Monday, April 5, 2010

Pair-shaped Past: Neighbourhood Watch Edition

Two of the most exciting/unpredictable acts to take to the stage in Melbourne during the '80s were The Shower Scene From Psycho (above) and Tombstone Hands. Shower Scene were all shrill electropunkcabaret covers (they tackled The Monkees, The Seekers, Mental As Anything amongst a myriad of others from a variety of genres) while Tombstone Hands were a swampy garage precursor to the grunge scene. Nothing in common musically but they shared local cult hero guitar thrasher "Feedback Jack" Bloom (above centre). Psycho have since become the thing of myth: one member embroiled in tabloid scandal due to his family's political connections; singer Simon Grounds mutating into underground producer extraordinaire (God, Underground Lovers, Dave Graney, etc); and the band recently immortalised with a two-cd retrospective. However there is little to be found of the Hands outside of a good old rummage through you friendly neighbourhood vinyl shop. Here's a little reminder of why both bands deserve even more respect. Clips of both bands filmed live in the mid-'80s: the Hands covering The Standells' 'Good Guys Don't Wear White' (swoon at Jack's gravity-defying mohawk) at the Prince Of Wales (circa 1984) and Shower Scene covering The Strangeloves' 'Cara-lyn' at, what looks like, Melbourne's then uber-hip/midweek late niter Users Club (circa 1986):

You should order this: Exploding Hits - The Shower Scene From Psycho (Omni Recording Corporation).
You should look for this: Asleep At The Wheel - Various (a 1984 collection of garagesque Melbourne acts including Tombstone Hands, Crushed Buzzards and Olympic Sideburns that could be kicking around in record stores somewhere).
Recommended reading: Doug Wallen interviews Simon Ground (mess + noise, Dec '09)

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