CUT SLEEVES - Bits of Shit (Casbah Records/Dangerhouse Skylab)
Here's the European edition of the twice-repressed album from Melbourne band Bits of Shit. The message is simple: If you haven't nailed a copy of the Australian version on Homeless, there's still hope.
Bits of Shit are from Melbourne and they play urgent, supercharged punk rock. There are no entrees or trimmings. The main course - smoked guitars over barking vocals -is filling enough. They sound like Jello Biafra channeling John Lydon in front of Black Flag, spending time on the football terraces after a spell in prison. Their songs surge, pulse and thrash - just like they knew they would.
What the lyrics are on about is anyone's guess. Frontman Danny is harder to decipher than a doctor's handwriting. My tip is there's a bit of alienation, mixed with observations of mundanity and a degree of crankiness about lots of stuff - but that's only a hunch. Underground Aussie producer de jour Mickey Young brought his skills to bear on these 14 tracks and they sound suitably stinging.
The band (and I specifically mean engine room) is tight as you need but under all that angle grinder guitar, courtesy of the mono-monikered Andy, they don't forget to breathe. Cock and ear to the riff-perfect "Traps" for evidence. It's the rip-and-tear speed merchants that do it for me, with the opening "F" and furious instrumental "Rage" object lessons in energetic thrash. "Tallys World" is a 59-second dummy spit that shuts the door when it leaves the room.
Trivia point: Two of the band are teachers. Who says the youth of today are being misled?
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