Top 5 80's Australian post punk
jjfbbennett TOP 5 1980's Australian Post Punk
Under rated and more powerful than the UK or USA
- Holy Joe: Laughing Clowns
Laughing Clowns are an Australian post punk rock band fronted by vocalist and guitarist Ed Kuepper and backed by drummer Jeff Wegener.
Formed in Sydney in 1979 after the break-up of Kuepper's punk rock band The Saints. Where The Saints were a bass/drums/guitar rock band, Laughing Clowns' various line-ups included double bass, piano, tenor saxophone and trumpet. Often referred to as "jazz punk" by critics, the group's songs were often constructed around difficult time signatures and sometimes "off-key" melodies. Kuepper passionately disagreed with the assertion that the music was jazz-like, but rather thought of the music as being soul-like. This is evidenced by the fact that, in amongst the cachophony, many of the songs have strong melodic hooks, epic progressions and emotionally charged lyrics. They released several albums, singles and EPs, including Holy Joe, Mr Uddich-Smuddich goes to town, Ghosts of an ideal wife and Law of nature. They disbanded in 1985 with Kuepper continuing to record and perform under his own name.
- Nothing grows in Texas: Sacred Cowboys
The ‘Sacred Cowboys’ front man is Garry Gray (lead singer/lyricist), who as a member of the 'Negatives' (1977-1979) and the 'Reals' (1975-1976) was a pioneer of alternative music in Melbourne, Australia. He was a founding member of the 'Sacred Cowboys' in 1982.
The 'Sacred Cowboys' began playing inner city Melbourne in early 1982. Within six months, the 'Cowboys' signed with Mushroom/White Label and recorded the 'Nothing Grows In Texas' single. After their so-called 'legendary performance' on Molly Meldrum's Countdown pop TV show on the ABC, Molly said, "This is the worst group I've seen in 5 years." This set the tone for their long career as one of Australia's seminal alternative groups.
- Death Death Death: TISM
TISM (an acronym of This Is Serious Mum) is a seven piece anonymous alternative rock band from Melbourne, Australia. The group was formed in 1982 and enjoyed a large underground/independent following.
TISM have always used a variety of methods to conceal their identities. They have never officially revealed their names, instead choosing to use pseudonyms on their records and in interviews, all the while concealing their faces. Usually this involves the wearing of a balaclava, but ridiculous costumes have been created for the purpose, including Ku Klux Klan uniforms made of newspaper, silver suits with puffy arms and legs to mimic an inflated cask wine bladder, giant foam paintings worn on the head, large foam signs bearing the name of a Beatle, fat 'businessman' suits, and eight-foot-high inflatable headpieces, among others.
Who TISM are beneath the masks has been the cause of much speculation by fans, with one theory contending that TISM is composed of members of other bands who do not want their fans to find out: popular targets of this theory include Painters and Dockers, Machine Gun Fellatio and even The Wiggles. A theory based on the band's tour schedule's roughly coinciding with school holidays proposes that TISM are school teachers.
- God's Not Dead: The Slaughtermen
The Slaughtermen were an Australian post-punk southern gospel group, which began in Melbourne in 1984.
The band enjoyed a years residency at the Rising Sun Hotel in Melbourne which built a fairly even following of believers and sceptics. Singer Ian Stephen, only added to the mystique and/or confusion by purchasing a twenty five dollar Reverendship from a religious organization from out of the back pages of the National Enquirer. A nationally broadcast hour long live concert on Australia's ABC TV, cemented their unique place to this day, as Australia's first and only southern gospel group, albeit twelve thousand miles from the original source of the inspiration, America's Deep South.
- Nick the Stripper: The Birthday Party
The Birthday Party was an Australian post-punk group, active from 1976 to 1983.
Despite being championed by John Peel, The Birthday Party found little commercial success during their career. Though often indirect, their influence has been far-reaching. They've been called one of "the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early '80s."