It’s Hallowe’en. Across Brixton, various young people are getting ready for spooky festivities. It probably means they’re off to the pub in their best Bride of Frankenstein and Corpse Bride finery before hitting the clubs later, but it seems fairly busy for a Tuesday night. There aren’t any skeletons or pumpkins adorning the Electric Brixton, but a cursory look at the merchandising stand still makes the occasion very clear. A massive poster advertising this show featuring power pop legends Redd Kross and sludgy art rock oddballs the Melvins very much resembles a promotional poster for an eighties slasher flick. As far as gig posters go, it’s incredibly smart, although no more of a spook-show concept should be looked for, especially as the night progresses.
Indonesian Junk’s self-titled 2016 debut celebrated everything that was trashy about late 70s power pop and slightly glammy punk-pop. Huge cues from the CBGBs scene informed the bulk of the music, which was potentially enjoyable in a fairly chaotic way…provided, that is, the band kept to the upbeat. The slower numbers didn’t always fare so well and on top of that, frontman Daniel James’s drawling vocals were the very pinnacle of acquired taste. In short, then, despite glimmers of something, it was an album that could – and should – have been so much better. [A full review can be read here.]
This debut EP from Wesley Fuller is gloriously retro. Almost everything about it – from the 70s musical influences to the garish 80s artwork and Fuller’s own fashion sense – has at least one foot in the dirt of the past. The Aussie singer songwriter so loves retro synths and glam rock stomps, bubblegum choruses and power pop guitars and while his work rarely displays the kind of perfection you’d find from, say, Mike Viola or the vastly underrated David Myhr, ‘Melvista’ presents five tracks of guitar oriented pop that should appeal to those whom reach for Pezband and Off Broadway (USA) records on a semi-regular basis.
There have been some great bands exported from Australisia over the decades. Crowded House have blessed us with near-perfect and often very thoughtful pop; Cold Chisel raised the bar for no-nonsense rock ‘n’ roll; Peter Garrett and Midnight Oil proved – perhaps more than any of their American counterparts – that hard rock and politics can go hand in hand and still shift millions of units. Something UK and US audiences rarely associated with the southern hemispheres is sleaze/glam rock. Frontiers signings De La Cruz are here to help fly that flag.