Sunday 2 June 2013

Leap In The Dark - Samurai 7" Sundown SUN 0087, 1984

It was about 10 years back - a heady time when people actually read music blogs - that Dave Lang coined the useful phrase "record-collector-rock". Back then, he used the concept to mean music that is "drool fodder for collector/obsessive dorks: you know, not the kind of music 'regular' folk buy" (or more succinctly, records that are "good to show off but not to listen to"). What he didn't anticipate was the emergence of "meta-record-collector-rock": music made by record collectors, released by record collectors, for a target audience largely made up of record collectors. It's not exactly news that there is overlap in the collector/musician Venn diagram, but that kind of closed cultural feedback loop is a relatively recent phenomenon, right? Hmm, what of the Australian punk collector who, in 1983, created a limited edition of his own band's record with a cover directly referencing the Victims' handpainted 7" EP? What could possibly be the point, other than to amuse said collector and appeal to the OCD of similarly afflicted obsessives? Three decades later, that party trick has worked a treat - the self-aware tribute is even tougher to find than the Victims' original.

We'll come to the Victims EP and its simulacrum in due course, but what intrigues us today is the "anti-meta-record-collector-rock" of the Leap In the Dark 7". Vocalist Mark Overett was a year-zero participant in the Brisbane punk scene, documenting future legends in real time in his fanzine, Fad. These days, Overett is a self-described "anoraky guy who collects Aussie punk records 1976-1981". We applaud the tightness of those parameters, but dig the recording dates of Overett's own work - December 1983 to January 1984! Talk about hiding your light under a bushel. Luckily for Mark, others find worth in music made outside the classic '76-'81 timeframe - Samurai is a neat, punky powerpop track, and yet another example of the endearing tweeness that pervades many a Brisbane record from the Go Betweens on. The EP's two remaining tracks sit at opposing extremes of the tweeness spectrum, and are less endearing as a result. Other band members were Wayne Harvey (drums), Bob Reeves (guitar), and Adrian Mengede (bass).

Samurai [Download]


Holly said...

Love this - thank you!

marko said...

Many thanks Wallaby Beat! We actually recorded 5 tracks during these sessions - and I am hopeful we can release these plus some live tracks soon.