Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Australia in the late 70s and early 80s had some of the most exciting punk bands worldwide. Radio Birdman and The Saints were the most well known among them, but there excisted many more: Thought Criminals, Psycho Surgeons, X, Rocks, New Christs, Scientists, Leftovers or Victims just to name a few. Razar were a bunch of teenagers from Brisbane. They were founded in 1977 and put out two ripping 7"s. This is their first and best one. In my opinion it's also the best Aussie 7" release from that period. All tracks are a winner, really. "Stamp Out Disco" (also featured on Back To Front #1) is a straight punk blast with one of the greatest chorus parts ever. It will stuck in your head after the first listen. Task Force (also featured on "Where The Birdmen Flew)" is another tight number with maximum power and great lyrics: "Undercover Cops. You think you’re tuff! Don’t you? You’re bacon! Oink Oink Oink!". Razar took the rock'n'roll sound of the Saints and combined with their own kind of youthful no frills punk energy. Totally essential stuff! (Listen to it here

For most parts of New Zealand's underground scene in the late 70s and early 80s the psychedelic sound of the 60s was an bigger influence than the worlwide punk boom. At least I know more Kiwi bands influenced by Velvet Underground than those trying to sound like The Pistols or The Ramones. Of course there was a punk scene. The "Move To Riot" compilation from 2002 is for example a well done document of the NZ punk scene between 1978 and 1986. Spelling Mistakes were part of that early punk scene and they are probably the most famous among them. "Hate Me, Hate Me", the straightest number of this 7" made it on Back To Front #2 compilation. On the other two tracks they've pushed their power pop influence way to the forefront. The title track "Feel So God" is a lot more focused on super catchy melodies. "I Hate The Spelling Mistakes" is the poppiest song of them all, it reminds me a bit  of early The Jam records. (Listen to it here)
The Testors from New York are one of the many bands/ projects including Sonny Vincent. This double a-side 7" from 1980 is their very best release and it's also some of the best material Sonny Vincent has produced in his long punkrock career. In contrast to the original pressing and the first reissue on Munster records, this 7" features a third track, which is an alternate version of "Time is mine". The "normal" version is definitily better, but it's a nice addition. The Testors sound a lot tighter than most other bands from that time. Made with a well-thought-songrwriting these two driving tracks are combining only best parts of power-pop, classic punkrock and early 70s US protopunk. Both are filled with excellent and super catchy melodies. "Together" as well as "Time Is Mine" are just awesome songs. I can't stop playing them multiple times in a row, every time I listen to this masterpiece! (Listen to it here)
As most of you might know, Vom was Mike Saunder's and Greg Turner's band before they've started the Angry Samoans. "Punk Mobile" is famous from Killed By Death #14, but this great 7" from 1978 features four more tracks and these are some of the best recordings within the early LA/ Hollywood punk scene. Yes there are some obvious similaritys to Angry Samoans. "Electrocute Your Cock" for example has this kind of typcial Angry Samoans chorus. But this 7" came out before hardcore excisted. So it's lot slower compared to The Angry Samoans. The whole recording captures this classic '77 style punk vibe very well. This is just music made by a bunch of weirdos. Every track of this 7" is fucking great and it's an essential reissue. Do your self a favour and watch the video clip of "I'm in love with your mom" at youtube. (Listen to it here)

VOX POP - CAB DRIVER 7" (Munster)
Not a bootleg - this is finally a reissue of this L.A. punk classic. The a-side is well known from Killed By Death #1 and b-side was part of Back To Front #3. Vox Pop were a allstar band of the early L.A. punks scene including Jeff Dahl from Angry Samoans as well members of The Germs, The Consumers, 45 Grave and Nervous Gender. This 7" was originally released back in 1980 on Bad Trip Records, the label that put out the first Angry Samoans LPs. Both tracks of this 7" are filled with reverbs, feedbacks and distortions. It's midtempo, but it's heavier than alomost everything else back then: damaged guitar noise and squeeking, pounding drums and overall a weird fucked up sound - this is probably the first noise-rock record ever. At least I think it's heavily influenced by drugs. This is really an essential record and it's a well made reissue including linernotes by original member Don Bolles (also drummer in The Germs). (Listen to it here)