Bootleg Series Vol.1 - Up North/Downunder comp.LP

Long Gone Loser (AU)

When this LP arrived in the mail, I was pretty darn excited. Behind the awesome Dirty Donny cover art, you will find a comp of Aussie and Swedish bands dishing up exclusive tracks. The problem for me is that when I turn the record over and read the bands featured on here, unfortunately my professional tact is thrown out the window and my personal problems surface. There are 2 bands on here featuring a guitarist I don’t particularly like who happens to play in both. Hey, if he acted like a mate to you but was busy fucking your (now ex-) girlfriend, you’d hate him too. So I figured, how can I review this? Well, I am gonna take the easy way out and just fail to mention his bands. This guy doesn’t deserve any exposure cos he’s an asshole, to put it mildly, and it caused a lot of shit for me in my personal life. I won’t cause disrespect to the other bands on the comp though as they’re all awesome and should be spoken about, so here goes…

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’.

I-94 Bar (Australia)

Just when you thought it wasn't safe to go back into the compilation record water because it's been polluted by so many lame and ill-focussed efforts, this first-class collection of Real Rock Action comes sweeping out of the frozen north of Sweden.

The concept - lining-up a bunch of Scandinavia's best against a corresponding crew from Australia and setting them loose in a no-holds cage match - works like a charm, as both ends of the earth share a heritage of hard-edged raw and roll. You won't find any duds on this and each track is exclusive to the release, which is vinyl only. Liners by No-Mango label (home of the Radio Birdman "Flattery" tributes) co-honcho and expat Canuck, Dave Champion, and yours truly are the cream on the cake.

The late Specimens from Melbourne set the tone with "Good Times Gone", a chugging chunka mid-tempo punk that reminds you of their greatness.

Leadfinger show off leader Stew Cunningham's back-story with a cover of a Yes-Men track ("Swept Back") that's spiced by some rippling lead-work from new-ish guitarist Michael Boyle.

It seems melody's the current by-word in Swedish rock. Exibit One is Tramp, the latest band for Midlife Crisis/ex-Hellacopters drummer Robert Ericksson and their "No Light" is hooky but titanium hard with lots of room in the song. No need to tell you the Sewergrooves' "Easy To Pretend" is big on the M word, and in "Get Me By" the Deadbeats marry a groove to a hook big enough to land a deep sea marlin.

The DevilRock Four's Johnny Driver gets two bites with his "other band" The Lighting Strikes and DR4 scoring places. "Leave Here Alone" comes from the former and is a sassy strut with catchy chorus. "My Favourite Enemy" is more in the vein of what you'd expect from DR4 (which is to say it's a little harder but a keeper.)

Uber producer Chips Kiesbye is behind Sator, an institution in Sweden, and their Weirdoes cover ("Plastic Man") is harder than Chinese arithmetic. Similar kudos to Demons and their "The Leeches".

Rio Grande and their Shy Imposters-like "Eye for Eye" provide one of two female-fronted groups in this bunch and the infectious pop-rock on their track makes me want to hear much more. The other is Sure-Fire Midnights from Perth whose "Over The Edge" is an oncompromising slice of tough guitar rock. That's one killer voice Clair Serjeant has.

The odd men out are Melbourne-via-Perth pop-punkers Screwtop Detonators who sound more Rancid than Clash on "Stand Up". That would normally irk me but I've recently found Rancid's first album listenable nearly two decades after the event.

Cop a copy from the source and set the stereo volume for 11. - The Barman


The Next Big Thing (Scotland)

“Up North/Down Under” is the subtitle of Volume 1 of Bootleg Booze’s “Bootleg Series”. Obviously the contents are not illicit but like a strain of moonshine, it’s damn strong stuff. As the title suggests, Sweden and Australia’s raucous-est upcoming acts slug it out with the liner commentary supplied by Dave Champion and Craig “The Barman” Regan. You’ll be aware that this label only deals in the highest octane sonic firewater.

The common denominator is varying degrees of sounding like they were born in the Motor City. Detroit style rock is very much the order of the day and that’s pretty much a staple constituent of the finest gear from these territories. The Sewergrooves “Easy to Pretend” sound strangely like Franz Ferdinand might if they’d discovered the SRB. It’s difficult to figure what band comes from where, such is the continuity of spirit. There might be a hint of an accent here and there but when the vocals are being screamed rather than “sung” over a consistently boss racket then the lines get a little blurred here and there.

The emphasis here is on rock. Spelled R-A-W-K. Never lumpy, always blazing - of particular note I think the tracks by Leadfinger, Sure Fire Midnights and Rio Grande will tickle you, as will Sator’s take on The Weirdos “I’m Plastic”. It’s more “Hollywood” than Ann Arbor and they were “made to last” alright. The more astute will note the latter straddling the then of yesterday’s comp with the now of “Up/Down”. It’s hardly comfortable on the turntable until it’s time to flip the beastie over.

I realise these things don’t just come together overnight, or from under a gooseberry bush but wonder what’s in store for Volume 2?

OX fanzine (Ger)

Schweden trifft auf Australien. Die einen Bands kommen also von „up north“, die anderen von „downunder“. Und was haben die gemeinsam? Ein dünn besiedeltes Land mit vielen Menschen, die am Arsch der Welt leben oder von da kommen.

Und eine Menge Bands, die den Rock respektieren. Da lag es nahe, mal eine Compilation zusammenzustellen, die im größeren Stile das umsetzt, was einst schon HELLACOPTERS und POWDER MONKEYS taten, nämlich den Austausch und die Freundschaft auch über große Distanz zu pflegen.

Weder die einen noch die anderen sind hier zu hören, aber viele Gleichgesinnte. Und das mit unveröffentlichten, exklusiven Songs. So treffen SPECIMENS auf TRAMP, LEADFINGER auf DEADBEATS, SATOR (mit einem WEIRDOS-Cover) auf THE LIGHTNING STRIKES, SEWERGROOVES auf THE SURE-FIRE MIDNIGHTS, RIO GRANDE auf SCREWTOP DETONATORS, DEMONS auf THE DEVILROCK FOUR.

Im Einzelfall lässt sich ohne Playlist vor Augen nur anhand der Songs kaum sagen, woher die jeweilige Band kommt, was entweder die Seelenverwandtschaft der Musiker oder die musikalische Vorliebe von Bootleg Booze-Boss Andreas belegt.

Schnörkelloser, kickender, schmutziger Rock(’n’Roll) ist also angesagt, und wer nicht nur hören, sondern auch lesen will, der führt sich die Linernotes von Dave Champion (über die Aussies) und Craig Regan (I94 Bar; über die Schweden) zu Gemüte.

Coole Sache und schönes Artwork (von Dirty Donny).


Joachim Hiller

Rock Hard (Ger)

Eine verdammt coole Vinyl-only-Compilation von jeweils sechs australischen und schwedischen High-Energy-Rock´n´Roll-Bands hat das schwedische Label Bootleg Booze Records hier zusammengestellt. Während die schwedischen Acts wie z.B. SATOR, THE SEWERGROOVES oder DEMONS den meisten Rotzrock-Fans bekannt sein dürften, gibt´s hier einige australische Underground-Acts (u.a. THE DEVILROCK FOUR) zu entdecken, die in puncto Qualität den schwedischen Bands in nichts nachstehen. Und dass in beiden Ländern auch die Mädels die geilsten Rock´n´Roll-Posen zu zelebrieren und zu vertonen wissen, beweisen nicht zuletzt RIO GRANDE (Schweden) mit ihrer Sängerin Kristina und die All-Girl-Band The Sure-Fire Midnights (Australien). Für Genre-Freunde ein absoluter Pflichtkauf.
Andreas Himmelstein
8,5 (Spain)

Excelente recopilatorio que bajo el pseudonimo de “A Swedish-Australian High Energy Rock And Roll Compilation” presenta un combate de riffs entre bandas suecas y australianas, los hemisferios norte y sur, el calor y el frío mano-a-mano compartiendo surcos en vinilo al que pone cara Dirty Donny con su marca inconfundible y particular. A seis bandas por cara y país, interpretando temas exclusivos para este recopilatorio, desde los veteranos y archiconocidos SATOR ”I’m Plastic” (versión de Weirdos), una institución en Suecia, la banda del productor Chips Kiesbye, a los que se les unen otros no tan veteranos pero igual de conocidos como The SEWERGROOVES con “Easy To Pretend” siguiendo el camino marcado por The Hellacopters, The DEADBEATS “Get’s Me By” rock 70’s de calidad, DEMONS fieles a ru punk-a-billy se marcan “The Leeches (I’m Getting Out!)”. Como novedades la banda del batera de los ‘copters TRAMP ”No Light” para seguirles la pista muy de cerca y para finalizar la escucha escandinava una banda con chica al frente RIO GRANDE “Eye For Eye”.

Por la parte aussie bandas conocidas como LEADFINGER que se marcan una versión de The Yes-Men “Swept Back” sucio rock’n’roll pantanoso, y The SPECIMENS “Good Times Gone” un temazo!!! al más puro estilo Powder Monkeys, a estas se les unen otras bandas a tener muy en cuenta como The LIGHTNING STRIKES “Leave Here Alone”, un potente grupo de chicas The SURE-FIRE MIDNIGHTS “Over The Edge”, los SCREWTOP DETONATORS con “We Want You” y siguiendo la estela marcada por Radio Birdman The DEVILROCK FOUR “My Favourite Enemy"… escuchalos en sus myspace…

Si estás decidido a hacerte con una copia de este vinilazo apresurate ya que sólo hay disponibles 500 copias.


Stefan Yxan Karlsson (SWE)

Äntligen lite kött på benen att gnaga i sig, en fet samling på Bootleg Booze med dom ledande rock'n'roll staterna Sverige och Australien under nålen. För visst har vi saknat en bra samling, en platta som får en att upptäcka nya band eller börja gilla band du förut bara bläddrat förbi. Skivan är inslagen med stiligt konvolut med artwork av hotrod penseln Dirty Donny, och för några som köper den limiterade utgåvan även nerstoppad i en sjysst tyg bag!
Båda länderna ställer upp med sex band var, riktigt bra låtar från alla, inga 'fillers' här inte!
För mig personligen blir det ett kärt återseende av bl.a. Sator och The Sewergrooves, och första låten med det tills nu smått anonyma Tramp med ex. Hellacopter R. Eriksson man får på skiva. På den Australienska sidan kan jag lovorda The Specimens som öppnar samlingen klassikt! Sen får introt på Rio Grandes låt 'Eye for eye' mig att flina förnöjt när jag lutar mig tillbaka och tar en pilsner... hoppas att samlingen 'Vol.1' får många uppföljare.

Go back to Releases.

Go to Reviews of:
Imperial State Electric/Mary's Kids - split 7"
Tramp - Indigo 4x7"
Midlife Crisis - 3rd Crisis 7"
The Accidents - Stigmata Rock'n'rolli 10"
Dee Rangers - Upside Down b/w Down and Out 7"
Backyard Babies - Fuck Off And Die 7"
The Hippriests - Tight 'N' Exciting LP/CD
Midlife Crisis - Cranked Up Really High E.P. 7"
Four Flamingos - Mad Evil Woman 7"
The Hellacopters - The Same Lame Story 7"
Bootleg Series Vol.1 - Up North/Downunder comp.LP
Black Radio/The Ruling Class - split 7"
Mary's Kids - Destroy 7"
The Maggots - Nobody Loves the Hulk 7"
The Incubators - Vision Express 7"
The Accidents - Poison Chalice LP
Adam West - Vex Me Hex Me 7"
Supersuckers/Zeke - split 7"
Urrke T & the Midlife Crisis - Ask Not What You Can Do For Your Country... 7"
The Accidents - Dead Guys 7"
The Deadbeats - Long Hard Nights LP/CD
Bad Machine/V8 Wankers - split 7"
The Accidents - All Time High LP/CD
Mensen - Ready to Go 7"
Supersuckers/The Hangmen - split 7"
The Deadbeats - Come Clean 7"
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Marky Ramone & the Speedkings - Good Cop Bad Cop 7"
Crossfire - Rock 'n' Roll Power 7"
Adam West - Digs Scandinavian Chicks 7"
The Strap-ons/Rickshaw - split 7"
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The Hymans - Rocker 7"
Noise of Reality - F**k You! 7"
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