Sunday 27 November 2011

Quintrex Bop - Effigies 7" EMI Custom 13005, 1980

Another "graphic design clusterfuck"
Ever wanted to reach into your gramophone, grab the guitar player by the scruff, and dare them to play a downstroke? We mentioned before what seems to be a Canberran tendency to not want to put in on the six string. There are exceptions, but unfortunately today's featured record ain't one of them.

Quintrex Bop were part of the small punk scene in the nation's capital in 1980. The band members were Eddie Evils (vocals), Glen Grattan (guitar), Rod Nonstop (bass) and Mark Fraser (drums). They recorded a four track 7" at Grool Sound in 1980, and that was it.

So, half-hearted guitar slinging aside, what does the Quintrex Bop EP offer? We feature the best two tracks today and you'll see what makes it vaguely attractive is a bit of mean-spiritied nastiness in the lyrics. On Judith the target of the singer's ire is the eponymous lady friend. "Judith is a fatty and a liar and a cheat", it starts, and the impression given of the poor lass doesn't improve. "Judith, I'll whip you with barbed wire, c'mon Judith, and set yourself on fire" and "Judith, you're the girl I hate, woah-oh Judith, you're overweight". O...K..., shots on target, but when paired with decidedly nancy drumming and non-committal guitar wavering I'm unsure of whose side I'm on. Think I'll go with Judith, she sounds like a whole lotta Rosie.

So, onto Royalty Sucks where again the lyrics are fairly forthright, if a little confused: casual anti-semitism ("she never wears the same clothes twice, she ain't no filthy jew") in the verse followed by a nice use of Yiddish in the chorus - "The king and queen are full of shmuck". Yeah, it didn't make sense to me at first either. I thought it was a minced oath for "full of shit", but then they rhyme it with "but I don't give two fucks", so that theory dies. We all know shmuck is slang for dickhead, but the lyric still doesn't make sense. It turns out in Yiddish, a shmuck is the foreskin removed in circumcision, now making the line a decent insult.

All in all it reads like it was whipped up on the back of a school pad in a few minutes. Nothing wrong with that, but it helps if your band is providing an absolutely raging backing track to distract from any obvious shortcomings. The vocal delivery is fine, but, like the guitarist's stayed hand, we can't commit to the whole thing with much enthusiasm. As an anti-monarchy song it's more Corgi Crap than I Hate The Bloody Queen.

The other two tracks, Effigy In Plastic and Household Garbage, despite the promising names, aren't going to excite anyone. As always though, track 'em down and make up your own mind.

Judith [Download]

Royalty Sucks [Download]

Eddie Evils also sang in Glass, from Ripchord fanzine, 1980.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if they ever made it out of Canberra? The name is certainly familiar, but I don't recall seeing them. But then, maybe it was forgettable.


PS. I Hate The Bloody Queen is brilliant.

Eddie Evil said...

No, Quintrex never did make it out of Canberra, I should know, I am Eddie Evil

deaf doug said...

Bored out of my brain in canberra in 1980. I saw them a lot. Shit but fun, I bought the EP and played it to every girl called Judith I meet for the next twenty years, until I lost it. I wish I still had it, I met anther Judith recently