Monday, 7 September 2020

Turning Round On The Turntable : Tony Dork, the Pacifics, Taulard, Lewsberg, Collision

Where we’re going to talk about some (almost) dumb Aussie punkers, share a pint of Guiness with some garage-fans rockabs, cry with some mountainous melancholic synth-punkers, fly below the sea level to experiment the rationality of some weirdos post-punkers and finally come back to the home land to enjoy some jovial sugar Oi ! Keep on Rockin', and thanx for the reading !

TONY DORK - Struggle Street Lp - LEGLESS RECORDS - 2020 x

Four Aussie young stupid losers showing their bare chests, weak muscles and beer bellies with pride, four unserious wobbly-looking jerks gargling lagers in the middle of the dump-iest streets of Melbourne, four absurd slackers playing open-air crazy gigs and shouting gutty, powerful choirs for a few silly creteens yelling in the pit with high-lifted index fingers, four dorky fans of Tony Hawk who are unable to ride a wave or catch a rugby ball… Welcome in the so -hilarious world of Tony Dork ! x

They don’t take life too seriously for sure. Yet, this thrilling attitude seems to contrast with the choice of the minimalist/modernist art front cover (Reilly Gaynor) and the deeper than expected lyrics, and this 9-tracks album rather shows four brilliant musicians, who can jump with such an ease from one-minute-long high tempo old school hxc songs (Write Off, Why) to classy 3-chords punk anthems (Inside Out, Feeling Strange), or suddenly play gimmicky medolies on post-punk tunes (Tongue Tied, Low Commotion, Struggle Street). By the way, these three last songs seem to stand here as a kind of salute to their Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s fellows - and yes, once again, Mickey Young was around, and the Anti-Fade Records’ team brought its Geelong’s touch. 
The surprising, offset FM-radio-sounding cover of the famous Aussie INXS’ hit, Just Keep Walking, conclusively sets down the full agility of the guys. 

After an awesome digital demo, this vinyl LP was released on Legless Records x, the label hold by the guys in Stiff Richards, another Melbourne uprising band, part of a new generation of Aussie dumb punkers (Dennis Cometti, Private Function, Brad Pot, COFFINAborted Tortoise, the Chats, Gee Tee, Gonzo, Disco Junk…), which all seem to keep on celebrating the spirit of their Hard-Ons ancestors or older bro in Wet Blankets. Check the Australians Do It Better ! pirate comp’ on Radio Gwreg to have a further idea on that scene x. Quality and Quantity for sure !

THE PACIFICS - You Know You Make Me Wanna STOUT! Ep - MISTKÄFER RECORDING CO - 2020 x 

The frame was fully set down with the Pacifics plays favourites’ first Ep on Bachelor Records in 2010 : the 4 super-powered covers of some 50’s standards (Bo Diddley, Little Richards, the Shirelles, Chuck Berry) announced then a wild bunch of 45rpm eps over the forthcoming decade, with a huge base of highly rhythmed rock’n’roll tunes, topped with classy 60’s beat, hearty powerpop and vivid mod’s songs.

The same recipe stands on the You Know You Make Me Wanna STOUT ! x self-released Ep (Mistkäfer Recording Co.) : high speed rockab tempo, dancing bass lines, catchy guitar riffs, short efficient guitar solo, discreet keyboards’ surgees, perky voice of the singer, omnipresence of jovial teenagers’ choirs and loving affairs’ lyrics.
Cryin’ is a stylish Manikins-like powerpop tune and Laughin’a lively Kaisers-like neo-50’s song, while the instrumental Quare Bungle Rock seems to be a Sonics’ legacy. I Won’t Miss stands as a marvelous 60’s garage mid-tempo hit that the Outsiders or the Remains wouldn’t have denied. 

The four Irish guys fully manage to raise a furious desire to yell their four songs in a Dublin pub with a pint of Guiness - the suggestive front cover, the STOUT ! title and the Gaelic back-notes sneakily contributing to that!

TAULARD - Dans La Plaine Lp - BRODERIE RECORDS - 2020 x

Se rendre ou continuer à fuir… To surrender or to keep on flying away... Beyond its "fugitives" topic, the Taulard’s song Fuir x also seems to be a deep metaphor, on a Shakespearian way, of life and death : the only escape indeed remains to try to run away from the Grim Reaper, to carry on the elusive onward rush and to pursue a non-sense quest of unfindable ideals. To give up means to die, we can’t fight against that and there’s no other alternative.
This intense, heady song - thanx to my punk bro, Boris, who plugged it into my ears a few years ago - featured on the very first EP of the band, Frankreich Katastrophe in 2013. After a first Lp, Les Abords du Lycée, released on Et Mon Cul, C’est Du Tofu? in 2014 (Hey ! Don’t forget to give a last support to this label, they are closing down after a full decade of rock’n’roll activism) and an additional split-10" with Ultrademon, Taulard x lately self-released this second album.

The musical approach of this 4-pieces band from Grenoble is pretty unusual : a fast drum’s tempo on most of the songs backs up the piercing lines of a perky 80’s vintage synthesizer, which seems to debate with a heady round-notes bass. The nearly parlando style vocals sound poetic and formally phrased, the singer cleverly juggles with French words. No guitar around there ! French synth punk and dark wave at its best !
The lyrics, without being gloomy and depressive, are clearly melancolic and highly emotional. They mostly deal with the inability to find the right words when speaking (Baragouiner, J’trouve Pas Mes Mots), the social inadaptation (Disquette, Pas ma Soirée) , the healthy "don’t care" attitude when facing the way other people are thinking of you (Privilégié, Apparences), and all those daily indecisions, reccuring obsessions or disturbing missed-acts that are constantly been re-played, over and over, by our troubled minds (Fixation, Mon embarras). The eponymous track jumps on the nostalgic experiment of the rural "working class" summer jobs, while Les Hauts Plateaux, with its Love Will Tear Us Apart similar serenity, talks about the quiet haven found in the loneliness of the Vercors’ mountains. That was the ideal soundtrack for the reading of the last Seth comics book, Clyde Fans ! 

To close up this Taulard’s review, have a little check on Yves Bernard, the newly side-band of the singer. A demo-tape was released by the Future Folks Records’ post-punk crew in Lyon, and the few songs sound like our beloved Warum Joe.

LEWSBERG - Through The Garden/Nature Sp - Self-Released - 2020 x

Lewsberg x, a 4-pieces Dutch band, claims its love for daily life’s snapshots and un-important things (garden and nature on this single), and tries, in its lyrics, to be as far as possible from any opinions or feelings. A mix of cold rationality, emotion-free distance, but generous nihilism, that can be found on this last single.

Through The Garden, on the A-side of the 7" , has a raw, un-changing and punctuated tempo, the bass lines are hypnotic, melodious and chanting, the rhythm guitar gives a mathematic 2-chords gimmick full of notes’ alteration – beware the pinky finger’s cramp - and the short, simple solo guitar sounds quite dissonant and almost noisy. The nonchalant English vocals, which are more talkative than sung, complete the picture. 
This song could both evoke the late 60’s proto-punk song White light/White Heat (Velvet Underground), the post-punk lay-out of the Interview Of The Cosmo Cleaners (Minneapolis Uranium Club) and the math rock What Burns Never Returns album (Don Caballero).
Nature, on the B-side, is a short and a slow folk song that sounds a bit like a melancholic Jonathan Richman.

The Rotterdam band is pretty prolific, as it has already released two singles, two Lps and a bunch of cassettes for the last three years. For information, the single edition of Through The Garden is shorter that the one on the In This House Lewsberg's Lp. 

COLLISION - Immortels/La Vie S'échappe SP - UVPR VINYLES - 2020 x

The Breizh town of Nantes - be careful, man, slippery introduction! - hosts a pleasant Oi scene : a rather united rock & punk family, many gigs’ places (la scène Michelet, les Ateliers de Bitche, la Lune Froide or the long-missing Au Chien Stupide…), some active organizers and labels (Une Vie Pour Rien ?, Naoned Kicks…), and a few great band - the Headliners, Teenage Hearts and Collision, which all seem to share a common love for mid-tempo Oi rhythms, catchy 80’s street-punk bass lines, heady power-pop guitar riffs, pretty melodious vocals and jovial hooligans choirs.

Collision applies this tasty recipe on this two-songs single, that UVPR Vinyles x had lately the good idea to release. Whether it be in the sound, in the elegant gimmicks on the piercing guitar solo, or in the topics dealing with their ways of life’s pride (Immortels), the time that flies by (La Vie S’échappe), or even the football and the other urban stories featuring on their 2019 demo-tape, the musical connexion to the Swiss band Vanilla Muffins will jump to the ears of any Oi lovers. And as the lyrics are in French, a single slogan comes to mind : la Oi Sucrée Vaincra !!!