RAWK 'n' ROLL REVOLUTION - Various Artists (Myrmecoleo Records)
Compilations of bands that can be loosely tied to the genere "garage punk" come along more often than hangovers on Saturday mornings, so it's gotta be something a little special to make the punters fork out their hard-earned. This 30 (count 'em) track single disc from an obscure but obviously switched-on Japanese label more than fits the bill.

Bands from 13 countries grace "R 'n' R Revolution" and most are at the punkier end of the spectrum, bordeirng on hardcore. If I had to pick the spikiest, it'd probably be Uruguay's Motosierra whose "Hell Drunkards & Pretty Tattooed Hookers" kicks your arse around the block and back again. There are some familiar names (Electric Frankenstein, Deniz Tek & The Golden Breed and the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs) but most are little-known outside their own stamping grounds. Don't let that deter you. There's plenty to rock your world and have you reaching for the replay button.

Speaking of the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs (who open the disc), they may be taking a lengthy sabbatical but delivered more than the occasional exciting moment when they were a going concern. Their live "Right to Rock" is from a Milwaulkee radio broadcast in 2001 and it must have been a white hot show.

Similarly live and the best thing here is Deniz Tek & The Golden Breed's "2-Pam Chloride". It's a killer song that goes straight for the jugular. The Iceman reckons the 'Breed (his West Coast backing band of Art and Steve Godoy supplemented, on this track, by Dave Weyer on keyboards) is one of the most brutal he's played with. This is a taster from a forthcoming album on his new label, Career. Muscle Car are the sole homegrown Australian offering (Dr Tek being an asylum seeker) and "Sandra Sully" (a tribute to a newsreader) is respectable.

If you've ever wondered what punk rock sounds like in South America, look no further. An Aussie import he may be but Simon Chainsaw's been hard at work spreading the good gospel in that part of the world. "Basta, Eu Quero Paz" was recorded with his Brazilian band, The Forgotten Boys, and rocks righteously (although not quite as hard as his other band, The Hippy Killers) and is one of the catchiest tunes here. (It's also through Simon's good graces that we received this promo.) The aforementioned Motosierra are, as intimated, harder than Chinse arithmetic and have a singer who gargles with Drano. The keyboard-washed "Texas" from Elio & Thee Horribles (Argentina) would sit nicely on a Lyres tribute. Music like this would have won the Falklands. Manganzoides from Peru are the fourth South American inclusion. Even without the advantage of English subtitles, their keyboard-and-harp-fuelled "Basura" sounds snotty as hell and is a nice addition to the canon of traditionally-flavoured, modern day acid punk.

I have mixed feelings about Electric Frankenstein but "Finished From the Start" finds them in "Funhouse" Stooges mode with Steve Miller (not THAT Steve Miller) handling vox. They're not to be confused with Muddy Frankenstein (Japan) whose angular "Tombstone Cocks" is the strangest cut here, although it doesn't end up going anywhere. A tip of the hat to countrymen Flemings whose "Ibiki" is in their native tongue but still manages to convey something memorable to English-speaking ignoramus like me. It's not a thing like Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, by the way.

Almost half the bands here are European which isn't surprising, given the amount of punkified music coming out of those parts. It's nowhere near the streamlined poppunk that labels like Stardumb are peddling, however. The Burnouts (Denmark) have graced the Bar before for a review of their Bad Afro album "Close to Breakevil" and "Bad Blood" is a fairly typical offering. Finnish band The Grammers don't sound much different with "Freak Speed".

After all that sweat and testoserone, by the time Sweden's Loyd arrive (26 tracks into the album) singer Camilla's edgy if a little flat "Twist and Shout" is something of a respite. Lots of energy on this disc, but you might feel like you've been on the wrong end of a Mike Tyson pounding by the time it's all over. The liner notes are minimalist but there are heaps of URLs to encourage chasing down more stuff by the bands that catch your fancy. - The Barman





3/4

 

 

 

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