MONGOLOID CAGE MATCH - Jed Whitey (High Beam)

Before I cast a verdict on Jed Whitey’s Mongoloid Cage Match CD, I must make mention of the fact that he (a former Melbourne resident, but living in Sydney) has had to travel to Melbourne to obtain a CD by a Perth–based band, whose CD is released through a record label based in New South Wales. A strange state of affairs for which no blame will be attributed.

Having seen Jed Whitey live, during their first Sydney tour at the legendary Excelsior Hotel, earlier this year, I was quite impressed with this high-energy guitar rock outfit in the flesh. How do they measure up on a full-length album?

Judging by "Mongoloid Cage Match" (which follows their "Alrighty" 7" and "Superfly Bigmuff" CDEP) the band appears to draw upon a range of influences such as AC-DC, KISS, Motorhead, Dead Kennedys, The Stooges, MC5, Dead Boys, Ramones, Dictators, Hellacopters, Gluecifer, etc.

"Mongoloid Cage Match" features 10 tracks in total and nine original compositions. It opens with "Are you ready to hate us". This song proves to be a killer opening track, with plenty of sharp rhythm and quite slashing and shredding lead guitar work, with the rhythm section working flat to the floor and mighty busy.

What follows are diversions and excursions into (1.) Hardcore punk/metal: "My own Private Altamont", "Yes? No!" and "We used your record as a beer coaster", (2.) Tasty Detroit inspired garage rock: "I’m OK, you’re fucked", "I am Spasticus" and (3.) Big hair stadium rock: "My Band's Better Than Your Band" (and here’s some news, boys: The Onyas already used a similar line, years ahead of you) and "One Trick Pony". The one non-original song is the band's relatively unique take on Devo’s "Uncontrollable Urge".

For some rock 'n' roll fans it might appear that Jed Whitey are a quite self-assured young band - and they should be considering the high standard of musicianship attained throughout "Mongoloid Cage Match". With the rhythm guitar work consistently unshakeable (like the rhythm section) and the lead guitar work equally consistent and at times stunningly amazing, they have a lot going for them.
Bassist-vocalist Louis Dunstan's voice and attitude therein is at times reminiscent of Gluecifer vocalist Biff Malibu which is probably quite a feat.

However, this reviewer perceives self-assurance as overconfidence as evidenced (in particular) by some of the aforementioned song titles. Much of the lyrical content would seem, to me, to be written by those with a maturity level, not far developed past early teen years. (Such a perception probably arises from the reviewer listening to music that is not garage rock and written by well matured, soulful singer/songwriters).
Despite these thoughts on "Mongoloid Cage Match", Jed Whitey have proven themselves without doubt the best high energy guitar rock group to emerge from Perth for quite some time. - Simon Li


It's loud and dirty and bombastic and childish and I love it.

"Mongoloid Cage Match" - in its unmastered, pre-release form - lobbed in the Bar about a year before its official release and it's been a constant favourite on the shitty car sound system. Now its mastered version is here and it's bouncing out of the proper sound system speakers like foam out of an epileptic's mouth midway through a really bad attack. Few local bands (these guys are from Perth) have managed such a high-energy, in-your-face, full-length debut.

Musically, Jed Whitey manage to mix in the best bits of speed metal, hardcore, punk and Detroit and produce a riff-packed package of laugh-a-minute, guitar gross-out. The lyrical themes consciously border on silliness but the playing is top shelf with the rhythm section in particular deserving mention.

"Cage Match" is packed with the sort of offhanded insults that a younger Leyton Hewitt used to bandy about to occasionally upset the country's disabled population ("I Am Spasticus"). Alternating between cocky bragging ("My Band is Better Than Your Band") or fuck you put-downs (the 20-second long "The Butler Did It" - an inspired piece of anti-hippy commentary) this truly is an album with something to upset everyone. Ultimately, though, they're taking the piss out of themselves, as only great bands can. And their cover of Devo's "Uncontrollable Urge" fits better than you might expect.

It's not isolated from the style of vulgarity that the Hard Ons used to peddle (and it's fitting, then, that Ray Ahn should contribute the cover art.) You don't like it? These guys undoubtedly give as much of a flying fuck as the Hard Ons did when the mainstream music press called them sexist yobbos - proof that Perth and Punchbowl are not far apart. For mine, though, where some Hard Ons long players were fleshed out with filler (and the boys flirted a little too closely with h*avy m*tal), the energy levels of the Whiteys never slacken. Production leaves 'em for dead, too.

This is a disc that deserves a wider audience. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. - The Barman



1/4

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