Wednesday, May 13, 2009

back to oz: and your little dog, too

the other day's mail brought a package from the i-94 barman, including i-94 bar buttons for me and my sweetie, a compilation from sydney store-cum-label off the hip records, and a live cd-r from the kelpies. enjoying all of the assorted wonderment prompted a lengthy and self-indulgent rant (with video examples!) on my myspace blog thingy, where i've been posting a lot lately for some reason. one of the buttons has supplanted the one from the dimly-remembered l.a. band on my gtr strap, while the other now resides on my sweetie's li'l grey cap. the off the hip comp will be getting a lot of spins in the days to come, but the bonusburger of the batch is definitely the kelpies' live @ the annandale 2003.

the kelpies lasted barely a year back in '81-'82, plagued by drug problems and banned from lotsa venues because of violence at their shows. (a friend who visited orstralia during its '80s heyday says he remembers seeing more bodies passed out _before_ gigs there than you'd see _after_ gigs in the states.) i'd previously heard a few tracks by them on a compilation of sides from aberrant records, but as rough and ready as those were, the sound of the reunited band on live @ the annandale blows them away.

on the opening "dead meat!," singer jim atkins sounds like ozzy osbourne fronting the jimmy page-era yardbirds around "think about it" time, while elsewhere, guitarists mark easton and brian connoly churn up an almighty racket reminiscent of the celibate rifles' mighty dual six-string attack. the music's a lot more than four-on-the-floor, downstroke thrash, with some surprisingly smart songwriting and a roiling riddim section in con murphy (bass -- r.i.p.) and ashley thomson (drums).

there's a bunch of vids from this show on youtube, including songs that aren't on the cd (altho all the ones below are). "when you're lying in the gutter, you know you've found the secret to life" indeed.


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