Saturday, January 20, 2007

Celibate Rifles-Sideroxylon LP 1983

(alternative cover)

Debut album for The Rifles and HOT Records
Released : April, 1983

The Celibate Rifles were formed in 1978 by friends at a suburban Sydney high school. Their first full album "Sideroxylon", was released in April 1983 by HOT Records, showcasing eleven original songs full of energy, wit and disrespect for fashion.
1984 was spent recording a number of singles and also releasing their second album "The Celibate Rifles" (aka "5 Languages") to critical acclaim, containing some of the bands most requested live songs to this day.
During 1985 and 1986 the band toured extensively, saw their first two albums compiled for release in the USA and the UK ("Quintessentially Yours" and "Mina Mina Mina"), and also released a third album "The Turgid Miasma Of Existence". Critic David Fricke of Rolling Stone Magazine USA wrote: "At a time when most punk outrage is just witless spleen at 90 mph, these Aussie spitfires have fired off a release that shakes with lyric force and experimental valour, not just speed and volume."
On the band's return to Australia late 1986 the album "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", which they had recorded live while playing at New York's famous CBGB's, was released in Australia.
March 1987 saw the band touring again, firstly four weeks through America, then to Europe where they recorded "Roman Beach Party" in Amsterdam ("..the anger, the insight and the humour that makes The Rifles one of the most powerful rock bands in the world today." Roger Holland, Sounds Magazine UK), then more European touring and back to the States before finally returning home December 1987.
Solo projects occupied the first half of 1988, and then the band returned to Europe for more solid touring.
The fifth studio album "Blind Ear" saw the band break new ground and reach a whole new audience. Never before had the band been so popular within their own country and they toured Australia extensively.
1990 marked the release of "Platter's Du Jour" which brought together 23 unavailable and/or rare tracks originally released as vinyl singles, A and B sides.
More touring during 1991/92 and a return to the studio to record "Heaven On A Stick", produced by legendary Australian vocalist Rob Younger. The album contains a number of crowd favourites such as "Cold Wind", the track which appears frequently in many internationally released surf movies.
The Rifles toured the world in 1992 including Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the USA where once again they recorded in CBGB's a stunning live album "Yizgarnnoff".
January 1994 and the compilation "Sofa" was released spanning the band's career 1983-1989. In April a new album "Spaceman In A Satin Suit", possibly their most mature and innovative album ever came out.
In 1996 the brilliant "On The Quiet", an album of mainly their own material but this time played acoustically, was released. Although originally sold only by mail order, the album has proved so popular that HOT Records decided to release the album internationally.
In 1997 a compilation CD called "Wonderful Life" was released in Brazil. It has been available on import via HOT Records in the rest of the world.
1998 was a relatively quiet year for the band though they did play in Australia and some gigs in New Zealand highlighted by the Ripcurl Heli-Ski Challenge in Wanaka.
The band ended 1999 playing their traditional Sydney Xmas Eve and Boxing Night shows whilst working on their 13th album.
November 2000 saw the release of "A Mid-Stream Of Consciousness" to critical acclaim and radio air play across Australia. The bands loyal fan base acknowledged the CD as one of their finest works. A tour of Sydney and Melbourne at the end of the year was just a taster for their national tour early in 2001.
The Celibate Rifles current line up is;
Damien Lovelock Vocals and deadly striker
Kent Steedman Guitar and Ginola like left winger
Dave Morris Guitar. Right flanker. Runs like the wind
Paul Larsen Drums. Went to school with Max Krillich.
Mikey Couvret Bass. Throws Alan Thompson torpedo passes
review on Sideroxylon:
With their TV eyes wide open and spewing forth the junkography of our time, Sydney band the Celibate Rifles accelerate head-on into their first album, Sideroxylon (no, I don't know what it means either).
Their noise is a mutant offspring of the Stooges/MC5/Saints/Visitors/Ramones/Dictators/Other Side etc. There have been many others who have attempted to drive this vehicle before, most of them slavishly copy cats who rarely, if ever, had an original thought in their lives. The Rifles make the machine their own and take it forward in high gear rather than stalling it in neutral.
Peter Corris breathed fresh life into the post-raymond Chandler detective novel by relocating it in Australia; likewise the Celibate Rifles revive their chosen genre with an uncomfortably keen awareness of what it means to be half-Australian and half-dead in the closing stages of the twentieth century. Instead of moralising about the situation, like Midnight Oil or Goanna, the Rifles swallow it whole like the good suburban boys they are, then turn around and spew it back out at you in lightning-fast bursts of feedback and irony. Neither inner-city hipsters nor suburban petrol-heads, they turn a savage eye on everything and reduce it all to naught. Sideroxylon is populated by the detritus of the modern world : the housewife, the junkie, the rising young executive, the punk, the radio talkback king, the surfie and all the others who inhabit the twentieth century wasteland, grooving to a soundtrack of easy-listening new wave pop, eyes glued to a screen full of soap operas , electronic pornography, game shows, crime and Mike Walsh, comfortably sedated with Heroin or Valium, marijuana or alcohol.
Onstage, the Rifles' white trash thrash is one of the best manifestations of their style of music. by the judicious use of other instruments - sax, trombone, trumpet, keyboards, extra guitars and vocals - the strength, humour, style and intelligence of their sonic attack comes through with undiminished force.
Of the songs: Killing Time is a mordant vision of military history from the Vikings to the Falklands to the Future. Tick Tock, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Gonna Cry, Anthem, Society, and This Week take a savage look at the society that has resulted from that history; Ice Blue and This Week consider the fate of the would-be outsider who tries to reject it all only to end up as one more zombie in this eternal night of the living dead. The lyrics occasionally stumble but the band always carry it through like a runaway subway train.
The real block buster though is God Squad. Taking a musical cue from the Electric Prunes "Mass In F Minor" and the New Christs' "Face A New God", it opens with church organ and ghostly mock monks chanting the "Kyrie Eleison" before breaking through a wall of noise into a savage putdown of religion. This is where everything the Celibate Rifles have got going for them - the rhythm section of Phillip Jacquet, David Morris and James Darroch, the impeccable Epiphone tek-nique of guitarist Kent Steedman (check his wah wah solo), the voice and lyrics of Damien Lovelock and the guest guitaring of Simon Knuckey from the ultra-fab Wet Taxis - comes together in a furious splendour.
I know this record sounds like it might be heavy going, but it's not. It's trashy, it's loud, it's fun, it's noisy, it's dumb and it's smart.
- Frank Brunetti, RAM, 8 July 1983

Pretty strange post you might think.But come on guys!I'm 40 years old,grew up with this stuff nd according to me this is their best record....full of real Radiobirdmanish energy punk from down under at it's best! (favorite track:Gonna Cry...this may lead some Greek fans of the blog ,that have been in their concert back in 1986-not quite sure about the date- at Kyttaro Club,Athens, about my identity:))


ellanios said...

Thanks Muta.
It was September 1987.
20 years ago.Unbelieveable!!!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing...

Anonymous said...


mutantsounds said...

so ellanios you were there?

Robert.Johnsson said...

ThX for sharing :)

I had a great time seing The Rifles & Lime Spiders at The Roskildefestival in '88

Anonymous said...

Nai itan sept 87 kai o bassista forouse blouza "unknown pleasures" kai ton rotisa apo pou tin agorase nomizontas oti itan apo to koino.Oraies meres pragmatika diy afou den gnorizes ta prosopa kanenos alla goustares tin mousiki tous.AAAA O tragoudistis itan sxedon sto idio epipedo me to koino giati i eksedra htan epipedou mathitikon ekdiloseon
octopus GREECE

mutantsounds said...

aaaaaaaaa esy thymase polla....isws thymase ki enn me mplouza ian curtis(apo to koino auth th fora:)) pou fwnaze synexeia"gonna cry reeeeeeeeeeeeee":)......

Anonymous said...

Thanks. How about posting Quintessentially Yours by The Rifles?

Molecules said...

i think this was the album that led me to this blog. Fucking classic. While i'm on a commenting binge thanks for showing me the light of Alan Jenkins' Deep Freeze Mice and them thar Steamin' Coils. Both have become staples.

Molecules said...

oh and you almost certainly heard this but Henry Rollins has mentioned you on his KRCW radio show a couple of times. Not a bad plug any way you look at it...

Anonymous said...

u can get "Roman Beach Party" here: