Jeff Monk LP Reviews June 2015 (Part 2)



20 Years: A Million Beers & A Lotta Nerve (Off The Hip)

Picture this reviewer unwrapping a new disc by a band with the tasty moniker “Biscuit” not fully realizing that a band with such a, let’s just say it, lackluster name could pack as much of a physical wallop as a full bakery of tasty treats. The Barcelona-based band has cobbled together singles tracks from as far back as 2003 and the lord loves them for it. Opening with the jet-fuelled “The Sound” the band stakes a claim for a psychedelic (aka 60s’ built) punky attitude sized punch reminiscent of early Hellacopters mixed with a spicy rave up-infused din that will make fans of this kind of wild-yet-controlled rock and roll stand up and take notice. “The Man U Want” follows and it’s the guitar-organ-drums fury that seems to drive singer Xavi to complete abandon and a hacking cough. “Dance & Sing” is a hook-filled nugget that sounds like a drunken Tom Petty jamming with The Flamin’ Groovies. “R’n’r Exile” has the kind of amphetamine horn-driven charm that fans of early Graham Parker & The Rumour pulling out what is left of their hair listening to. The CD plays at 480 rpm. It sounds like it. Buy this. (16 tracks.)

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The Stoneage Hearts


Hung Up (On You) (Off The Hip)

Time, they say, changes everything. Melbourne’s Stoneage Hearts haven’t been exactly prolific and unlike many bands that offer this kind of knocked out, loaded brand of Dad rock they also know no bounds when changing members. When the only connecting thread in a group is the drummer – in this case the incomparable Mick Baty – you know there will be format changes. The quartet now boasts two guitarists and while they still have plenty of feeling, the age of stone has been replaced with the age of pebbles. The pop sensibility here is palpable. “I Thought That Time”, replete with earnest yearn for a lost love, typifies a sound that jangles and burns more like an ‘80s retro-wave band than the kick arse ‘Hearts burn circa 2004s’ “Guilty As Sin”. There is a lot of noise here, but nothing that really does any aural damage or sounds as risky as the band once did. And while that dynamic thud of yore is missed there’s no doubt this version of the band can win, er, hearts wherever they draw breath. (11 tracks.)

Jeff Monk

Long serving music writer and hermit from the frozen center of Canada JM spends his days creating a pleasant environment for world class ballet dancers while a looping soundtrack of loud rock and roll music boils continuously in his head. This is something that can't be fixed. At your service. Now buy him a cigar and exit.

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