Showing posts with label Stuart Grant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stuart Grant. Show all posts

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Primitive Calculators - On Drugs

The Primitive Calculators have released a new LP. It's the follow up to their stunningly abrasive 2013 comeback long player The World Is Fucked. The new record On Drugs is available here.

I read a while back that this album was going to be like a pop record influenced by The JBs, or did I dream that? There was also talk of a psychedelic space folk album from the Calculators too but did I get that wrong too? I do recall like 17 years ago Stuart saying he loved The Beach Boys and ABBA but this stuff never really seems to seep into their one chord noise boogie sonic assaults. Although maybe it does because to me they've always had pop sensibilities in that snarly neanderthal 60s garage sense albeit speeded up to the max with a fucking relentless futurist drum machine and awash in a brilliant nihilist noise guitar/synth chug. There is a ballad, however, on the new LP but the sentiment is so malicious it could only come from The Primitive Calculators who are self proclaimed outer suburban Melbourne scum. Funny bastards to boot!

*I'll write a proper review later. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Australian Post-Punk Update

I used to write about music quite a lot here on me blog and Australian Post-Punk was a favourite topic of mine. The real stuff, I mean, that happened in the late 70s and early 80s. None of this faux shit from the last 20 years. Anyway there has been some activity over at Jonny Zchivago's legendary Blog Die or DIY? with some posts of stuff that's never been reissued since those olden days ie. Philip Brophy's Tsk Tsk Tsk. I've never been able to find their records in physical form or in a file format. So go here to find the Venitian Rendezvous EP, Nice Noise EP, Caprice EP and Spaces LP.

While you are over at Jonny's site don't forget to check out some other choice Antipodean post-punk. He has posted a bunch of Sydney stuff including a stack of seminal compilations on the Terse Tapes label, a coupla things from the M Squared label, some primo Slugfuckers, a Negative Reaction tape and miscellaneous Systematics releases.

There's also some other seminal Melbourne experimental post-punk but those records have been reissued in the last few years so you've probably got those Essendon Airport, Asphixiation and Primitive Calculators LPs/cds.

Speaking of The Primitive Calculators they have released a new LP On Drugs and it's here.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Primitive Calculators - Primitive Calculators

Glaring Omissions III

"We were suburban filth from Springvale"
Stuart Grant

Glaring Omissions started as a series of records that deserved to be in The Top 100 Australian albums book and the Age's Top 50 Australian Albums list. This is the 3rd installment with perhaps another 4 or 5 to come. This record came into my life as a teenager living in er....Cardross. For those who don't know that's like 15 KMs out of Mildura and over 600 ks from Melbourne. My bro was living in Melbourne and would often bring back strange and interesting things for me. This was pre JJJ National Radio/ pre internet etc. This record probably reached me pre Rage era perhaps. BeatBox and Rock Arena were probably the only 2 shows on tv at the time where you could hear the weirrd, wonderful and independent. So sometime in the mid to late 80s I first heard The Primitive Calculators. The LP also came with a postcard and a 7" single and was recorded in 1979 in a Melbourne pub. Many years after leaving home I asked my Dad where were the records I left behind? he said I gave them to the op shop. Anyway I still had a Sony C90 tape of it in some kind of working order until that reissue on Chapter came along in the 00s.

Me and my little sister used to put it on and go what the fuck is this? It was so anti social and noisy we thought it was hilarious and a bit frightening. Were they for real we wondered. Or were they just havin' a laugh. The music was a harsh onslaught of electroncly fucked with guitar, 2 keyboards and drum machines with what seemed like no regard for recording technique or er.. melody. Were there really people like this living in Melbourne? It was great music for a teenager because it was so obnoxious and fuckin funny. Mum didn't like hearing that one comin out of the bedroom.  Anyway over time it seemed to never leave me and never get old. It sounds just as great now as it did over 25 years ago. This was no fuckin' Clash record. This was beyond punk, what punk should have been, sonic violence for the demented. So over time I have noticed the chaos is more controlled than I used to think and just maybe there were some great pop songs hidden in there somewhere. It is not a record I expected to still be diggin at my age. I think I love it more than ever actually!

So maybe they are pop songs. Stuart says he saw the band as an Australian Boogie band in the vein of The Purple Hearts, The Throb, Chain and Billy Thorpe. It starts to make a lot of sense they were an electronic version of a one chord Aussie boogie band with a bit of Stockhausen chucked in. My favorite track from the album bake in the sun was so funny and had great lyrics. These are some I randomly recall probably not in the right order. This could be our national anthem.

I'm bake in the sun
I wanna spend my life down by the sea
I wanna shrivel up
I wanna smell some seaweed
I wanna peice of cake
I wanna go home
I wanna revolution
I don't wanna do another days work in my life
I want some food from the kiosk

"If their intention was to be hated then they certainly acheived that.....on a personal level as well"
Rowland S Howard (Guitar/Saxaphone/Vocals in The Birthday Party)

Back cover to Primitve Calculators LP

"Nothing else in Melbourne influenced us. We were such obnoxious little shits, we didn't give anybody a chance to like us" Stuart from Primitve Calculators.

Stuart Grant (guitar and vocals) in the We're Livin On Dog Food doco and RadioNational's Hindsight: Do That Dance radio show has been incredibly insightful and articulate about what circumstances, theories and attitudes shaped the band and that entire Melbourne Post-Punk scene. He really enjoyed the idea of punk and the fact it was saying something truly antisocial. He thought the anger and disillusionment of it just seemed right. He thought with the Ramones arriving there was a strong sense that his culture had arrived. Stuart aknowledges the legacy of the Whitlam Government and their making the dole liveable with my favorite quote of his."The State Paid us to Reject it!"

Stuart is eminently quotable. I could quote him all day but here is one last one that sums up the bands ethos.
"What we realised when we started using the drum machine and we got electronic (was that) we sounded much nastier. We started to actually try and make music that would hurt people. Making the sounds as brutal and horrible as possible. Making the drumbeats as repetitive and fast as possible and tried to get it ugly"

I Can't Stop It-The Primitive Calculators
Their one and only film clip I think.

"The Primitive Calculators were a completely unreal band and there's no 2 ways about it! Live and on record."
 Quote from Natioal Treasure Philip Brophy.

*One cool thing I've just noticed that I'd forgotten is that this record was recorded at Hearts in North Carlton where my brother's band did some gigs and even my old band played there once,

**Here is where to download that podacast Do That Dance about the Melbourne Post-Punk scene.

***Many quotes taken from Richard Lowenstein's doco We're Livin' On Dogfood. Thanks Dick I'm sure you won't mind anarchy and all that.