Punk, DIY, powerpop, grillfat, glam, NWOAHM from Australia 1975-1984.
Saturday, 15 October 2011
Seven Ballerinas - Sometimes I Feel 7" Jump 13176, 1982
Last week's piece of Joy Division worship reminded us of another one from a more unlikely location - Queensland's Gold Coast, home of Surfers Paradise. The rock'n'roll history of this strip is short and uneventful. It didn't become much more than a holiday destination for Brisbanites until the '50s and its first dent in the collective consciousness of rock fans is when the Creatures, of Ugly Thing fame, set up shop there for a few months in the mid '60s. The locale is perhaps best known to readers here as the scene for the photo on the back of the Riptides' 77 Sunset Strip sleeve. Miami was also the home of the Magic Castle immortalised in a song on that 7".
Homegrown talent from the area is pretty thin on the ground. In the late '70s it was cover band hell, and although the OC hardcore sound and look took hold amongst the surf grommets in the early '80s, any punk bands that did form unfortunately never released anything, at least until Asylum in the mid '80s. There are only four (and a half) records from the Gold Coast from the era we cover, and only two we'd consider documenting. Apologies to the Ballistics, Sigh Of Relief and Squadron Leader. This 'un sees a band straddling Joy Division's transition into New Order. The vocals and guitar echoing the former, with the latter being represented by the strong rhythm section and the synth. "Hey, press that button that makes a sound like steam escaping again". We take the piss, but note that this one has survived the cull pile here on several occasions over the last few decades. Something keeps drawing us back. Needless to say it's not the further transition into new romantic horse shit evident on YouTube.
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.