Share  NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD RABIDS - Dead Rabids (Full On Noise)
There's nothing subtle about Dead Rabids music and nor should there be. These 14 songs go straight for the jugular and don't let go till they've drained every drop of blood out of the corpse.

The Rabids aren't squeamish about treading on graves and there are enough punk rock standards ("Blizkrieg Bop", "London's Calling", "I Wanna Be Your Dog") littered among the originals to make everybody feel at home. Is it uncool to fuzz up "Who Do You Love?" and turn it on its ear? What about kicking the shit out of the bony old cadaver of "Louie Louie" like it's a rehearsal for a remake of "Clockwork Orange"? What about a cover of "Waiting For The Man" that makes the original seem positively patient? As if Dead Rabids give a fuck what you think.

Guitarist-singer Bob Short has been around the block enough times with this sort of music for it to be second nature but nothing here sounds like it's being done by rote. Bassist Wade McPherson is a young rockabilly-styled dude, drummer Phil Beckett an old hand full of steely resolve, and they provide a rough-and-tumble rhythmic base. Smear Mr Short's yawling vocal and chunky guitar over the top and you have music to write hate mail to.

It's unadorned, in-your-face punk with a generous slab of musicality; the sort of stuff that doesn't get on most critical radar screens these days. Production is acceptably ungarnished and the disc come sin a no-frills cardboard case. Makes it cheap to post.

The backbone of this set is Bob Short's originals, most of them dating from earlier bands and some previously recorded. There's another version of "The Sound Of My Broken Heart", a firm favourite around these parts, while "I Spit Upon Your Grave" comes from Short's London band of the early '80s, Blood And Roses, a Goth-punk act who attracted mainstream music press attention.

Anthemic punk call-to-arms "Smash Your TV", the brooding "Redemption" and the Bo-Diddley-on-downers "Breakdown" are all worthy of your erudite attention. This is music you couldn't kill with an axe and an industrial-sized vat of Round Up. Copies will be on sale via Mojo's Music in Sydney and are also available by mail order from here. - The Barman


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FILTH - Dead Rabids (Full On Noise)
If there are a million stories in the Naked City there are that many and then some in the making of "Filth", the debut album for Dead Rabids, the sproadically-sighted band for Sydney punk elder statesman Bob Short.

In a town where being legendary plus $5 gets you an iced frappe-fuckin'-cino and fuck-all else, Bob's first band Filth spawned enough late '70s froth about Stooge-like self-destruction and audience hostility to convince half the population of Sydney that they'd caught their chaotic shows. They were the less celebrated latter-day peers of Radio Birdman, bastard offspring of a small but focused breed, and their membership did time in the trenches of creaky, beer-sodden venues like the Oxford Funhouse, the Civic and French's. Plus, they gave us Peter Tillman of the Lipstick Killers.

Bob Short himself went on to the front cover of one of the English music newspapers as a member of UK Goths, Blood and Roses, and also kicked around with Sydney left-leaning agitators Urban Guerillas.

You can read all about all that and more in Bob's autobiographical second book, also called "Filth" and available in mail-order hard copy from from his publisher or via retail at Sydney's mighty Mojo Music. This album is a companion piece and can also be picked up at Mojo.

"Filth" (the album) reprises some of the songs played by Filth (the band) back in the day, and then some. "Curse On You" started life with Filth and ended up on a John Peel session by Blood and Roses. It's two album's worth of music from multiple line-ups of Dead Rabids, equating to a single album with a bonus long player thrown in.

And it's more than a curio. Filth, in its various incarnations, play often frenetic and occasionally reflective three-chord rock and roll. Short's vocalist and guitarist, as well as principal songwriter. He writes some great songs. There's much to recommend - especially in the powerful "The Sound Of My Broken Heart", which packs more emotion into its three-minutes than anything you'll hear in a month of mainstream radio. To these ears, "Broken Heart" recalls the Saints' first album slow-burner, "The Story Of Love", in the way it builds itself on Kuepperesque chording.

The Voidoids-like "Western Death Cult" boasts a chorus that will warm the cockles of those hearts blackened by the drudgery of dealing with fucksticks on a daily basis. Dive into the historical but still lyrically relevant pogo-pop of "Do The Harold Holt", which historians will know celebrates the kidnapping of an Australian Prime Minister by a Chinese spy submarine in the '60s. If you disagree, insert your own conspiracy theory here.

Dead Rabids' cranked version of "White Rabbit" sticks a red hot poker up the arse of your average hippy and their cranky version of "Strychnine" that has a rough charm of its own. "Garbagehead" nods vigorously in the direction of Neil Hefti's "Batman" theme before burning rubber of its own, while Bob emotes a vaguely cuntry and westerrn drawl on "Playhouse."

On that note, maybe it's the faint whiff of cow pats or the chunky feel, but "Only The Good Die Young" sounds like a cousin to the Sacred Cowboys. Nothing Grows in Inner-Western Sydney? If you could pick relatives you could do a lot worse. "Redemption", on the other hand, has a touch of post-Clash Joe Strummer in the vocal but an inflexible beat that doesn't quite allow it out of second gear.

The first half (the real album) overshadows the "bonus album" if only because its songs sound more consistent. The meat and potatoes production suits the material by letting the guitar burn right through. Too much polish could have robbed these songs of their brash power, but what I really like about "Filth" is that it's a rock and roll record and not just a mindless thrash-chord clusterfuck or outrage for outrage's sake. It's not perfect but it can think and rock at the same time. For those rare commodities we should be grateful.

Mail here to procure a copy. - The Barman


 

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