Brando’s Island – “Autism Vision” b/w “Auto Warfare” 7”
Imagine Six Finger Satellite circa Severe Exposure, synths fully integrated into the band, except the guitar and bass have been replaced by a rather well-played vibraphone. Imagine the attitudes that would allow such a development to occur, and you have the tone and shape of Brando’s Island, a Melbourne band that rose from the wreckage of The Zingers, reviewed here not so long ago. Electronics buzz like a lawnmower, confrontational dance beats ride out, gobfuls of words spill forth, and those sticks do their own dance all over the high register. Both songs 100%; no other band sounds like this at all in our current year, and none have ever come across quite like them. Whether this could sustain a whole album remains to be seen, but if The Zingers could, I feel like Brando’s Island (god, what a name!) would pull through. The adjunct feelings of how the downsizing of Easter Bilby distro in the coming year will effect the amount and quality of Australian submissions to Still Single are still smarting, but we can look back and say that we had this. Outstanding single. (Doug Mosurock)
|Brando's Island photo by Sigourney Ormston|
The Zingers – s/t LP
It can’t hurt to cover this one, a year or more late (and a jaw-dropping four years since it was recorded), considering that a new Zingers-related project, Brando’s Island, has just shown up with a single. But the time has arrived, and what we have here is a very worked-up outlet for some musically gifted Australian miscreants, hellbent on pinning you to the back wall with zany noise. I see this group as working from the twinned cabarets of ’77-’78 punk, and the violent no wave gestures that blossomed in NYC a couple of years later, and the concepts of how there’s always been room for both of those scenes from a nostalgia standpoint (‘90s on up). The balance between the two, one scenario incapable of growth, the other unable to stop growing, all but forces any participants, like the Zingers were, who wanted to practice both with the same unflagging intensity, driven, tinny, sinuous and wildly aggressive. Their singer “Randy Richard” performs as if a classroom of fourth-graders has applied duct tape all over his face and he’s forced to sneer out of whatever holes they left open. The further this goes along, the sharper and more surprising it gets, and in a short runtime they stuff in both a musical acuity on the decidedly non-punk vibraphone (a key structural component on the Brando’s Island 7”) and vicious, directed shit-talk against the one person in Australia who’d be able to help out a band like theirs on “Million Dollar Chump.” That smell of burning amps is also a burnt bridge, and the Zingers stood on the other side, roasting weenies on drum stands and flipping off everyone on the mainland. Devo, Contortions, Arab on Radar … line ‘em up. Great record.