SIMON CHAINSAW – Told A Lie & Basta CDs
SIMON CHAINSAW & THE HIPPY KILLERS
Told Me A Lie CD
(Tronador Music / Corrosion Productions)
Once upon a time, Ricecooker had a forum section which was not at all popular as people would rather bitch and rant on the comments section than getting into a proper forum. Anyway, the forum has since been killed by someone who thought that hacking is about annoying small time webmasters like me instead of sabotaging big corporations and government bodies. Here I would like to thank those few who were regulars in the ricecooker forum, sharing recipes to great films which they’ve seen.
One of the regulars was Simon Chainsaw, who would write all the way from Brazil telling us about his projects and his rock’n’roll adventures. It’s been a while since I heard from him but a few days ago I had a parcel in my mailbox and so here we are with two CDs by the man.
Simon is originally an Australian guitarist/vocalist who had quite a big time there in the mid-80s with The Vanilla Chainsaws, a band who counted TSOL, Husker Du and Echo and The Bunnymen as heroes. When the band folded Simon went on on his way travelling the US, UK and Europe making noise with several projects including The Chainsawmen in Chicago and also a solo project with the members of New Christs (ex-The Radio Birdman, essential legends of Australian rock‚Äôn‚Äôroll, garage punk).
Many years ago, Simon went to Brazil to oversee a best of compilation for The Vanilla Chainsaws which has gotten big there via several surf videos they were in. Liking what he saw and experienced, Simon decided to stay and live in Brazil and now his band Simon Chainsaw & The Hippy Killers is one of the most happening crew in the Brazilian scene.
Anyway, on to the first CD; Simon Chainsaw & The Hippy Killers‚Äô barnstorming first album Told A Lie. According to a webpage I‚Äôve been referring to, The Vanilla Chainsaws sounded more like a British Indie band rather than fellow Australians Radio Birdman or New Christ, but The Hippy Killers on the other hand actually belongs to that particular garage rock‚Äôn‚Äôroll punk rock sound updated and made real again by Radio Birdman back in the late 70s and recently modernised by bands like Turbonegro and Hellacopters. This is unpretentious, straight-ahead rock‚Äôn‚Äôroll in the style of early AC/DC but rooted as much as in punk rock (The Ramones) as in great rockin‚Äô early power-pop (Live in Budokan-era Cheap Trick).
There are 12 tracks here, all legs-akimbo-low-slung-guitars and heads-down driving tunes with fiery guitar licks and air-punching choruses; something which is a rarity in the local scene. Yup, you can‚Äôt find a single rock‚Äôn‚Äôroll punk rock band here in Malaysia, and that‚Äôs the sad fact. And I‚Äôm sure there are tonnes of bands like this in South America, but Simon sings in English (with only a bit of Portuguese inserted here and there) and that makes The Hippy Killers a bit offbeat there.
Production-wise, this very, very clean, reminding me of latterday big-sound of The Ramones and this ‚Äúquality‚Äù somehow takes away the fun a bit. Another area which could have been better is the vocals. Simon is a capable singer but it‚Äôs suited more to the power-pop (Teenage Fan Club) style rather than full-blown rawk. Maybe it‚Äôs the mix but a more forceful, desperate and raw singing would catapult this into the classics. So for those who are expecting early REO Speedealer or Zeke, this CD is almost there but a bit wanting in the reckless, abrasive department. Still if you are into the mellower bits there are songs like ‚ÄúI Said Well‚Äù, which somehow recalls The Hoodoo Gurus!
sample a coupla tunes:
Told Me A Lie
Get It On
SIMON CHAINSAW & THE FORGOTTEN BOYS
An older project (2000) by Mr. Chainsaw which is much more dearer to my ears as it‚Äôs wilder, faster and a notch rawer than The Hippy Killers project. According to some web pages, this was recorded while Simon was working as a guitar tech to Marky Ramone & The Intruders and also The Killing Joke who were touring the country back then, and so it features tonnes of different people helping out.
13 songs in 53 minutes, with brazen wild guitars solos and a cracking rhythm section, Basta is immediate headbanging pogo machine. It‚Äôs more ‚Äúpunk‚Äù and less power-pop too, hints of classic Steve Jones-style riffage (Always Wrong) and early Turbonegro-style headlong rush into the nearest wall (One For The Road).
So that‚Äôs it then. Those who like their ‚Äúrawk‚Äù injected with that punkitude may have their all time faves, right from Zeke, Turbo to Speedealer and all that but now here‚Äôs a chance to sample something a bit more exotic. And for those who have just got introduced to ‚Äúrawk‚Äù via The Datsuns or D4 pr even the much lame Jet, Simon Chainsaw would be able to teach you new lessons in good ol punk bombast!