THE VICTIMS : "ALL LOUD ON THE WESTERN FRONT" LP/CD.....
In a country (Australia) that was bursting at the seams
with raw, energetic-as-all-fuck punk rock music circa 1978, THE VICTIMS
' hot morsels might have been the best of the bunch not provided by a band called X
. Their songs were so loud, so bleeding
, and yet so toned & smoothed with top-notch vocals and massive hooks, that it's hard to reckon with how generally unheard of they are. (Though I did wander into a record store in Tokyo, of all places, in 2003, heard the band on the in-store PA, shot the cashier a double-take, at which point he looked me square in the eye and confirmed with knowing coolness: "Victims"). "All Loud on the Western Front"
surfaced in 1989, and it's a collection of both of their 45s, one of which was really a 5-song EP deal, plus the added smoker "Perth Is a Culture Shock". That song alone is worth sacrificing a goat for -- jagged, wall of hoomph
guitar that attacks and attacks and doesn't let up -- the sound of a young amped cola freaks playing a song destined for 45pm at 11orpm. No way is it "hardcore" -- it's extremely fast (n' bulbous) punk rock. You can hear the same exact ripping formula on "TV Freak", which is a nearly identical song in both speed and structure. Come to think of it, so is "Flipped Out Over You". Wow -- classics all around.
The band is most known for their debut '78 single "Television Addict", which I've ranked at one point in my life as one of the "Forty-Five 45s That Moved Heaven And Earth"
(uh, "whatever"). It's just one of the all-time heavies, moving at mid-tempo (for 1978 Australian punk) & with a sordid story to tell. Vocalist Dave Faulkner found some in-country glory as a later member of the HOODOO GURUS
, and if you ever remember anything about that band, you'll remember Dave's pipes -- a raw throaty shout that was still sweetly constructed to aggressively sing pop music. In fact, if The Victims' outstanding "High School Girls" wasn't bluntly about the joys of shagging 15-year-olds with pigtails, they might've seen the chart action that Dave's later band did. Too great. We talk a little early punk rock over here at Agony Shorthand, but we're often yakking aimlessly about the second or third tiers, the stuff sitting below the WEIRDOS
. This band, The Victims, sat in the fabled catbird seat with the aforementioned, and if you haven't heard this stuff, you are truly gonna bust a big-ass nut when you do.