Coming soon on Wallaby Beat Records:
Ulsers - Remember Them 7" EP (WBRS-2601)
Deluxe reissue of this DIY masterpiece. Up there with early records by SPK and the Slugfuckers as one of the most original and creative statements of Australian punk.
Ulsers - Forget Them LP (WBRX-2602)
Ten jaw-dropping, previously unreleased songs from the Ulsers in full-band mode. Same mayhem, bonus drums, shouting and electricity.
Over the years, our obsession with the Ulsers has bordered on the pathological. Their Remember Them EP is such a perfect storm of OCD-inducing elements, we've sometimes felt that they made it just to torment us. A whirlwind of one-finger acoustic guitar, cardboard-boxes-as-drums, harmonica and sax, its four songs are so wilfully, uniquely obnoxious that those who "get" it can't help but be equally awed and amused. Putting it over the top are abstract, profane and hilarious lyrics, all delivered by a truly unhinged vocalist yelling as if the vocal mic was in the next suburb. Who the hell were these lunatics?
Conceptual greatness aside, the other factor that had us repeatedly washing our hands and touching every second fence post was Remember Them's utter obscurity. Adelaide scenesters and seasoned record collectors alike were unaware of it; those who knew of its existence had no clues to the Ulsers' identities. Years of solid detective work amounted to nothing. And then, as is so often the case, a stroke of pure luck brought results. An autographed copy of the record landed in our laps, yielding three legible signatures (and one illegible mess). "A Hitler" and "Dick Ulser" proved to be unwise Google search terms. We'll be forever thankful that principal Ulser Terry Wilson chose to scribble his real name.
That the Ulsers' story turned out to be even better than we could have imagined has only added to our grovelling fandom. Existing solely for the amusement of an isolated inner circle, beyond which their record barely circulated, it is no wonder the Ulsers remained unknown for so long. Pressed in a tiny run to begin with, the Remember Them EP suffered from zero formal distribution, rapidly waning enthusiasm from the band, and - just to rub salt into the wound - a box of unsold records disappearing into the aether. In 2012, locating a copy is tough; locating a copy with a sleeve is brutalising. We're grateful to Terry Wilson for leading us through the full story.
None of us except maybe Richard on the sax were in any way accomplished on our instruments. I could strum chords on a guitar and wrote a lot of songs across my teen years. In the years leading up to the Ulsers, Richard and I listened to a lot of free form jazz which influenced how he played in the Ulsers. Without any particular musical ability, we experimented with playing avant garde music, which was quite abstract and dry - eliminating melody or rhythm or solos or even recognisable instrumentation. This was just something we did in our front rooms when other people went out. It's probably why they went out. Punk music also had a sort of avant garde feeling to it then, in terms of attitude and lyrics. In time this influenced us. We had plumbed the free form music as far as we were able and it was a relief to do something more structured and recognisable and fun, like songs.
|Music to cut your ears off by.|
L-R: David Banbury (note cardboard box), Terry Wilson, Richard Lees, Tony Lang.
Where was the EP recorded?
Julius Sumner Miller
I'm An Italian
|Sounds like the back cover looks.|
|Like the Last Words, the Ulsers had a prominent German connection.|