We first met Josh Cottreau at Iceland Airwaves back in 2010. “Met” might not be the right word for it, more like “encountered”. Josh was there with his band Cities Between Us and they hit the streets in the early evening with a homemade sign inviting people to their show at Faktorý. With a work ethic like that, how could we not go see them? Despite their best efforts, though, it was a sparse crowd; the opening slots at Airwaves were quite often poorly attended in a city that normally doesn’t hit the streets on the weekends until after 10PM. But even with the very small crowd they played their show at 100 miles per hour and Josh just about burst into flames with all the energy he was expending on stage. I have no idea how his vocal cords held up.
We connected on Facebook, though never again in real life. A number of years ago he moved to Australia and got married. And then one day he mentioned that he was in a band again. And that band, my friends, is Fangz.
If I had to describe Fangz in a couple of words, I’d say they’re “Party Rock”. This is music about having a good time, and for use when you’re having a good time. It’s hanging-out-with-your-friends-and-drinking-beer rock. It’s fast. It’s hard. It’s not subtle – it hits you right between the eyes and says, “you want more of this?” And yes, yes I do.
So far this year Fangz has released a pair of 7″ singles – “One For You One For Me” b/w “Wastr”, and “Voices” b/w “Crossroads”. Both are available for purchase online HERE along with assorted other merch, including a band beer koozie, which should tell you everything that you need to know. Fangz are here to party with you and rock your face off.
You don’t need me to tell you how killer these songs are – you can see and hear for yourself below. Fangz are making plenty of noise in the scene Down Under, and hopefully we’ll get a chance to see them up in the Northern Hemisphere at some point. I for one will be keeping an eye on these guys in the months to come – they’re got a great future ahead of them.
Hard rock from Down Under, it’s kind of surprising that Boss only managed one album because their sound fit perfectly with what was happening in 1984. Some poking around on the internet indicates they did OK in Germany and Japan and were certainly a live attraction in their native Australia, but Step On It remains their only full-length. That plus three 7″ singles (two of which were comprised exclusively of material from Step On It) were all the band left behind.
All the classic rock tropes are here. Songs about rock ‘n’ roll (“Kick Ass (Rock N’ Roll)”), songs about women (“That Woman”), and lots of apostrophes in the titles are to be found on Step On It‘s 10 tracks. But you know, like so much rock from the era it’s still pretty decent. This probably says as much about when I grew up as it does about the actual quality of the band, but I like what I’m hearing from Boss. It’s entertaining and easy to get into. There are unconfirmed reports that the band actually used a drum machine on the album, and if that’s true it kind of makes it a bit more interesting because no self-respecting rock band of that era would admit to such a thing. And there is something kind of mechanical about the drumming… though who knows if I’d think the same thing if I hadn’t read that tidbit before listening to Step On It for the first time.
I love me a good comp, especially when it’s devoted to bands from smaller musical outposts and includes weird stuff from the 1980s. Hence how I ended up with a copy of Midnite Spares, a collection of 10 “avant pop and electronic works” by Australian performers during the 1982-92 period.
And there’s some weird stuff on Midnite Spares. Poets of the Machine’s “Arabs” layers Persian instrumentation over top of tribal beats, while the female vocalist (I think it’s Jandy Rainbow) sort of sings/sort of talks over it. And then the beats turn more to dance… and we get a male vocalist… and the whole thing sounds like you’ve been sitting in some corner bazaar inhaling too much second-hand hash smoke. It’s like bizarro version of Blondie’s “Rapture” but, you know, without a guy from Mars eating cars. The instrumental “Hakka Suru” by The Igniters sounds like the music to some kind of Law & Order spinoff, though probably a slower paced one with minimal drama. Mumbo Jumbo’s “Wind It Up” is probably the closest thing to a “classical” mid-1980s pop song on the collection, complete with the obligatory saxophone, but one that’s cool because it isn’t quite as polished as the big radio hits – it sounds more like something that real people wrote and performed (Wind it up / Let it go / From Sydney Harbor / To the Gulf of Mexico). The closing track, Foot and Mouth’s “I Want My Mummy”, gets the gold star for being the most completely whacked out track on the comp, a disturbing tune about mommy, daddy, and divorce with vocals that sound like they were recorded underwater and will undoubtedly creep you out to no end.
Midnite Spares is available on Bandcamp HERE, both for purchase and some free listening. The vinyl includes a download card, which definitely makes it an appealing option.