Sunday, December 7, 2008

Neighbourhood Watch - Reptiles, Vic (08 Edition)

There are Reptiles loose in Melburn'z backyard again. It's happened before. Back in the late '80s a Nick Barker-led group of Reptiles crawled out from under the swamp blues rock that the town's underground scene was built on back then. Barker was a one-time member of recently-reformed The Wreckery (with Hugo Race of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds fame). At one stage, I'm fairly certain the band were known as Reptile Smile as they slowly mutated from the proto-grunge mud slingers into chart-dwelling bipeds with a keen ear for a good cover (they found their biggest success de-glamming, but not defiling, Cockney Rebel's 'Come Up And See Me Make Me Smile').

The latest bottom-of-the-garden dwellers dig from the same mire Barker's critters initially wallowed in - loose, dark, intense, noisy splashes of musical mud. That stains. They pick up where the Gun Club and other ye olde Slash Records' bands left off - hopefully they won't derail like that US scene and turn into arena-embracing REMs. Having built a reputation as a live powerhouse (or should that be powersquatters, their's is so the soundtrack of every '80s squat party), the '00 Reptiles have allowed a six-track EP to slither out on its own (close-to-the-ground) legs. It's worth grabbing by the tail, even it's just to admire their scaly song titles: 'Chainsaw Sally', 'Drank Bleach', etc.

Reptiles - 'Smell My Skin'

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