What you have here is a sampler that not only showcases what might be current or upcoming on this notable little Melbourne label but also touches on stuff no-one has EVER heard. The folk at Spooky obviously know important people in low places because they've persuaded some of Melbourne's musical mafia to open their archives, just for them...

Stories about Spencer P Jones playing some shows in the US with a pick-up band that included drummer extraordinarie Billy Ficca and Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes have been around for a while. Finally, here's the proof - Spencer P. Jones and the Beeks and "Up for It". It's a "Waiting for the Man" cop for sure but when it's played this well, who cares? Spontaneity's the key and there's more evidence of that when Spencer and Brian Henry Hooper join Mudhoney on "Lucky Bastard", another cut you're never likely to hear except on this disc. Brian rocks out on rhythm guitar here but it's Spence who dominates with devil-may-care improvised lyrics and strangulated six string skronk. Bracing.

Minced Meat - aka Spencer and Tex Perkins - joined the Panther Burns engine room in the studio back in 1987. "Backyard Blues" is the result. You need to hear this, if only to remind you of the days when ol' Tex ruled the roost with the Beasts of Bourbon. Something smells funky here; must be the minced meat.

Spencer's a central figure in the Spooky roster and most of these bands would go down well as his supports on a "festival on the road to hell" bill. This is, for the most part, smoky, sleazy blues. There's no better example than the warped gutter blues of the Drones yet, you're in for a treat. (We have and we have a review of their album coming, just as soon as we get aorund to it). "The Miller's Daughter" is an outtake that didn't make the final cut but it's pretty damn good.

Psycho-Flamenco is a good tag for what's served up by Gentle Ben and His Sensitive Side (Ben Corbett of Six Ft Hick moonlighting). "I Don't Think She Loves Me" is in Spanish, for good measure. Haven't caught much of the Hick for ages but their sole cut here, "Innocence in Me", showcases an interesting brew of messy distortion. It's from a split-single with the Del Emmas. There's a live Hugo Race track and also a taste of the forthcoming album by the Double Agents that's fairly primal and breathlessly gushing at the same time. A unique mix.

There are copies of this available from the Spooky Records web site as well as more enlightened music stores (although with a different cover). I wouldn't leave it too long though. This is one of the more interesting rides around. - The Barman