New Punk: Stations + Snotty Babies + Death Church + The SMB

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Raw, disgusting and repulsive stuff coming at you in spades:

Stations – Stations 7″

I am absolutely terrified  of Stations – scared shitless, nightmares plaguing my every nanosecond of sleep. Nothing has infected me this brutally since the first time I listened to Venom. I’d say the reasoning behind the terror is fair though – the way that Stations loom and hiss on their first ever material points to a band that will be waging war on peaceful slumber with the efficiency of Freddy Kreuger on a Ritalin binge.

This four-song 7″ showcases a lot of potential for Stations – mechanical grinding that puts a gothic spin on the chugging punk noise of Primitive Calculators. They play well with space and dynamics, shrouded under lo-fi blasts of noise and synth savagery. The package is jagged, militaristic and fucking pissed. “Hunting” and “Master/Disciple” stand out particularly, pushing Stations’ punk thrill to an overdose.

Snotty Babies – Snotty Babies

Snotty Babies are a bit of a relic from a few years back, but it’s great to finally have something physical to remember them by. And who wouldn’t want to be reminded of this? Decadent swamp rock dragged from the ditches of Marrickville, Beasts of Bourbon drunk vomiting into Kim Salmon’s tape recorder and emerging with blackened genius. “Sicko” is a  vicious, punk grimace stained with feedback, “Dead Rat” a ramshackle rock and roll high speed chase that ends up with brains splattered across the highway for 50 K, and “Death of the Party” raises itself on its haunches, “Nick the Stripper” style, wide-eyed and manic, switchblade at the ready. For a while there, Snotty Babies were essential, and its a relief that their music gets to see the light of day.

Death Church – Inside Struggle/Betrayal Demos

Two tracks, both demos clocking in at 2 minutes and 47 seconds, from a band who’s name could possibly be a Rudimentary Peni reference. Fuck, that’s just one of the many reasons I love Death Church. They’re so intense, shackled beasts ripping and tearing at their chains through bloodthirsty swipes at angular guitar. It’s a thuggish post-punk inflected snarl, similar to that of Low Life, but done with the more obvious intention of feeding the listener through the shredder a la Steve Buscemi in Fargo.

Personally, “Inside Struggle” stands out as the better of the two demos, simply because I just think that the riff in there batters the hatch of my fragile psyche a little harder, and there’s a stronger chance that listening to that will unlatch my inherent serial killing motives. That being said, both of these songs will eat your fucking face off, and I can’t recommend them enough.

The SMB – The Price of Love

Yep, that Steve Miller Band. The one that got booked for Meredith, and a whole bunch of folks thought they’d get the opportunity to listen to “The Joker”. Fuuuuck that, could you imagine anything worse? Fuck it, why didn’t they go the full monty, and grab Hall & Oates and Don Henley DJ set?

Alternatively, you could get really fucking excited about a band that sounds like the Gun Club are being given shock treatment by Pussy Galore? Lo-fi ramblings of love and lust, blasting at despicable volumes, ripe for the kids to throw back paper-shrouded longnecks and puff on cheap cigarettes to.

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Playlist: EXXE Records Inhalation Compilation

I’d say that anyone who’s visited this site before would become quickly overwhelmed with how much of it is dedicated to things of the lo-fi and local variety. I fucking love stuff that’s been spawned nearby, whether it come from a sharehouse in Marrickville or a two-up in Melbourne, or an unliveable shack in Brisbane etc. etc. Pretty much any city in Australia with a low-rent living space.

So, it’s with abundant pleasure that I found out that there was a new record label called EXXE Records that have collected a bunch of my favourite bands into a compilation, with a few exclusives and fan favourites involved. On a compilation of 13 tracks, there are twelve (plus one) songs of amazing and diverse sounds from around the country. Not getting around this cassette is a sin only Joe Hockey is capable of.

Before I get stuck into the bands, here’s a lil’ info on how EXXE came to be. Formed by a couple mates living in a share house in Moncur Street, Marrickville, EXXE’s bands are all linked by time spent there, where a lot of the songs on the comp were apparently bred into existence. Their basic mission statement seems to be to release their mate’s bands, all of whom happen to be really fucking good. Shit, they don’t even make a profit from these things, but rather use any money gained to fund more recordings. Fuckn dedication, amirite?

Onto the bands – the artists listed on here is like The Rich List of Australia’s Most Underrated. Sydney garbage-punks Housewives, Ghastly Spats, Drown Under and Snotty Babies, all of which have made scrabbled and scathing noise their purpose of life. There’s a fucked up snarler from the usually docile Beef Jerk, twisted pop smiles from King Tears Mortuary and The Friendsters, and quaint guitars from Mope City. There’s The Gun Club, via Beasts of Bourbon, sounds of Bad Guys, and dark, throbbing post-punk strangulation from Sacred Product. A new one from Kitchen’s Floor opens with tambourine and a gargantuan burp, before switching into their signature strum ‘n’ pine formula. Julia Why?’s contribution is probably the most professionally-produced effort, with limited hiss allowing for some fantastic Breeders-esque rock and roll. Sleep Debt, who haven’t been heard from in ages, also appear with “Day’s End” an instantly catchy and brusque howler that’s half-Dischord, half-Inner West pop.

Did you read those descriptions? Did you see how fucking good those bands sound? Even if you haven’t heard of a single artist on the ‘Inhalation Compilation’, the luscious descriptions of some ginger on the Internet must make you want to pick up music on a format many don’t even know exist. It’s simple – these are some fucking great, if unpolished, bands who champion the amateur aesthetic. You don’t need Rick Rubin to produce your single, or a mountain of coke to help ‘inspire’ you. All you need is a sharehouse, an instrument, maybe a four track, and a future compilation featuring amazing bands like this.

You can splash out and buy the tape here, at the EXXE Rekkids Bandcamp. Because you don’t need groceries for this month, right?

EXXE Records is gonna have a launch at The Chippendale Hotel in, yep you guessed it, Chippendale. Sleep Debt, Julia Why?, King Tears Mortuary, MOB, The Friendsters, Mope City, Destiny 3000 and Ghastly Spats are all gonna play for the cheap, cheap price of $12. Sick, see ya there.

Drown Under-Suger Daddy

Pretty potent Sydney based rock n roll on display here, from the Pixies-meets-Pissed Jeans band Drown Under. These guys are an immortal combination of members from the bands Circle Pit, Whores, Housewives, Snotty Babies and Ghastly Spats. Do you see the recurring theme of cynical gothy punk bands? The result of this is ‘Sugar Daddy’, a Sonic Youth Goo-era piece of nihilstic sexy black punk. It’s got overtly Australian vocals, a mind melting guitar solo, and a bass line more acidic than a Butthole Surfers show. ‘The boys get busy, while the girls get high/freak show, death row every night’ is an example of the super cool, black lipstick smudged lunacy to be heard. To quote the Dandy Warhols (who are the exact opposite of Drown Under) it’s as cool as Kim Deal.