I’ll admit, I thought the Australian 70s/80s punk goldmine had long been tapped. Ever since I bought the “Bloodstains Across Australia” comp LP & then sold it back (because I thought at the time that it had nothing in the league of The Victims, Razar, Rocks, Psycho Surgeons et al), I counted myself fortunate to have ingested & mentally tagged every great Aussie punk 45 of the golden era. But that’s before I heard this great new compilation from Dropkick Records – and specifically, the band the YOUNG IDENTITIES. Their “Positive Thinking” 45 from 1979 is one of the most raw, crazed & wacked-out punk rock singles of any era, totally in league with the MENTALLY ILL and sharing many of the same fine traits (like an unglued singer with a whiney. nasally voice + a bass player who seems content to hit the same chord over & over as fast as possible). You get all three tracks from that and their other single too, plus some great stuff from JUST URBAIN (“Burning” is fantastic), the BODYSNATCHERS and SECTION URBAIN. Ironically, several tracks were on the “Bloodstains” comp I didn’t like, which proves again the wisdom of age. For some reason there’s the nearly-hideous Bauhuas ripoff band called KICKS on here too, 8 of the 26 tracks in fact, but you know how to use the skip button, dont ya? Here’s what Dropkick has to say about this compilation, just so you know:
Shake Records and Savage Music (essentially the same thing) was the label run in Brisbane during the late ’70s by David Holiday and Peter Miller from Just Urbain, and Rod McLeod from the Young Identities. The first release orchestrated by this brains trust was the Cigarettes and Alcohol” 7″ from local heroes The Leftovers. With no-one within earshot waving chequebooks at them, and having caught the DIY bug, they had nine releases in all, eight 7″s and a live cassette. Roll call: Just Urbain, Young Identities, Bodysnatchers and Kicks.
The bands here are among the most primitive, inept and snotty DIY noise to be found in Australia at the time. The singles sold out their tiny hand made pressings (usually 100 to 200) within months and quickly became highly sought-after. These days they are next to impossible to find. Almost the entire label’s output is compiled here (save a few songs from the Kicks cassette), complete with plenty of band photos, flyers, artwork and lengthy recollections from Messrs Holiday and Miller.
I say it’s a great one, and seriously, if you don’t hear that Young Identities stuff you’re going to the grave with only a life half lived.