TROPICAL DISEASE - Midnight Woolf (Off The Hip)
The shadow of Lux Interior looms large over Melbourne-via-Spain band Midnight Woolf but it doesn't blot them out.

At times this, their third album, bounces around like an ADHD tween on a red cordial infusion drip, swinging from fuzz-drenched skronk ("One Plus One") to pounding surf instro ("Kinky Twitch") but it's ultimately garage blues with a foot in the swamp.

Midnight Woolf is the name of the guitarist, the band or both. It doesn't matter much. Midnight and his main vocalist/partner in grime, cartoonist and Negative Waves drummer Fuzzhound Sanchez, mix up an appealing six-string cocktail that will sit you on your arse if you're in the right mood. Sip long and deep.

There's nothing especially groundbreaking about the way Midnight Woolf ply their trade but exhuming other people's bones can still an enjoyable trip. "My Libido" echoes the Cramps' "Love Me" while Lux himself might not have done as good a job on the creeping "Delicious".

Vocals are shared by Midnight and Fuzzhound but they have to make way for the ghost of Jeffrey Lee Pierce at times. These guys obviously have a few Gun Club albums in their collections.

Hey fellas: Link Wray just called and he wants his guitar licks back. Nah, on second thought you can hang onto them because y'all apply them really well on "Oxygen".

If Midnight Woolf sound like they're covering every base (and having a ball in the process) that's probably because they are on both counts. The stylistic island-hopping might not be the path to a coherent, artfully-crafted and perfectly-tracked masterwork, but who wants to listen to one of them anyway? And you just gotta love a band with a drummer named Rabbitfoot Annie.

Where the going gets weird (and you knew it would) is the choice of covers with "Frankie and Johnny" topping the list. The semi-obscure Dylan cover ("Moto-Psycho Nightmare") ain't half bad either. There's as much twang as fuzz in Midnight Woolf but these two tunes find them in the barn. And as for the loose and languid "Lost Highway", well that could be straight off "The Axeman's Jazz". - The Barman