PSYCH OUT - Various Artists (self released)
More a souvenir of a gig I would have been at, had the Stems not rocked into Sydneytown on the same night, than a major indie release. It's also a taster for some of the better lesser lights on the local scene. The common theme among the the four bands participating is that they all owe varying debts to the '60s psych scene.

First up are the dts who play a solid brand of Carnaby Street-inspired Paisley pop. A lot psych, a little mod (do we still have Vespas in Sydney these days?), "You Can't Catch Me" is driven by an especially fluid bassline and a drummer with a light, slightly jazzy touch. I like. "Beat Chix" should carry a Vanda/Young credit, borrowing as heavily as it does from the Easybeats' "Sorry". If you're going to cop, do it from the best. More upbeat and an ode to the music/look of 1966 it rocks anyway.

The Dolly Rocker Movement have been around for a little while and are marked by a few as a band to watch. "Just Another Day" is a demo that weds organ to a jaunty feel and swelling melody. Cool. "On a June Morning" is Californian folk-pop that shows a genre-hopping band with promise. Some of their songs have more of a Brit psych sound.

"Bottle of Gin" and "Bite the Sun" are rollicking good '60s pop and heavy psych songs respectively from the stunningly underrated and excedingly fun Pubert Brown Fridge Occurrence, the Kinksian product of ex-X singer-guitarist Steve Lucas' fertile musical mind. Both are winners.

I'd been looking forward to hearing the fruits of the Intercontinental Playboys' latest recording labours since main Playboy Tom Loncar had treated me to a preview of some tracks earlier in 2004. Here's the lowdown: The album will retain that swinging voodoo fuzz edge, but will surprise a few who had a pigeonhole all sized up.

Until now widely labelled as peddlers of a swampy brand of Cramps-garage-lounge, "Exit Sign" and "Baby Hang Up" show the band's overt move into more rocking territory. That album's not far from release and that's A Good Thing on this latest evidence. Bring it on, maaaaan. - The Barman