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Your Convict Past

May 20, 2008

The bartender at the Comet Tavern in Seattle loved Australian music. He liked it so much he happily talked about it with my friend and I at length and didn’t charge us for drinks (although that might have been more to do with liking my friend). The Birthday Party, The Saints, The Scientists, The Beasts of Bourbon: these were like crack for him.

It made me think about a particular strand of Australian rock music that blew up in the late 70s and early 80s, but has been hibernating ever since (I think that’s three different metaphors in one sentence – nice). The kind of primal rock music that reminds you that we’re a nation founded by convicts and are home to some of the most lethal fauna anywhere. Unlike, say, the Lucksmiths, who remind you that a lot of us are latte-sipping urbanites in cardigans.

The reason I’m thinking about this has been finally getting into The Drones and their howling, bluesy Australian rawk. I can’t think of the last time I listened to something so brutal. The guitars on “Jezebel” seem to be made from cut-throat razors and the lyrics are biting and wicked (“I’ll hurt you like an amputee”, “I had a Caesarean but it was not any use”). And I love it.

The Drones – “Jezebel”

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One comment

  1. I think the free drinks were just because he was busy getting totally wasted behind the bar himself.



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