Sunday, 21 October 2012

Mystery Of Sixes - Skull In My Cave 7" EP Sundown SUN 0045, 1983

Mystery Of Sixes seem to have more rumour and misinformation floating around about them than just about any other band of the era we can think of. Some of the stories are even true. Formed in 1980, with dreams of supporting Razar (who had already split...), the band's first recording, Azaria, was officially banned from airplay by the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal as the Chamberlain case was still sub judice. There's tales of being on the receiving end of bashings and being shot at, both true.

Perhaps the dominant tale of their time was when they were accused of stealing a PA system. Rumours abounded that it was wrapped in plastic and buried in a band member's backyard. The band were subsequently blackballed in Brisbane - 4ZZZ wouldn't play their first single, shops wouldn't sell it (though Skinny's stood by them) and venues wouldn't let them play. Eventually, according to Out Of The Unknown magazine, three other blokes were charged with the theft. With everyone happy again the band was back on ZZZ. Well, no one else was going to play them. To round things off, when the ban on Azaria was finally lifted in 1986, ZZZ made a special point of playing it.

The bans fuelled the song Black Banned on the band's second record, a four track EP from 1983. The record highlights the unique sound of the band, with its complex and jazzy (without getting overly technical) structures setting them apart from other bands from the time. While such a sound would not have been out of place on SST, we need to put to rest one final rumour that has persisted - the EP never came out on Alternative Tentacles, even if the band did slip a copy to Jello when the DKs were in Brisbane. Grong Grong, Hack and The Hard-Ons remain the only Australian bands on Alt Tent.

I Don't Know You [Download]

Skull In My Cave [Download]

Black Banned [Download]

Something Mechanical [Download]


Anonymous said...

Thanks. A great EP.

Anonymous said...

These guys were the genuine stuff of legend, even from the outset. They musta had a regular gig in '82 at the Aussie Nash (Australian National) Hotel at the 'Gabba, and word filtered back to us in Toowong of wild going ons there with a rough mix of skins and hardcore punks owning the joint. I was too afraid to venture over! But they also created really inventive sounds that defied easy labels etc etc. And you know what? It's only just dawned on me - literally the other day - that when Azaria got banned they did another song in tribute to themselves that used the same tune, so that the chorus of 'Azar-ria-ria-ria' became "we are, we are, we are - a Mystery of Sixes!'. Brilliant. And strewth I'm slow on the uptake...

Anonymous said...

Half is correct, the other half just fits in the gaps. If you listen to the first two TUMOR CIRCUS albums particularly the chariot album, you'll get the picture of what really happened.

Jello Biafra is NOT a nice bloke, we were only kids ...we trusted him ~ Bez.

J. V. R. said...

If anyone has a contact for any of these guys could you please email Cheers!