Every so often you get a review that writes itself. Try this, from Tim Hemensley’s European tour diary, reprinted in the CD booklet:

7/10/90- “Serenade” Rotterdam, Holland.
The last of the tour! 7 weeks of blood guts and beer. And what a complete anti-climax it was too! After the show we snorted the last of the coke, smoked the last of the grass, ate the last of the hash, said a tearful goodbye to Andy & Marv and got into the van for the last long drive to Frankfurt airport, where we’d begin our 36 hour plane trip to Australia (via Dallas & Honoloulu). But the action was not over yet, 15 minutes from the Dutch border I brought up the last of the coke, the last of the hash, the last of the grass and probably all the food and drink I’d ingested in the last 24 hours, all over myself, my luggage and every other thing in the van (including Buzz & John who were lucky enough to be sitting next to me). And that was it.

Tim’s now long gone- the appetites and attitude demonstrated above tell you why- but his voice comes through loud and clear both in the writing that included here, as well as in the grooves. He was a late addition to BORED!, and of course he and John Nolan left the party early, on their way to forging the Powder Monkeys’ particular version of rock nirvana- which left John, too, badly damaged.

This collection goes back to their earliest Dog Meat recordings, to Saturdays when a $5 note got you a ticket for a 40-minute train ride down the bay to the Telegraph Hotel or the Barwon Club in Geelong watching BORED!, the Seminal Rats and GOD kick it out in front of 50 people or so, and it felt like the best place on earth. References and influences abound, but don’t be fooled by lazy people who may try to dismiss this as some kinda Stooges or Birdman retreads. The wit and skill these guys brought to the stage come through loud and clear, in everything from the vocal delivery to the light and shade of created by those two burning guitars.

There are impossibly rare tracks here, like the versions of “Satisfaction” and “Sonic Reducer” from a Tote giveaway cassette. There are covers, too, though you need a copy of “Scuzz” to get the definitive career overview of the bands open acknowledgement of their wide range of inspiration.

I remember an ex-girlfriend giving me a copy of “Negative Waves” as a bitter sweet farewell. I remember trying to sleep on Dave’s sofa down in Barwon Heads, and having a yapping dog bite my feet all night- then being dragged out into the surf early next morning.  I remember too much sometimes, but sometimes it’s good not to forget. - TJ Honeysuckle

If you have to ask who they are, you may just be in the wrong place...

One of the greatest bands in Australia in the late 1980s, Bored! are still sporadically playing with a vastly different line-up. This compilation captures the earliest (1989-90) configurations on the first two EPs on Dave Laing's Grown Up Wrong and Dogmeat labels respectively. Re-mastered in glorious style and adding five more impossibly rare tracks (drawn from a split single, a compilation box set, a Troggs tribute and a live giveaway cassette) it's as essential as any other re-issue in 2006.

Hailing from Geelong - then a rough and rarely thought of working class city to Melbourne's west - Bored! took their cues from Black Sabbath, the Coloured Balls, Radio Birdman, the Stooges and the MC5. They played it harder and heavier than just about anyone else around and put their hometown on the musical map. Basically a vehicle for the far-reaching guitar talents of Dave Thomas, Bored! gave a home to GOD's irrepressible and perfectly formed Tim Hemensley (R.I.P.), before the pint-sized bassplayer with the voice of a giant took uber powerful guitarist John Nolan with him to form the Powder Monkeys.

To these ears, Bored! has grown in status down the years. If you missed them in the '80s or, like me didn't give them the total attention they deserved (although I played the shit out of "Take It Out On You"), here's another chance to make amends. Vinyl-to-digital upgrade slaves take note.

Doubters need only to set the CD player laser light glinting over the first track, the positively soot-covered "LIttle Suzie", to realise the Bored! on this disc were plying their trade with all the grace of a demolition crew on a stinking hot day with their eyes on the clock and free beers half-an-hour away. It's a grinding, sledgehammer of a tune and if some of the others don't come near it, blame this song for being so impossibly in-your-face. It incidentally gave the self-titled first EP its unofficial name ("Little Suzie") too.

"Conquest" comes from "Take It Out on You" and marks the Bored! vocal debut for Tim Hemensley. The guy had such an amazing, full-throated voice, but it's that hurtling bass-line on this one that still echoes loudest. One day I'll find out why the title track was cut down so suddenly in its prime but, damn, it was a great ride while it lasted. Can't fault the cover of Rocket From the Tombs/Pere Ubu's "Final Solution" and it probably wasn't topped until Asteroid B612 (who were on Dave Thomas' Destroyer label for a time) laid it to waste for the vinyl only "Storming the Citadel" compilations in the '90s.

"Motherfucking Motherfucker" and "Mr Ten Percent" sound like exercises in anger management gone wrong and make you long to see John Nolan back on a stage one day.

Choice covers are the icing on the cake.with a faithful working of the Coloured Balls' "Human Being" and a scuzzed-up take on the Pistols' "Satellite" handy little treats. "Iron Man" and a live "Sonic Reducer" commit no sins. "Feels Like a Woman" (The Troggs) sounds like a bloodbath with guitars at 10 paces.

If you like packaging (and have good close vision - CDs don't do much for the ageing), the liners are typically colourful excerpts from Tim Hemensley's 1990 European tour diary.

There's been a bit of Bored! about over the last few years, with Bang!'s re-issue of "Negative Waves" and the triple LP/double CD "Chunks" later period compile before that. This one rounds it all off well and the bonus cuts are an attractive incentive. – The Barman


NEGATIVE WAVES - Bored! (Bang! Records via Munster)
Seems like more than 20 years since I first heard this album (mainly because it is) so it's as good time as ever to give it a reappraisal. Even a better reason is t the fact of its re-issue (there's a piece of vinyl on my turntable, but it is out on CD too) on Spanish label Bang! Records.

First things first and the black slab they've pressed it on is thick enough to double as a manhole cover. If the contents weren't so good, I'd use it as a barbecue hotplate. There's something magic about dropping a stylus onto an ultra-thick slice of vinyl that just can't be had from slipping a little slice of aluminium into a machine, knowing a laser beam is going to interpret chunks of data. In this case, label honchos Juan and Gorka have shown the vinyl appropriate respect by cloaking it in a gatefold cover and great liner notes from the likes of former band members Dave Thomas and John Nolan, as well as manager Tim Hegarty. Little things that add to the total package.

I have to admit that I wasn't the biggest Bored! fan when they first started making their treks from Geelong to Sydney in the '80s. Call it a silly interstate rivalry thing or a tainted perception that they had a touch too much metal in their make-up. Of course when I opened my ears properly, Bored! lured me in with later songs, like "Mr Ten Percent" , "Little Suzie" and "Motherfucking Motherfucker". From there, it wasn't much of a step back in time to give "Negative Waves" another listen and deliver its real dues.

Like the best music, "Negative Waves" is a timeless listen. Beautiful in its excesses ("CSM (No Way)" sounds even better this time out, with all its speaker-shredding distortion) and sprawling in its (unstated) ambition to combine the Stooges and Black Sabbath in one musical breath. The sonic excesses you can put down to youthful exuberance and the excitement of having the run of a studio with all its multi-tracking possibilities.

In no way, thankfully, did this fun extend to godawful treated drum sounds or overblown reverb vocals. No, here's a band that really did learn its trade in smoky hell holes and beer-sodden back rooms as so many did back then, with all the energy that such an education used to bring. Lesson Number One was 'Be Honest", and that's why this album still works.

Bored! were never a band limited by other's preconceptions. While many would have been content to tag them as Geelong's Rock and Roll Soldiers, they were not just about the peculiarly Australian strain of hi-energy music going by the geographical misnomer "Detroit". While that would have been an enviable goal, Bored! were much more, as the storming cover of Rose Tattoo's "Remedy" here (with future Powder Monkey Tim Hemensley taking lead vocal) show. The Sab-inspired, hardcore crunch of the (non-Stones) tune "Satisfaction" and the wholly satisfying "Whole Lotta Rosie", borrowed from AC/DC, have a malevolent glory all their own, in these hands.

What's more is that there are bonus tracks ("Round and Round" and a furiously-played "Search and Destroy", whose mix is as flawed as the Bowie-contaminated oriignal). If you're wondering whether to chase this down, wonder no more. Truly inspired. – The Barman