Monday, June 12, 2006

ARCHIVE STORY: Socialism Appraises Bogan Rock

Most people these days probably remember Angry Anderson mainly for being a bald muscle bound tattoo’d midget who sung some old mush at Kylie and Jason’s wedding back in the day. Thank God then, that riding the bus to work, the fickle hand of fate (i.e. the shuffle control on the ipod) steered me towards Mr Anderson’s masterpiece, Rose Tattoo’s legendary “Bad Boy For Love”, a song I'd not heard in way way too long. Check out the lyrics if you needed any proof of its worth…

“Thirty days in the county jail
Let me out and I just wanted to wail
Some fool tried to hold me down
I got drunk and I ripped up the town…

“Well I...I went around just to see my chick
I found her room and it was candle lit
She's makin' love to another man
I shot 'em both and they locked me in the slam.”

Over the last few months, since a trip Down Under, I’ve begun to truly appreciate this singular style of music - Australian rock 'n' roll of the 1970s. It’s a no messing, beer swilling, hog fucking, Chopper music. While the rest of the world was obsessed with “Tales From The Topographic Oceans” and Led Zep crapping on about goblins and the like, down South they were concerned with the things that mattered – booze, shagging and crime. If the music was in any danger of disappearing up its arse, the Aussie mentality soon brings it back to Earth with a deafening thud. Obviously everyone ever born knows AC/DC, the genius heavy metal equivalent of a saucy seaside postcard. Them aside, much of the good stuff remains unknown outside of Australia, well outside the kind of crates that trendy record collectors are digging through, sitting there gathering dust and beer stains. Thankfully though, my own recent fact finding mission turned up one of the greatest greaser metal bands of all time, the mighty Buffalo.

Take their classic work “Volcanic Rock”. The cover is a painting that some low rent Roger Dean has whipped up, in all probability off his noggin on cheap sulphate. It’s some kind of epic nonsense featuring a crazed warrior man, naked, stood howling atop a lava spitting hilltop. So far, so prog. Then double take. You notice that the guy is holding aloft a massive severed penis. His own penis. Dig a little deeper into their catalogue and you find the track “I’m A Skirt Lifter Not A Shirt Raiser”, possibly the pinnacle of Bogan macho rock posturing. Also, in my humble opinion, one of the best records ever made. The band’s biog at the time stated, confidently that “The music and the themes Buffalo use are so strong, so powerful, they frighten some of their audience into believing the band itself is evil.” Subtext – Fuck off you fucking lily livered Nancy boys, there’s some serious mans work to be done here. To hear it once is to think "Yes. This is good music. This is my kind of music."

The sad thing is, I’m sat here now wondering where the hell are the successors to Buffalo, to Angry, to Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs, to all the greats? Where are the young men willing to say it and play it LIKE IT IS? Apart from The Monarchs, one of the heaviest, most fiercesome rock experiences of recent years (check their single "2001" which is like The Stooges being willingly drowned in VB and album "Make Yr Own Fun" which is the same only more so and better - they have only been allowed to leave Australia twice due to fear of over rocking un prepared countries), we seem to be stuck with ten thousand bands that sound like bad Sham 69, rejected Cockney Rejects, the gimlet eyed children of Pete Doherty, all content to sound cheap and cheerful whilst greedily eyeing contracts, deals, money money money? Surely it’s about time someone came along and kicked a little dirt in their faces, some bunch of sleeveless denim clad long haired bullies clutching lukewarm lagers with breath strong enough to stun cattle and riffs heavy enough to level mountains? If anyone had the balls in 2006 to make music that sounded like they were actually enjoying themselves (that was very probably recorded whilst pissed as a rat), they’d be the biggest thing on this dismal planet for sure.

Well, we’d be down the front anyway. Fucken oath we will!