I'm coming on over, and he said "Come and stay with me". That was the end of 87, I stayed with John for a couple of weeks in LA. And he was thinking of setting up Sympathy then, and, with his first batch of twelve inch releases, he released the Philisteins Bloody Convicts, and Get That Charge by the Twenty Second Sect.
But he's encountered the same problems as I have. Exporting and licensing is probably the only way I can survive. It's almost like I can't see the merit in spending thousands of dollars advertising in Australia as I would have to to let people properly know that each record is available.
It would be ten or twenty thousand dollars to promote it throughout this country, and I just can't see the merit. So I survive working for other people, and licensing, and exporting.
At the moment most of the stuff is going to Germany. You can see from the catalog that there's a couple of things coming up. The new Philisteins record, which you just heard as background music, probably won't make it this year. It was recorded quite a while ago, at the end of May this year, but artwork held it up for a while, and it's just been cut now, so it might not make it out until January. Massappeal kind of territory; Gang Green kind of noise. Kind of thrashy stuff. The Twenty Second Sect album still may come out this year.
That'll come out in January also. That was to be GPR That's bedroom demos. Cassette recorded four track. Which I think is pretty nice, coming out on a major label in this country. They're called The Artisans. I guess they come from the other side of town, you know. They certainly are playing a different style. Almost English. In fact they are playing English influenced music. Reminds me of say Joy Division or something.
Though not as heavy. More New Order than Joy Division are. More dance than doom. Whereas Mark Of Cain I trust you've heard the Mark Of Cain album More power to them, another label releasing some more of this noise from this little city.
There should be more of them. Because I'm only releasing a very small part of the creative output of Adelaide. I'm just going for the noisy and melodic stuff. And very little audience for it. And it really was a hell of a deal, since any of these bands by itself deserved to be able to play to huge crowds and command wildly inflated ticket prices. At the time I thought that if these groups could stay together that at least at the underground level, people would become aware and they would love these bands like I did, and like I still do.
But it turns out to have been a wildly optimistic hope. Only the Mice made any kind of impression at all. But neither the Garden Path or the Turks ever made an impression outside of their hometown, and even there they were little heralded. I decided to do my part to try to help out the situation and tracked down former Mad Turks and current Ice Cream Hands singer Charles Jenkins to get his story on both these excellent groups.
My initial contact with the Turks was through their first 45, which was in a pile of singles I bought on the trip to New Zealand that first turned me on to the mid 80s Aussie music scene. The liner notes of that album tell the distant past of the members of the Turks; they formed in from the wreckage of four forgotten Adelaide groups; the Crunch Pets, Rigormortis, Faith By Force and the Dysentry Bags.
Turk on lead guitar, Dominic Larizza then going by Dom Benedictine on drums, and Charles Jenkins calling himself Chuck Skatt singing and playing rhythm guitar. Dom had been kicking around for a few years singing and playing guitar. Originally the band played speed and beer induced twelve bar; it was all we could manage musically and socially.
Over time our sound changed as I learnt a few more chords and started smoking more pot. Instead, there was that first single. The A side was a politely rocking pop tune with a slight country tinge called "Lolene". The flip was a dirtier number called "Seeing Was Believing" that had a simple structure and kicked like a mother.
I have a particular fondness for this track since a band I played in covered this song every gig we played for about four years. Charles reflects back on that first single. Martyn wrote the rest of it lyrically and I sang it a bit too earnestly in retrospect. The throwaway nature of "Seeing Was Believing" has aged much better to my ears. This guy named Kim Horne was recording most of the bands around Adelaide at that time. The single sessions were in Novemberabout two months after they finished off "And Still You Wonder Why", which they had originally recorded in May of but completed by adding some backing vocals in September.
It was during these September sessions that they first worked with Horne. At that point in time we were going well. Dom had moved to guitar, the gigs were going well…typically drunken or stoned, chaotic and loud.
We were into it. It was a great scene in Adelaide at that time. He plays capably, but the band definitely took a step up when they recorded their debut lp between December and January They brought in Steve Caon on drums, and he plays with a cracking sharp style.
The guitars are stronger and more inventive, and the singing is also improved. The album has a stack of brilliant songs on it, especially the trio that lead off the second side: "Looking Forward To Destroy", "Under Review" and "Holding My Breath".
These tracks have everything…great hooks, strong guitar with great accent work, and catchy, creative lyrics. It was cheap and nasty. Our guitarist at the time, Hank, was exceptional. On things like the title track he was unstoppable, and other guitar players around town were gob smacked by his ability. The record did well in Adelaide, sort of, but nothing anywhere else. A couple songs have a country feel to them a taste in "Lolene" and a pretty full-on hoedown feel in "Purdy Baby".
But Charles has the common problem with lack of perspective that many people in bands have about their own work. They were gradually overtaken by songs with more chords, which was a pity in retrospect, but at the time I was interested in moving on, always thinking my last song was my best ever I still doso things are bound to be lost.
I can remember we chose "Holding My Breath" as an early single unanimously, realizing that the song had come out well. I can also recall sitting in a car outside rehearsal one night with Doug Thomas and the band listening to songs on the album for another single and deciding on "Looking Forward To Destroy" because it was the best sounding song.
Like the lp, they were distributed by the Australian major label Festival under a licensing deal with Greasy Pop. On the flip are two non-lp tracks. The single "Looking Forward To Destroy" is as good an A-side, but the sleeve looks like it was hastily put together by the record company with little thought or care. The flip "Given My Number" is also non-lp and is one of their softer ones. We were an ugly rock band trying to make a buck in the pre-Nirvana days. I was disappointed to find that Jenkins no longer is very concerned about maintaining the level that he used to strive for.
So these days my field of vision gets less an less. But when Toast came out it seemed impossible to me that the Turks would not break through.
The songs were as strong and maybe stronger than on the first lp, and the production, while still punchy, was even more radio friendly. The record bristled with potential hit A sides. The other two singles are no slouches, but "Tempers Fire" is incredible. Hank Turk had left the band by the time Toast was made, and Jenkins had picked up his guitar to replace him. The occasional hint of country that Hank added is gone, and the sound is pure pop.
But Jenkins dismisses this tune out of hand, saying "the song was funny for about five minutes". And the closing "Left The Right" is a strong finishing rocker. But there are no duds on this lp…it goes from strength to strength whether the songs are loud or quiet like the melancholy "Goodnight".
Just a wonderful record. The three singles all have non-lp B-sides. The song is only OK. Same for "American Heartthrob", the flip of "Tempers Fire". And on the back of "Walking Disaster" is an interesting re-make of "Holding My Breath" which is much more understated than the original. Sometime after Toast came out, the band decided to move their base of action away from their hometown of Adelaide.
Says Jenkins: "We moved to Melbourne because there was some management available over here and none in Adelaide. Unfortunately, it turned out to be mismanagement and led to the demise of the band, aided and abetted by a major label and its labyrinth of corridors to get lost in both physically and metaphorically. Personally we all enjoyed the move over.
Eventually we as a band got a bit tired of it all and needed a break. We were never going to make any recording royalty. Festival spent a lot of money on recording and film clips but not a cent on promoting the record when it came out. What I wrote at the time follows: "The only show on for Saturday night was the Mad Turks in the middle of a bill with two other bands at the Corner Hotel, which is about a mile east of downtown.
This place has the atmosphere of a stoneage cave dwelling, a feeling that was heightened when a punter came out of the club as I approached and blew chow all over the sidewalk. All I can say about the opening band is that they closed with a cover of "Whole Lotta Love" The Turks were just superb live, though Starting with their brilliant "Tempers Fire" and ending with "Holding My Breath", they also found space for a few cool covers, best of which were the Replacements "A Little Mascara" and another one called "The Executioner" that I can't recall the source of.
Somebody told me they thought the Turks sound like Elvis Costello used to sound, and I guess there is a trace of that in Chuck Scatt's vocals and in the way the wordplay goes on in the songs, but the Turks' two guitar, no keyboards sound musically isn't much like the Attractions were.
The Turks level of playing was frighteningly good I had a regular gig on a Wednesday night and over time the first line up came together. We would sit down, crack jokes and entertain; it was all very fruity! At some point in time, we stood up. Got our electric guitars back out and decided to ROCK. Well, sort of. He and Smiley clicked straight away rhythmically, vocally and personally, and also because Doug could write songs and improve the songs I had, it really felt like there were a few other oars in the water, which is what I wanted.
That problem was solved by good chance when they struck up a friendship with David Vodicka, a fellow who heads a fine Melbourne based label called Rubber Records. The quietness of some of the record is due to the "Dishonest Johns" period of the band. They were the first fourteen songs the band learnt and in retrospect I reckon about half that record is great. Vodicka stopped paying for recordings after that. Overall it is a very pleasant listening experience, but to me it sounded like the work of a musician who was heading towards a graceful exit from the scene.
There were six months periods in between each of these recordings where we would try to play some gigs to get the money for more time in the studio. Eventually Doug was able to kick in a bit of bread somehow and we finished off the last half of the record in August of Somehow the distributors thought the earliest possible release date would be too close to Christmas, so they put it aside until earlyand by then Rubber was about to change distribution in Australia to BMG, so we had to wait until August for that to occur and for the record to finally be released.
Also half the songs on the album, the ones I mentioned earlier were recorded initially as possible singles so therefore they tended to be more upbeat. We had such grandiose plans for brass and strings in the middle and at the end of that song. Overall it is still a lot more introspective than the Turks were, but Jenkins has the knack of writing an interesting mid-tempo cut or ballad down pat. I think we tried a few ideas for the bridge but then hit on that instrumental riff-a-rama thing.
Lyrically the chorus made it easy to throw in any vague recollections to the verse and to poke fun at the music". The original release for this album was on Rubber Records in Australia, but it subsequently has been picked up for US release on Not Lame, who released it with new artwork and added some bonus tracks from the CDEPs. So after all these years, Jenkins finally has a US release. The print media has been ecstatic regarding the record but the few people who control the airwaves in this country have been glacier like in their movements to play it on the radio.
Generally things are very busy both privately and music wise, which is obviously good. But perhaps the change will spur a new sense of determination and the Ice Cream Hands will end up hitting even higher levels.
It remains to be seen, but even if it all ends tomorrow, the Ice Cream Hands and the Mad Turks together will have left a legacy of music that would be tragic for the world to ignore. Still plenty more band articles to come Santos L Helper Cancelled. The second album was looser because we decided that it was more fun not preaching so much to people and realised that most of the people who saw us were there for a good time.
This definitely helped our popularity no end. The sarcasm was still there, but I think the reviewers saw the word 'beer' in a song and forgot to look any further. A couple of great memories for me were finding out that Rocket From the Crypt had specifically asked to be included on the Adelaide 'BDO' so they could watch us play, and having the bass player from Rancid getting to 'Summersault' early so he could watch us play.
These type of friendships and experiences helped to make it all worthwhile. We also played many many wild shows which people still refer to nowadays. One time when the 'Century' roof got smashed by WTP? One show we played with a 'death metal' band from Melb. Anyway, more later. I have a Album) headache so I'll contibute a couple of things quickly to this.
Great stuff by the way DK. Firstly Santos that self titled CD from If so it is like a who's who's of annoucers from 3d radio at the time that use to actually play hard rock and Adelaide bands. I'm in there somewhere as well as Dr Sphincter and Kami and a few others. Does anyone remember any filmclips by Greasy Pop bands??? The only two that come readily to mind for me are The Screaming Believers "Don't talk of love" and The Mice's "Breakdown 2" the mice must have had others I'd imagine.
I ended up selling my copy to a guy in Germany in the mid 80's for some ludicrious amount. By the way the Kilburn Mods were the greatest Adelaide band of the late 70's and early 80's. Ok time for a couple of features on 2 of Adelaide's greatest bands who are still together today First up The Mark Of Cain I've had the pleasure of seeing TMOC live a few times over the years ranging from small intense crowds going off at the Tivoli and Century Hotels right through to the main stages at the Big Day Out - we've also had them appear up here in Darwin supporting Helmet at the Ski Club a few years ago IMO the smaller shows really show what this band is about as you can feel the brutal energy of the band how it is meant to be heard and felt Now who can guess the venue of the pic below There was this Herman Hesse novel called "Damian" which was about a guy who is basically a loner, and I really liked the idea of this interpretation on The Mark Of Cain.
It was a sign, its like walking down the street and being different, all the adolescent angst. It meant a lot at the time anyway. Kim: It wasn't a physical manifestation, it was a Album) thing. John: Yeah, it's like you hear people say "hey see that guy, stay away from him", and I liked that idea, I like that upfront macho, or whatever you want to call it, image kind of thing. So I said "right we'll call it The Mark of Cain and search for the right people to be in the Album).
Kim was an obvious choice as bass player, even though I hadn't used him in Spiral Collapse. Kim: John was friends with Peter Engleberger from uni and very available for the band, whereas I was doing my second year of engineering and I hadn't picked up my bass for about three years. John: So what's new? Kim: Yeah I'm at that stage again now, anyway Peter Engleberger wanted to play whereas I wasn't up to scratch then.
John: Yeah so Engleberger did everything that was needed and he was there. I'd come across Rod Archer at this party that Spiral Collapse played one night, he was working doing roofing at the time so his hands were all cut up and mashed and looked really good. I thought "this guy looks pretty hardcore" so we approached him and he said he could sing and was recruited as vocalist. It was difficult at that time because we'd all just got into music and were having trouble putting out ideas into practise.
John: The band was just stop and start from the end of onwards. Things really started in the summer of after I'd finish uni. After a while though Gavin quit out of frustration with the others. Kim: I couldn't even play bass even back then, and Rod was barely singing, so Gavin was saying to John "how can you be continuing with this, isn't it frustrating for you? So he was getting really fed up with us because of our incompetence, and it wasn't the style of music he liked anyway - he was into heavy metal like Van Halen and Deep Purple - so he left and joined a Cold Chisel covers band.
I don't know what the problem was, but he didn't like me from the word go. He was really laid back and almost a hippy, although he was really a goth. Later on I met him at gigs and found him to be fairly rude, he seemed to have a big chip on his shoulder about the whole thing. John: Then for a while we worked with a drum machine. Kim: A small, basic one we'd picked up. John: David Graham quit on Rod's birthday, he rang up and said "I quit" and Rob replied "that's great, thanks, on my birthday".
I remember Rob and I sitting there and doing a few songs which I've still got somewhere, with the drum machine. We used to have one song called "The Helicopter Song", which was centred around the drum machine being run through a graphic equalizer and making helicopter type sounds. Kim: That eventually became "Suppression" with some changes and no helicopter sounds. John: We also wrote a few songs with the drum machine which sounded pretty good, but we thought there was no way we could actually use it as part of the band.
Kim: It was such a piddling little thing. John: Besides we thought "who uses a drum machine? Of course we'd never heard of Big Black back then, that was when they were first getting going. It was funnyI'd often say to Kim back then "I'd love to use a drum machine to do a whole lot of music", and I wish I'd got off my arse and done it. Kim: We could have been in parallel with Big Black.
John: It's a pity we didn't pursue that avenue, but we decided to stick at being conventionaland another drummer turned up a while later.
DaYeene - Alright (Vinyl), Up & Down, The Tide Pulls From The Moon - William Fitzsimmons - Gold In The Shadow (CD, Album), Leftovers From A Wake, I Get The Job Done (Hard Funk Mix Instrumental) - Brigette McWilliams - I Get The Job Done (CD), Wait It Out, Gotta Be This Or That - Benny Goodman And His Orchestra - Benny Goodman Dance Parade (Vinyl, LP, Alb, Ljubičasto Jutro - Piknik - Dembelan (CD, Album), È Solo Un Brivido - Gigi Finizio - Come Intendo Io (CD, Album), Honky Tonk Women - The Rolling Stones - 1964 - 1969 (Vinyl, LP, Album, LP, Album, LP, Album, LP, Alb, Dish & Tell (Bitch Mix) - Various - Techno 2 - Sheppards Revenge - The Trip Continues (Cassette), Bizde Böyle (Rain) (Kıvanch K Remix)