THE CELIBATE RIFLES: The Turgid Miasma Of Existence LP


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It seems that the Australian punk scene has seldom been more vital than it is today, with swathes of new bands emerging, and taking it to the world – Amyl and The Sniffers, The Chats, C.O.F.F.I.N and Civic to name just a few. It might be a good time to take another look back at that particularly fertile mid-80s period, when bands touting a peculiarly Australian way of life were breaking out on the international stage, a distinctly inventive Aussie punk counterpoint to what was happening up on the Washington DC scene. Northern Beaches surf-bums The Celibate Rifles had already made their mark in their homeland with their first two albums on hip Darlinghurst label Hot Records. By 1986, the label had reached out to Rough Trade to give them an international release, which would soon result in their first overseas tour and, in the fullness of time, the recording of their international breakthrough album Roman Beach Party, (already reissued in deluxe form by Area Pirata). With guitarist Kent Steedman producing, the band commenced recording at Sydney’s famed Alberts Studio before a misunderstanding led to them being booted out, whenceforth they decamped once again to Rick Turk’s Honeyfarm Studio in Duffy’s Forest, where they’d made their first two albums. Songs like ometimes’, onflict Of Interest’, ome Kind Of Feeling’ and the hardcore/jazz fusion of opener ill Bonney Regrets’ – now a YouTube favourite – have gone on to become Rifles classics, their incisive Damien Lovelock lyrics – ometimes when I get home, I just want to go out again’, et up in the morning have the same thing for breakfast, freeze-dried coffee and multigrain toast’ – dryly underpinning the suburban ennui implicit in the album’s title. Their itchy buzzsaw punk, meanwhile, is balanced by more reflective sounds of entinel’, lasshouse’ and o Sign’ and adventurous use of cello, dulcimer and bass clarinet. “Some good tunes, hard…” considers Kent today, modestly. “Ironically just about every sentiment is unfortunately still current today… fuckers still invading countries, problems with drugs, the drudgery and isolation, the intrusion on our person space, destroying natural places and lack of care or empathy and media manipulating. Bit sad really as I write it… no wonder turgid… it’s hard and angry to some degree… Sonically very Australian, blame me for a lot of it… how I heard stuff, I didn’t always have the skill to bring what I heard out, but the energy compensated a bit. It was consciously made within our skill set to not follow the current recording trends of the time…” Reissued in a replica of its original gatefold sleeve, the new edition comes with a two-page insert and download code with four bonus tracks.

A1 Bill Bonney Regrets
A2 Conflict Of Instinct
A3 Temper Temper Mr. Kemper
A4 Sentinel
A5 Some Kind Of Feeling
B1 Glasshouse
B2 Sometimes
B3 No Sign
B4 Eddie
B6 New Mistakes