Punk, DIY, powerpop, grillfat, glam, NWOAHM from Australia 1975-1984.
Saturday, 17 September 2011
The Dri Horrors - In The Day The World Ended 7" Horrible HOR-001, 1982
Syzygy is the longest singular word in English with no vowels. So I remember my mum telling me back in the early '80s. Now nearly thirty years later I find out why the word was even in her mind.
On Wednesday, March 10, 1982 the planets of our solar system came within 91 degrees of each other, all on the same side of the sun; a state of syzygy. Astronomers tell us this is a very rare event. Funnily enough it brought out the end-is-nigh crackpots.
That same night freaks of a different kind were drawn en masse to French's Wine Bar, a dingy and much loved basement venue on Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. The event was a celebration by the Dri Horrors of the potential end of the world.
The story of kiwi legends Toy Love's time in Sydney has been retold several times - see the epic Chris Knox interview in Forced Exposure 18, or Stranded In Paradise, or parts of the Toy Love website. Towards the end of their time here drummer Mike Dooley expressed a desire to switch to guitar. The band decided it was all too hard to continue, and to incorporate this change. They secretly broke up, telling no-one until they completed a short New Zealand tour. Dooley returned to Sydney and started a twin guitar band with our man Paul Cupples of The Sheiks.
The tale of the Dri Horrors is told here by Dooley in much more entertaining fashion than we can conjure. In summary, they got together, gigged a bit, recorded this EP and an unreleased album, booted Cupples, recruited half of Proud Scum then broke up after the death of their drummer Animal.
What we find interesting is the incursion of the famed New Zealand sound on an Australian record (recognising of course that three of the players are ex-pat Kiwis). We'll leave it to listeners to decide if it's the Dunedin, Wellington or Auckland variant on show here. It's most evident on Drown Or Swim and Maybe Next Time - downbeat, repetitive strum giving a drone-y effect, with a bit of the angular approach favoured by Wellingtonians. Sing Me A Song shows the most similarity to Cupples' earlier efforts in the Sheiks - a bit shouty, the guitar strokes dramatic. Part Of You has a jaunty, bluebeat rhythm (the other six letter word in English with no vowels) that we can't quite come at.
Think you know a lot about Australian records in the punk era? We promise to astonish you with stuff off everybody's radar. We apply quality control so our powerpop has power, our glam has prominent balls, our punk is spiky and our DIY is far, far out there. We'll also do it-never-ends exposés of sleeve variations and inserts you didn't know existed. Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.