Various Artists – Bootleg Series Vol.1 – Up North/Downunder LP
Long Gone Loser
First of all, I found it interesting that this comp has a few songs by Aussie bands who have already broken up. But I digress, let’s start with side A, shall we. The album kicks off with a killer track called “Good Times Gone” by The Specimens, a band who I do miss dearly. I used to see these cats all the time. Great songs and great playing. They were always a good time. Tramp I have never heard before but their track was most rockin’. I will definitely search out more from them. The Leadfinger track, “Swept Back”, was exactly what I expected, which was melodic and tops. I love his work. I think he has grown in leaps and bounds as a song writer over the years and his work continues to improve. I have featured his stuff many times on the LGL Rock Show so if you’ve been listening in, you’ve been hearing it. One of my fave tunes on here was definitely The Deadbeats song, “Gets Me By”. It was just so catchy and cool and I was singing along bigtime. It’s reminiscent of the mid-80’s Waterfront Records era of Australian rock n roll with bands like the Spunkbubbles, The Eastern Dark, etc. Top tune and probably my pick of the bunch. Seriously, get into it! Sator seem to have been around for a long time now and it was good to hear that their punk n roll is still kickin’ ass! Their stuff aint so easy to find here in Ozland though so I had forgotten all about them until this comp turned up so thanks for that! And finally, the last band, well, no disrespect to the other 3 but your guitarist can go fuck himself!
Onto Side B and we start with one of my favourite bunch of Swede’s, The Sewergrooves. Their track “Easy To Pretend” was a tasty treat. I really like these cats and feel they put out quality records, just it doesn’t seem like anyone buys them. A shame. These guys are really on it and their guitarist is a shred master. The Sure-Fire Midnights were a bunch of hot chicks from Melbourne who I think have broken up now which is a shame cos their track, “Over The Edge” is a real rocker, kinda like a more rock n roll, less punk version of the Lunachicks. Rio Grande were a new band to my ears and their track, “Eye For Eye” started off sounding like 70’s Iron Maiden but once the female vocals started, those similarities ended. Still, the song was like a blend of 70’s rock n roll and punk. A really good tune and I hope to hear more from them. The Screwtop Detonators were from Melbourne but sadly, have since called it a day. One of my fave Melbourne bands, these guys always delivered but then it all just fell apart and that was that. A damn shame. Great guys and fellow Wildhearts fans as well. Their song, “We Want You” follows their tradition of power pop punk n roll and if you’re hip to these guys, you know what you’re getting. I miss this band. These cats were awesome and you should check out their full length on Off The Hip. What’s a comp of bands from Sweden without including “Demons”? Exactly! So they are featured here with a track called “The Leeches (I’m Getting Out)” and of course, it rules. The bridge and chorus sounds a lot like the New Bomb Turks so that’s a winner in my books. This side of the album ends with a tune by a band that has that piece of shit guitarist so again, no disrespect to the other band members but you ain’t getting the time of day on this site!
So there ya go, besides those 2 tracks I don’t bother with, every single song is a winner on this compilation. Well worth the cash and it’s on glorious vinyl so the artwork looks fantastic. Excellent liner notes from i-94 Bar’s Craig Regan and Sweden’s own rock legend, Dave Champion. Bootleg Booze have been consistently putting out great records and this is another they can chalk up as a win. Although, the Aussie band selection could have been improved and honestly, I would have given the record space to 2 other bands who are a lot better and would have me favouring the whole goddamn record. Examples for next time: Mustang, The Darkest Heartstrings (although they sadly broke-up too but hot damn they were good), Johnny Casino & The Secrets, Bored!, The Meanies, The Onyas, The Hits, Killerbirds, Tigernauts, Wrong Turn, The Dollyrocker Movement, The Blacklist, The Spazzys, Russian Roulettes, etc. to name a few. Just sayin’.