Sunday, January 06, 2008

Tickets for Le Beat Bespoke 4 will go on sale on Tuesday 8th January (Elvis's birthday)

Here's the link.
So without further ado, let's get to business...

The RoysHolus Bolus (In-Fidelity)

Imagine a peculiar intersection between Crowded House and The Gun Club. There’s an inordinately commercial aspect to this album. The title means “all at once” and is something that I remember my old man saying a lot when I was a nipper. Anyway, they kick up a mighty agreeable racket with all manner of musical shards to trade up a broad swathe of appeal. It’s fairly understated in the way it gets under your skin and isn’t too much like anything that I’ve heard in recent times.

“Sabrina” recalls The Johnnys and that’s no bad thing at this point on a driech January Sunday morning. In these days where it’s almost impossible for a band to appear on media radar, The Roys brand of acoustic country blues could undoubtedly appeal across a whole mess of demographic twaddle. A whip-crackin’ hell of a time is here to be had by all. The closing “All I Had” is a great, great song that combines the best country and pop aesthetics to arrive at a something quite timeless in terms of twang.

Klondike’s North 40The Straight Path (I-94 Bar)

The esteemed Antipodean info-portal is now a label and what better way to kick off such a venture than with Chris Masuak’s current outfit. I know that most of you folks of a certain vintage are familiar with this guy’s guitar slinging prowess. However, there may be readers that fell by here by accident so let’s address that possibility. Chris is the Australian Ross The Boss and Scott Kempner sort of rolled into one. His work with The Hitmen (Shock has just reissued two sets to prove it) and Radio Birdman is the stuff of legend. Heck, he was even on the Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom album. We’re not dealing with chopped liver here.

Several generations of rock’n’roll kudos are wrapped up in all this. Old and in the way but positively bustling with that trademark stringbending. “Recipe for Disaster” takes place in the good old Four Winds bar. A tale of a bona fide catastrophe. “The Straight Path” is a head-banging example of a man wearing his indulgences well. It might introduce younger folks to these at the same time as it pushes the buttons for those of us who miss those rolls in the thunder. BOC fans will find much to transport them back to their old haunt. Screamin’ dizbuster cocktails all round.

The place where this would work most effectively is presumably in a club, louder than hell in a churchlike environment. The surf/metal cut and shut of “Gershwin May Consider” is a prime example of what is and always shall be the holy grail of our raison d'être here at this cyber rag.

The MaharajasIn Pure Spite (Low Impact)

To Sweden then, and the latest instalment of primo r&r from these past masters of the form. Garage and pub rock hops are brewed in measures only known to themselves. This allows them to pour their hearts and souls out with a gusto seldom heard in these cynical, formulated times. As has been suspected for some time though, there’s something in the drinking water over there. Some strange crystals or something that transforms those who imbibe into authentic purveyors of the music that’ll be around long after the latest fad is consigned to landfill. It’s all about recycling and if you can serve it up like this then there’s surely a nobel prize in the pipeline.

“Suckerpunch” sounds like a lost Hoodoo Gurus nugget. In fact the whole shebang is like some unexploded bomb that’s just gone off. Maybe I should take that authentic claim back, or at least put it into some kind of perspective. It might suggest that this stuff is contrived which of course it isn’t. It’s a concoction arrived at by people who know the form inside out. The knowing refrain of “it’s a buzz buzz buzz” on “Not A New Sensation” is especially great. “the flavour of the month, lasting for a week”. These guys know their product inside, outside and all points between, when you get to digging that then “In Pure Spite” gets even better.

The Friggs Today Is Yesterdays Tomorrow (Singles and unreleased songs) (Apex East recording)

A collection of gal-punk gold log considered lost to the world. For the uninitiated, The Friggs were the missing link between The Pandoras and Girlschool. An east coast phenom that included the great Palmyra Delran who has been a collaborator with Ben Vaughn in a squad of great North Jersey groups over the years. In fact, Ben produced the bulk of these sides so you know its packing heat. These were previously scattered across Apex, Sympathy and Telstar releases and of corse, these demos have never seen the light of day until now.

This is available now from CD Baby and with the dollar rate the way it is then I’d advise you pick up these 15 songs for the price of a couple of pints. The sounds will intoxicate you and induce a noggin crunch but you won’t feel the worse for wear. In addition , they’ll be there for you to revisit time and time again. What’s not to dig?