Sunday 28 April 2013

Rick Huxley - Drive Drivin' 7" 13151, 1981

Unlike Thorburn's crazy mug, Rick Huxley presents a more world weary portrait to those trying to figure him out 30 years (and counting) later. Even when Google was a useful tool, and not a shillbucket, it was impossible to find anything about Rick due to his recently deceased namesake. World weary or not, we're reasonably sure he's not the Dick Huxley from Hot Cottage (who did feature Kim Humphreys, though), or the one from Mecca. The liner notes, as such, say the A-side was written in 1978 by The Reputable Band, but that's another complete and utter dead end.

Like Thorburn though, we're in mildly demented DIY territory here, with an odd country/busker/blues vibe. With the rectal insertion theme popping up in Drive Drivin', Merv Megastar is another apt reference point. The flipside sounds like classic M-Squared, but was recorded just a bit further south at Axent Studios in Kogarah.

So what are we doing here? Well, we like the record, especially that solo in Drive Drivin'; but we're also intrigued by the involvement of drummer and guitarist Ed Fisher and Geoff Holmes, who readers of Blood, Sweat And Beers will recall were in Evil Rumours, the proto-X band from 1977, with Holmes reappearing in X proper briefly in 1979.

Special note must be made of the packaging - a plastic outer bag signed in texta, oversized 4-page sleeve featuring the lyrics and naive artwork below, and then there's the sports powder. Huxley thought it would be a good point-of-sale differentiator to add a sachet of effervescent pick-me-up into copies. If you think hard plastic outer sleeves wreck records after twenty years you should see what a leaky pouch of electrolytes does to seven inches of polyvinyl chloride.

Drive Drivin' [Download]

I'm Not A Competitor [Download]

More artwork for the interested student.

Rick Huxley branded sports drink. Puts back what not being a competitor takes out.

Sunday 21 April 2013

Frames - Never Coming Home 7" CBS BA 222832, 1981

The late, great Imants Krumins once disparaged my über-fandom of Grand Funk Railroad on the basis that as a young 'un, Grand Funk fans would beat him up for listening to Lou, Bowie and T Rex. So Grand Funk were cavemen and so were their fans - no doubt about that, but when I hear Inside Looking Out I find it hard to care (and I hasten to add, I'm not the only one). In much the same way, I can't expect my prejudices about The Frames to matter to those who didn't live in Perth in the mid-'80s, for whom Never Coming Home will probably sound like a pretty snappy piece of new wave power pop. If you were there, then you will remember the suffocating ubiquity of The Frames, The Jets, V-Capri, Flying Fonzarellis and countless others which essentially amounted to cover bands expecting to be taken seriously when snapping off the occasional original. As they say on the internet, fuck that shit.

Never Coming Home [Download]

Sunday 14 April 2013

Thorburn - Brick Wall 7" Mouth MTH.SP.001, 1978

Euan Thorburn was a fringe dweller in the early Melbourne scene and is vaguely remembered by various participants we've polled. As we hope you'd figured out by now, we love fringe dwellers, especially to the fringe scenes we cover. We'd like to be able to pinpoint exactly where he fit in but he hasn't answered our emails! Work with us, Euan. Anyway, Thorburn was a graphic artist (one of his better pieces appears below), who diversified into recording in 1978, the wonderfully loony Brick Wall / Charlie being the result. With its unique, DIY take on R'n'B, Brick Wall is the kind of thing that would have appeared on Charly, or Stiff, or maybe even Chiswick, had our man been in London, rather than the bleak city. We're also partial to the downer B-side.

Brick Wall eventually reappeared on Missing Link's Inner Sanctum LP, Keith Glass being a fan of the record through his record shops.

Thorburn still sits on the fringe, plying his trade as an artist - you can shop for his art here.

Brick Wall [Download]

Charlie [Download]

"Artwork by Euan Thorburn"

Sunday 7 April 2013

Jukebox - The Hulk 7" Cordial Factory 13041, 1980

Brace yourself for more Oz Rock idiocy from Newcastle, as Jukebox convince us that they're the only band in grilldom with body image issues. On the A-side (Summertime Fun - no relation), the singer tells us that when he goes to the beach, 98 pound weaklings kick sand in his face. Flip the record over, and he'd have us believe that he's so puny, a case of full-body gangrene and an elocution lesson from Bobcat Goldthwait could only improve his sex life. Those may sound like the words of someone who has taken a few too many rads of gamma radiation to the brain, but a quick gander at these fine specimens reveals that he might be on to something. The production - courtesy of Rabbit's Mark Tinson - is equally emaciated.

The Hulk [Download]

Unlike Dr Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk's alter-ego, Jukebox were no rocket scientists. That's cool though, rock and roll ain't rocket science, and to prove it the lads present their second single (Cordial Factory 13129, 1981) which: a) titles the B-side Rock 'n' Roll Lady, thereby plumbing the depths of grillfat's dumbest; and b) lifts one of the most iconic riffs in rock as if no one is going to notice. Conceptually, that's two thumbs up, so it's unfortunate that the result is so pedestrian. This time, Tinson produces it to sound like the Oz Rock record it is, which of course is to its detriment. That cavernous sound of The Hulk turns out to be the sound of rock and roll reverberating inside empty heads - perfectamundo.

Rock 'n' Roll Lady [Download]