So we’ve been to-ing and fro-ing between Australia and Sweden these past few days. Sadly not physically but that’s the plus of this interweb thing, you can be someplace else in seconds. Heading back down under then and The Soul Movers “On the IN Side” that Career put out toward the end of ’09. This is a superior brand of what The Detroit Cobras are doing. These folks aren’t relying on mining obscure gems.
Their originals feel lived in and Lizzie Mack’s voice is a warm, honeyed instrument that just sits right. She reminds me of Frankie Miller. The Soul Movers count Deniz Tek and Pip Hoyle among their number. This is showing signs of another side of Detroit than what you’re used to hearing them play. I’m not sure what the story is with regard to live shows but I think they were in Spain fairly recently. This stuff would sound pretty damn sweet spilling out of the El Sol sound system for sure.
There are no fancy production tricks just an obvious traction with their roots and it sounds like they had a good time laying these tracks down. If they could somehow get on Jools Holland’s TV show, they’d be on the fast up elevator.
The Intercontinental Playboys (note – not incontinent) “Hymns of the Flesh” is a recent addition to the I-94 Bar canon. It’s unashamedly sixties-ish with a constant Hammond flourish to punctuate that. Fans of latterday Cramps and “Bad News” period Fuzztones will dig these guys. They’re not trying anything fancy and contrary to popular belief, the keyboard motif does not make them sound like the fucking Stranglers. They’re not out to change the world here.
“The Maestro’s Shadow” reminds me of The Johnnys and let me tell you, that’s no bad thing on a Sunday afternoon when the logistics of the next few days are about to descend. The Playboys could easily have been added to “A Real Cool Time Revisited” and passed off as a Swedish combo from the mid-eighties. That’s a compliment by the way.
And finally for your listening pleasure, The Hitmen’s expanded “Tora Tora DTK”. The latest instalment in the Savage Beat resurrection of their catalogue, it includes their “Moronic Inferno” album and a host of extra gear that displays exactly that these guys were the antipodean Dictators. To the extent that Chris Masuak’s “Cowboy Angel” mini album even sounds like The Del Lords. I hadn’t heard this stuff before. “Tora Tora” itself is one of the great live rock’n’roll records. Up there with “On Your Feet Or On Your Knees”.
The band was writing songs that should have swept the world like those of AC/DC. I’m not sure what happened. Maybe there were no videos for MTV or maybe it’s just another case of not being able to see the wood for the trees. “Didn’t Tell The Man” sounds better to these ears than any old Clash bollocks you might care to recommend. They even did a cracking version of Shakin’ Street’s “Solid as a Rock” and also “Shake Some Action” way before it was hip to do so. That Barman, he’s a busy one because there are extensive liner notes here that explain exactly why The Hitmen are an important commodity. They’re another one of the bands that made it possible for you to see The Stooges. They never stopped being “Rock’n’Roll Soldiers”. Not ever. They’re limbering up to play shows around their homeland in April with Niagara. You’d be a fool not to see them.