WINO ‘Isolation’ (Joy Division Cover) Single Review.

Words El Jefe.

So Wino is a man who really needs no introduction (but here’s a brief one anyway!) when you’re talkin’ heavy rnr. From St Vitus, The Obsessed through to Spirit Caravan and beyond, and his more recent folky acoustic material, he is someone who has always delivered the goods, and never compromised his vision. So a cover of ‘Isolation’ by Joy Division, who also happen to be an old fave band of mine, struck me as an interesting choice. Continue reading

1000mods ‘Youth Of Dissent’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.

Greek band 1000mods have been around the traps for a decade and half, give or take a millennium and have achieved some solid success on the back of their formidable live performances and heavy duty stoner rock. So, on the back of this, they have now produced LP #4, Youth Of Dissent.

On face value, it’s a much more “radio friendly” album than the first three releases, although it’s not without their trademark grit, just with a few more “pop” oriented tunes. And I do have to say, some of the uptempo tunes, like ‘Lucid’ and ‘Pearl’ took me straight back to the Sydney of the ’80s and its glory daze of Aussie beer-fueled riff-rock and the plethora of post Radio Birdman and sub Celibate Rifles bands who kept venues packed. Continue reading

ETHYL ETHER ‘Chrome Neon Jesus’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.
Photo – Louis van Zyl.

Opening my email in the wee small hours, I found lurking the new release by Ethyl Ether, titled Chrome Neon Jesus. Just another bunch of rockers with one foot in the glitter, the other in the grave I thought, but I duly slung it onto the record machine. Let’s just say, I’m fucking glad I did. These southerners (Ok, South Africans to be precise) have certainly got a handle on making a great record. They’re not a one trick pony either, and cover some fairly broad ground stylistically with their material.

The opener to CNJ is ‘The Smoke Waits For No Man’, whose breezy intro quickly becomes a neat ’70s era tune. And mayhaps Scummo [Aust PM – Ed] can purloin this tune as a soundtrack to his next clusterfuck, sorry, I mean “Political Campaign”! This one also had me waiting with bated breath for an epic synth solo, but sadly, they didn’t deliver on this promise. Continue reading

WITCHCRAFT ‘Black Metal’ LP Review

Words El Jefe.

Witchcraft, the brainchild (and only constant member) of Magnus Pelander, have got a new record set for release. With five full length LP’s to their name, and a formidable reputation for producing very authentic sounding ’70s heavy rock records, they have, with the ironically titled Black Metal, recorded a totally acoustic LP, comprised solely of folky-blues tunes, replete with the ol’ lonesome whistle of the freight train rolling over the horizon.

Whilst still released under the moniker of Witchcraft, Pelander is the sole contributor to Black Metal, and on theis record plumbs the depths of despair with his lyrics. Songs like ‘Elegantly Expressed Depression’, ‘Sad People’ and ‘Take Him Away’ perfectly frame the mournful vibe of Black Metal. The pure-bred rawness of these songs played in such a threadbare fashion sees Pelander opening his soul for the world to inspect. And exposing your vulnerable underbelly like this isn’t within the comfort zone of too many people, so such an honest portrait of the human soul is a rare gem to behold. Continue reading


Words El Jefe.

Women Of Doom. I love the sound of that, and this album showcases some of the outlandish talent that can be found amongst the doom scene. It’s a mixed bag as well, with the artists covering a tonne of ground, stylistically (and not ALL doom; this is just women who, in their day jobs, play doom), but all well worth a listen.

Opening the account is Heavy Temple with a tune called ‘Astral Hand’. It’s got some cool slinky riffs, a grunty bass tone and some soaring vocals. This track, being one of the more structured on WOD was a good choice for an opener.

Amy Tung Barrysmith (Year Of The Cobra) delivers a slow-moving Kate Bush-esque spooky choral doom track. Gentle and melodic, it’s got a very liquid sheen to it. Continue reading

BLACK RAINBOWS ‘Radio 666’ Single Review.

Words El Jefe.

So Black Rainbows, a band straight outta Italy have a new LP entitled Cosmic Ritual Supertrip in the pipeline and have unleashed the first tune from it for our listening pleasure. The song, ‘Radio 666’, is some classic sounding Black Rainbows and is sure to keep the old fans (like me) happy, and should also rope in a few new ones at the same time.

The rasping, raunchy guitar intro has some cool mid ‘60s tones to it, and wouldn’t be outta place on something by The 13th Floor Elevators, which is a bit of a departure from the usual heavy, wall of fuzz wail I usually would expect from this band, but the song itself has some ballsy drive to it. Meshed with the hooky chorus, it easily grabs your ear and takes it for a few laps, beer in hand, of the main drag. Continue reading

RED MESA ‘The Path To The Deathless’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.

I wasn’t familiar with Red Mesa prior to hearing The Path To The Deathless but as I’m always prowling for new music, checking out new arrivals, looking into the bands that slipped through the cracks the first time around etc, this was just another case of Bring It On!

So Red Mesa have been plugging away at their brand of stoner-doom for a few years and The Path To The Deathless is album #3, and brings with it several twists and turns, from the lumbering grind of ‘Ghost Bell’ to an almost Morricone-like vibe to ‘Death I Am’, and the Motorhead-in-low-gear sonic mayhem of ‘Desert Moon’, which has Dave Sherman (Spirit Caravan, Earthride etc) guesting on vocals. Continue reading

TRACE ‘White’ Single Review.

Words El Jefe.

So have enough years passed me by for a band calling ‘emselves grunge to be considered a revival? Probably, but more to the point, is it an actual revival or nostalgia? I recall grunge “hitting the mainstream” and thinking, hey I remember Box Of Fish, the Sydney band who first coined the term grunge back in ‘83, ‘cause “that was what they sounded like” and their single ‘Sex Cat Killer/Erosion’ was just what the good doctor ordered for a 16yo me. And as with every music-obsessed looney, I hear bands and think that sounds like XYZ, sometimes just a coincidence, sometimes a blatant “homage”. So reading up on Brisbane’s two-piece Trace, and their citing of classic ’90s grunge as an influence, and having dug the fuck outta a bunch of those bands, my ears immediately went up. Continue reading

MONDO GENERATOR ‘Shooters Bible’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.

Mondo Generator is the side project founded by Nick Oliveri, the notorious bassist from Kyuss, The Dwarves etc. The moniker was taken from a tune Oliveri had written during his Kyuss days, and really kinda suits the style of the music.

The band has had a sporadic existence over its’ 23 year life, with Oliveri being the only constant member, and an impressive list of former members. They play a sorta stoner-punk’n’roll kind of thing, if you hadn’t already heard. Shooters Bible doesn’t stray much from the trail blazed by earlier MG releases either.

What we have here, is an album fulla chunky riffs, rolling, liquid basslines, grittier than thou guitars and a collection of tunes, some whacked out, some just pure-bred mongrel dirty cock-rock but one and all ooze sleaze. All of this is capped off by Oliveri’s howling vocal, which is one part quasi-rockabilly yelp and one part maniacal roar. I think it’s fair to say, also, that the vox could either be a selling point or a deal breaker with MG records, and all despite Nicky’s reputed nurturing of the said vocal cords with a regimen of early nights, clean living and warm honey to preserve and prolong his unique style. Continue reading

the FIZZ FUZZ ‘Palmyra’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.

the Fizz Fuzz is a project by husband and wife team Dandy and Dawn Brown, who have collaborated on the project as well as bringing in a handful of guests including Dave Angstrom (from Brown’s earlier project Hermano, and also Luna Sol), Steve Earle (Afghan Whigs), Mike Callahan (Hermano, Earshot), Alice Albertazzi and Gianfranco Romanelli (Alice Tambourine Lover) and Mark Engel (Orquesta del Desierto) to spice things up. What they have brewed is a swag of slick, almost lounge-music like tunes, splashed with an ethereal afterglow.

‘Hereby’, the album opener has an authentic 80’s synth-pop vibe, one which carries through the whole LP.

I particularly dug the moody vibe of ‘Shame’, and some biting guitar licks, adding some dirt to the sound. Continue reading