Share PLAY HARD AND GO FAST - Speed Demons (Rub and Tug Records)
Maybe I should be afraid. I mean, I’ve read the lyric sheet of “Play Hard Go Fast” and the Speed Demons sound really mean. In “Truck Drivin’ S.O.B.”, they follow a presumed homosexual back to his loft to bash him in the face. In a later verse, they take on a stew of Shuttlebus drivers. I have no idea what that means but, as the central problem with shuttlebus drivers is that you run the risk of getting haemorrhoid itch off of them, I can hazard a guess. You see what I mean? Tough guys. If I write a bad review about the Speed Demons, they might beat me up. Look at me. I’m shaking.

But wait. In “No Mummy No” they catch someone wanking and threaten to tell this person’s mother about it. Obviously this is the kind of threat that would only serve to terrify someone under the age of 12. I’m thinking that they’re really only dreary bullies. Not tough guys at all. Besides, when the singer talks between songs, he sounds like someone lopped his balls off. And why was he perving on a 12-year- old?

The music? Turgid heavy metal. I don’t know where the speed kicks in. This is the 25mph rumble of an (in)articulated lorry going up a 30 degree incline. The press release talks about Motorhead meeting Rose Tattoo. Maybe that is what they were aiming at but all we have here is where chug meets thug. The sleeve notes promise influences including jazz, blues and hardcore. I took out a microscope and found it difficult to locate anything but Oz rock and metal.

They boast of tongue in cheek, politically incorrect lyrics. But where is this tongue of which they speak? Rather than being in cheek, it sounds like it blows raspberries. I failed to hear any irony, no hint that the songs were overblown to the point of caricature. I certainly heard no subtlety, no linguistic juxtaposition, no knowing wink to the audience.

At best I heard a man named Smeer trying to offend. He succeeded in doing little more than bore me. At worst, I heard the ghosts of skinheads past reliving the imagined glories of Romper Stomper.

Smeer used to be in “Depression”, a Melbourne punk band of the early '80s. I felt depressed just listening to this.

The Speed Demons are proud that they recorded this album live for less than $400. The audio quality is fine but the content refuses to pass muster. I’m guessing the packaging and remastering cost 10 times that amount and I’m not sure it was money well spent. I can’t see an audience for this.

Are there really 500 people in the world who would buy this? 100? 50? 10? And even if you purchased it, would you listen to it more than once? Could you manage to listen to it once? I had trouble enough listening all the way through despite my duty as reviewer. The only reason I can imagine buying this is to give it to someone you really hate. - Bob Short


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