Posts Tagged ‘Proto-punk’

CIVIC – “New Vietnam”

New crust out of Geelong, Aus from the always reputable Anti-Fade Records. CIVIC pounds with a dirt black howl that’s culling liberally from The Stooges/MC5 Motor City contingent of proto-punk sounds. The first cut from their upcoming 12″, “New Vietnam” is a breathless grind, choked out with exhaust fumes and powered by ragged denim and blood. Recorded by Billy Gardner (Ausmuteants, The Living Eyes), the song embraces the kind of toughened edge that his own works have often tapped into. The nation has long been a pocket of bristling punk, from The Saints to The Scientists and CIVIC jump in to the lineup with their own brutal blow to the thorax with this one. They’re proving that along with Ausmuteants, The Living Eyes, Wet Blankets and Hierophants, Geelong’s got grit.



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Mikey Young on Third World War – S/T

There have been a lot of names on my wishlist for this feature, but standing near the top has been Mikey Young. If you’re unfamiliar, then you clearly reside outside of Australia, and have little to no interest in what’s currently pouring out of nation’s coffers lately. Young is a driving force of two of the best bands of the past decade, Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Total Control. Add to that a hand behind the boards on pretty much every other indie release that hits the shelves and it solidifies the fact that the man is beyond integral to the new wave of Australian indie. As with all entries to Hidden Gems, this feature seeks to find an album that’s been overlooked by the majority and shine a little light on it. Below Young tells how the proto-punk debut from Third World War came into his life and the impact its had on his own works.

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The Dogs – “Slash Your Face”

Not to be confused with French punks Dogs, this Motor City three piece conjured up hard-nailed proto-punk of the MC5/Stooges variety. The title track is a burner, wrestling with tempos and fueled by the energy of the room. The tracks were all recorded live at Mabuahy Gardens in San Francisco and it’s easy to see that the band felt at home on stage. This is one of those pieces of punk lore that’s been run in illegitimate circles more often than legitimate, but it’s nice to have a solid, official version circulating again. It’s full of sludge and shot from the hip, the way the best bits that crested into punk’s true age often were. NYC, London and San Francisco always get their due in punk circles but Detroit had its own brand of leather-burnt fury and it’s on full display in these three tracks.




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Power – “Slimy’s Chains”

Aussie punks Power get down to the nut of it on “Slimy’s Chains,” a hard-knuckled pumper that begs comparisons to the proto punk knock of ’76-’77, harnessing hard rock’s slip towards leaner territory. The band built up a reputation in their homeland as ferocoius live bashers and they’d harnessed at least a portion of that sweat and energy here. The set snuck out at the tail of ’16 in Australia but finds its way Stateside via In The Red next month. Plenty of pockets still pushing out quality rockers from Oz and Power feel like they’ve got a tap into the divine boogie beast.



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S to S – S to S

Proof there’s still gems to be found in an age of countless reissues and rarities. S to S were a Belgian band that straddled the bounds of hard rock and proto-punk. Their sole album was recorded in ’77 and released in ’78 on their own Overcome label in an edition of just 300 copies. The band formed out of the ashes of Etna, another Belgian band that brothers Fulvio and Mirco Cannella were in prior. When that band folded the brothers decided to pare down their setup and push into a power trio with drummer George Abry. The sound was rooted in pounding drums, fuzz riffs that could peel paint and a pace that pushed them well past the normal late 70’s boogie blues knockoffs.

Exchanging studio time for help building the studio itself, they hooked up with producer Michel Dickenscheid who had a huge hand in shaping the fuzz sound by building a set of fuzz pedals used on the album. The band nudges themselves into late Hawkwind territory, finding that sweet spot where Lemmy got a bit more leeway before splitting himself to form Motörhead. There’s also a bit of Leaf Hound’s smoke hangover in there as well and The MC5 at their more reigned in. The band weren’t fans of the logo added to the LP jacket, a move made by their manager at the time and with its connotations of the SS, and I can see why they’d chafe to that as well. The dispute over the logo delayed the album’s release. Once the album was released they pressed on through the 80’s, though with multiple lineup changes and no other official release. This one stands as a nugget lost to time and perfect for those proto-punk enthusiasts who think that the well is running dry these days.



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