DRINK FIGHT FUCK VOLUME 3 - Various Artists (Zodiac Killer Records)
Hard to believe that this collection's equally great - and maybe a smidgin better - than its predecessor. A whopping 32 songs and almost all of them top-shelf gutter-punk Rock Action.

It's hard to know where to start but let's get the better-known suspects out of the way first: Antiseen contribute a straight-up "Belsen Was a Gas" and the Candy Snatchers' "Doin' Time" is one of their catchiest tunes. Trucker cap supremos Hellstomper step on the Ramones' toes with a cunt-rified "You're Gonna Kill That Girl" and Eddie Spaghetti provides the most mellowed moment of the collection with "Killer Weed", a road tune to cherish.

The Hip Priests are a bit of an I-94 Bar fave and "Sonic Reproducer" does their rep for loud, fast and scientific about carnal activities no harm whatsoever. Torpedo Monkeys don't stray too far out of their coop with "Chicken Sing", a stand-out from their album on the same label.

The balance of the collection comes from a dizzying array of ne'er do wells, bottom-feeders and bogans assembled from all points of the compass. Fast and loud is mainly their stock-in-trade, although Royce Cracker (an acid trip carnival ride called "Who Put The Methamphetamines In Mr Everything?"), hot gospellers The Bible Beaters ("Jesus Invented Beer") and country-shuiffling Blag Dahlia ("Bitch I Love You") break from the pack in nice style.

There's a lot of small town Amerika in a band like Polecat Boogie Revival whose "Barefoot At Lamar's" gets a hard-on in a local bar, while Hooked On Southern Speed ("Truckin' For Jesus") seem intent on rolling right through the front-door of some unfortunate truckstop with grim intent. There's the same irresistible feel plus a barroom singalong element in "Young Dumb" by The Utah County Swillers. Anyone picking up a common thread?

They might be wailing about the devil's number and all that but it's next to impossible to stay still during "#6 Dance" by Truckstop Lovechild. The Lash Outs ("Dreamcatcher") take a detour into '70s glam and doesn't it sound great.

Insominaxe wind it back to bare bones rockabilly and throw a lashing of punk over their top with their frantic "Lookout". Black Flag's ironic "TV Party" gets a nod from The Scrags in "TV Messed Up Mind", while it doesn't get any scuzzier than "Grow Your Own" by Whores For War.

Beautiful, brutal stuff. - The Barman



DRINK FIGHT FUCK VOLUME 2 - Various Artists (Zodiac Killer Records)
If you're over all those compilations of diverse and mostly unknown bands that were falling faster than confetti a few years ago - and you suspected many were a pyramid scheme-styled money-maker for someone, but just not the bands on 'em - here's a reason to take a fresh listen. This is absolutely top shelf and a reminder how much fun down and dirty can be.

Absolute High Energy is the common ingredient across a dizzying 28 tracks. There's a litmus test that was applied while kicking this one around for a month or so. Maybe it landed at the right time or I'd just been browned-off by the parade of lesser compiles, but this is a disc where I can almost always pick a track at random, find something of worth and hang in for the rest of the ride.

ADHD's "Hot Ticket" is one landing point that demands repeat spins. I have no idea who they are (Google drew a blank before law firms touting for class actions flooded the rankings) but this is like a red hot poker up the bot. Either that or your piles are acting up. A creeping bassline, molasses-thick guitars joining the fray and a frantic singer testifying against a solid backbeat that falls into a breakdown before a fiery six-string Tek-tinged solo.

There's lots more to wax about. Like the wah-wah solo in Sonic Negroes' "Watch Your Back" or the crunch of Peter Phelps Ass Cobra and "Good Times" for another (an Aussie outgrowth of the late Specimens).

Politically incorrect though it may be but "Emo Fag" by SoCal trio DMF is as funny as all get out. May it (and they) torment bands like Chemical Romance forever and a day.

Steaknives are from Italy and will draw a smile for their Bon Scott reference and daylight robbery of one of history's best-known guitar solos. "Big Money" is nothing if not brazen. Happy Days.

Did I say already that The Hitchikers sound like the Dictators and the Dead Boys in a knifefight? Leeringly good and they rock like a motherfucker. More on them soon.

You might be aware by a review elsewhere her that The Nicotine Fits can do no wrong. On "Shake Me Some Action" they shake the noise out of their four minutes of disc-time like a pit bull with a baby in its mouth.

Familiar turf ahead: Both the Specimens ("Head Straight") and The Last of The Bad Men ("Tail Block") are I-94 Bar regulars that are coming from similar places and these songs should inspire you to hunt down more examples of of both. In the case of the former, look no further than Zodiac Killer's fab re-issue of their first two albums plus EPs.

The eloquent closing spoken word track is called "Irate Fuckin' Australian Dude" and should be Tourism Australia's next campaign theme. It couldn't do worse than hitching the wagon to a lame movie or some Sheila asking where the fucking hell are you?

The consistency is amazing. I could go on - but so could you if you bought a copy. Take the hint. - The Barman




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