Archive for the Random Riffage Category

Half-assed Show Reports: Spectral Voice & Primitive Man @ Lee’s Palace

Posted in Random Riffage with tags , , , , , on March 26, 2018 by Ben

After a frigid walk that felt more like December than spring, my companion and I arrived at the venue just as the nights opener, Minors, were about halfway through their set. There were a decent amount of bodies in attendance already, which is nice to see after going to so many shows where the opening band has to wail away at an empty room. They played a good set, going through their own hybrid of hardcore and powerviolence with plenty of proficiency. Their most recent album was Atrophy, released last December, you can check that out below.

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Let’s Wander: Middle Man Demo and FEAR on SNL in ’81

Posted in Random Riffage with tags , , , , , on March 15, 2018 by Ben

I’ve been moving around and not spending much time at home over the past couple weeks, hence the lack of posting. I’ve been generally treading through re-listens or digging up well-known classics instead of trawling through all that hot new shit Bandcamp has to offer. Even today, I’m not finding much that has got me clawing at the plaster but I’ve got a couple portions to dispense.

Whores are responsible for this discovery, as they posted up “Lets Have a War” by punk legends FEAR. This led to that and several related videos later I ended up on a video of FEAR playing Saturday Night Live on Halloween, 1981. As all this occurred a decade before I was born it was new to me but apparently, John Belushi hisself booked FEAR to come on SNL since they had written a single for his upcoming movie Neighbours that was derided by the movies producers, so booking them on SNL was an attempt to make things right.

Suffice it to say, letting a real life group of rotten hoodlums on national TV backfired as you would expect such an idea to go. Although, kudos to SNL at the time, since they brought in an audience of regular punks to have FEAR play before, almost like they wanted one of those shifty-eyed bastards to fuck the whole thing up. Conspiracy I say! So after barrelling through 3 songs in something like five minutes, some disreputable bastard grabbed a mic and got some profanity on air, knee-jerking the censors into cutting the performance short and shelving the footage for years. Even now, the film that eventually got released is only a truncated version of the full set.

Some 30-odd years later, this serves as a showcase and cultural touchstone of both 80’s hardcore and golden-era, coked to the tits SNL (Cumon’ Donald, at least try to paw at your nose for leftover blow before you introduce the band). In 10-ish years of going to shows I’ve seen some nights that have come close to an 80’s stage brawl but nothing to top one yet.

Rambling inwards, I got a new demo I would like point your attentions towards in yonder streaming widget below.

Recently I’ve been sorting Bandcamp by local new releases (gotta keep that hype close to home) in effort to find a sick new artist that I can then go see for $5 whenever the hell I want. So, Middle Man. Noisy fucking bullshit very much in the vein of my treasured trolls, witchface. A reduction boiled down too far, burning the bottom of the pan with leftover slime from your reptile brain purring in pleasure. Scream more, think later.

And that you cretins, is all.

When You’re Hot: The Best of Jerry Reed

Posted in Random Riffage with tags on February 20, 2018 by Ben

I’ve always had a deep-seated love for Jerry Reed’s composition in the true American classic, Smokey and The Bandit, but had never given time to any of his other works. With that in the back of my mind, I found a used copy of his 1972 greatest hits release, The Best of Jerry Reed, following me home this weekend.

Most of the hits spread across this album are a pleasing crossover of country, funk, roots and plain rock ‘n’ roll. From more serious ballads like “Georgia On My Mind” or “A Thing Called Love” to the rootin’ tootin’ bangers like “Amos Moses” or “Guitar Man”, each plays with several different styles all wrangled together with that sultry Georgia twang. It also serves as a showcase for some of peak-Jerry guitar picking, cramping up inexperienced hands into “The Claw”.

For $5, I ain’t got no regrets.


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SKRONK: Parliament – “Funky Woman”

Posted in Random Riffage with tags on February 9, 2018 by Ben

I was on my way home, sliding my car along slimy back roads, their coating of bullshit frozen moisture being freshly renewed. My mind was blank, the radio was a background burble, some kind of smooth instrumental.

Red light. Green light. Red light.

Lost in my reverie, I missed the subtle signs; the radio had gone silent. The road was empty. The speakers crackled with the preemptive static of the coming song, a force grabbed my wrist and dragged it to the volume knob, eldritch forces twisting my joints, volume increasing until the car was filled with crushing white noise.


But then; the throaty growl of the Old Gods themselves, the all-encompassing, face-melting, soul-twisting power of FUNK MUSIC reached through the speakers, grabbed my neck and made my head bang clean off my shoulders.

That ladies and gentlemen, that is some fucking gnarly groove.

Sons of Sleaze: The Chats – “Smoko”

Posted in Random Riffage with tags , , on February 8, 2018 by Ben

Sometimes it takes me a while to work my brain around to writing about something, especially if it’s a something that I didn’t love at first blush. I had heard “Smoko” by Australia’s The Chats a while back and wasn’t that impressed. It wasn’t until finding the video for said track a couple days back that we find ourselves here.

The first time I heard this song I just assumed that “Smoko” was either a new drug I’d never heard of, or new slang for an old drug that I’d never heard of. I’m not sure why, but that’s just where my mind decided to wander. After viewing yonder video though, I was left a little confused. It didn’t seem like a drugs thing, so I took it upon myself to perform my literary diligence and smack these keys into God Google, yielding me the surprising result that “smoko” is actually a uniquely Australian word for a smoke break.

Alleged started by the British Merchant Navy and in use since 1865. It even has a Wiki page. The more you know…

Armed with this new intelligence, this song took on a whole new meaning. Are The Chats fire-veined arbiters for workers rights? Bellowing their indignation and vitriol at the unjust and basically criminal treatment of a low-wage and marginalised workforce? Or instead, are they expressing their own personal frustrations at the pain of sitting down at that picnic table in the back, lipping a fresh dart and getting halfway through a puff before someone pokes their head out the back door and asks with feigned innocence, “You got a minute?”

While a younger, or probationary, employee would find themselves extinguishing the freshly aroused ciggy and dragging their feet back into the flat-roofed industrial mausoleum, a man more seasoned in years, lacking in attachments, would suck back that first drag with relish, exhale and answer, “Fuck no. I’m on smoko”.

You can stream the rest of the Get This in Ya EP by these younger spirit-cousins of Trailer Park Boys below.

Underrated Ivory: Rhinoceros – S/T

Posted in Random Riffage with tags on February 5, 2018 by Ben

I own a physical copy of this record, although for the life of me I couldn’t tell you how it ended up in my hands. Knowing me, I probably picked it up because it was old and the cover is quite spectacular in person.

Once I got the obsidian discus home, I found myself knee-deep in some quite enjoyable classic rock. A solid collection of tracks that felt familiar, but thanks to the obscurity and critical failure that dogged Rhinoceros from the start, were fresh and carefree to my ears.

While the only track on the album to gain any ground was the funky instrumental jam, “Apricot Brandy”, the rest of these songs have solid ground to stand on, even if they were left to rot by the masses of the day. While the band was assembled by a label, you would be hard pressed to tell that from the dialed instrumentation and that classic loose-but-in-the-pocket groove.

The gargantuan eruption of rock ‘n’ roll in the 60’s left plenty of stellar bands to die in the ditch, having come up short of the delectable morsels required to satiate the slavering hounds of popular opinion. Rhinoceros is just one example. The rare cuts are out there, luxuriating in a dusty crate at the back of your local record store.

… ……. : Television – “Marquee Moon”

Posted in Random Riffage with tags , on February 2, 2018 by Ben

I got nothing today.

So in lieu of semi-coherent rambling, please enjoy the masterful stylings on the 1977 debut of proto-punk legends, Television.