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Aussie artists
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Howzat! Archive - August 3rd 2011

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Some records are aptly titled. Electric Mary's Facebook tells the tale of their new EP, Long Time Coming: "We recorded, we scrapped we started again, we stopped we lost a friend we recorded again again we stopped we found an old believer, we worked and worked we moved bases we got sick, we stopped we started again we lost a love we got angry we lost the plot we were in with a chance but they said no we had no cash we did some shows we kept believing ..."

Fortunately, the result is a ripper. Rock 'n' roll will never die while bands such as Electric Mary are flying the flag. As the name suggests, there is genuine electricity in these songs, with thundering riffs (courtesy of Pete Robinson and Glenn Proudfoot), mighty grooves and an explosive rhythm section (Venom and Alex Raunjak). As Electric Mary say, this is "rock 'n' roll, the way it used to taste".

The band recently tweeted: "Rock 'n' roll brings many strange and wonderful moments to the table." In the past couple of years, Electric Mary have played with Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Glenn Hughes, Alice Cooper and Judas Priest, done World Cup shows with Powderfinger in South Africa, and returned home for Cherry Rock in AC/DC Lane. After the EP launch at the Gershwin Room on Saturday (with Twenty Two Hundred and China Vagina), they're heading back to Europe, for shows in France, Spain and Belgium. The approach is simple: Six boys in a van, drive, play, drive, play "That's all we want to do," says singer Rusty Brown.

Electric Mary also played at Hellfest in France last year, alongside Motorhead, Alice Cooper and Airbourne ("They love Airbourne in Europe, I've never heard a bad word about 'em"). The experience inspired All Eyes On Me, a track on the new EP. "Rode into town with not much sleep and I was feeling like a king," Rusty sings. "Hellfest was amazing," he adds. "There's nothing quite like a European rock/metal festival - those guys are serious. We couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces."

The EP comes with a bonus DVD, capturing the band in blistering form at Sydney's Gaelic Theatre. "That was done in the middle of the Deep Purple tour. We had a Saturday night off, so we decided to do our own show." A few weeks before the gig, a guy named Adam Logan asked Rusty if he could film the show. Rusty didn't know what to expect. "But I couldn't believe the result. I contacted Adam and said, 'We've gotta use this.' He really captured us."

"Hey, do you love me as I am?" Rusty asks on the new record. Indeed, we do. Electric Mary's EP is a Long Time Coming, but worth the wait. Rock 'n' roll still tastes good.

Everyone loves a mixtape. The climax of The Push's FReeZA Central mentoring program is the release of a compilation called Mixtape. With wonderful '80s artwork by Skipping Girl Vinegar's Mark Lang, the double disc features contributions from mentors - including Ash Naylor, Shihad, Lloyd Spiegel and The Bedroom Philosopher - as well as the "mentees" (Howzat! particularly likes Brighter At Night's Behind Painted Walls). Mixtape is being launched at the East Brunswick Club on Thursday, with Jen Cloher, Angie Hart and Davey Lane, plus a selection of the new acts. Tickets are $12 at the door, which includes a copy of the album.

It might be the ultimate Aussie anthem - and 33 years after it was first released, it's finally cracked the Top 40. But is Cold Chisel's Khe Sanh historically accurate? Sydney group The Aerial Maps have questioned the song's authenticity. "Well, it's a bloody long time since bloody Long Tan," Adam Gibson states in The Things That Make You Happy, a track on the new Aerial Maps album, The Sunset Park (on Popboomerang Records), "and our sappers were never at Khe Sanh, that was a Yanks-only affair. We were mostly down south, bugger all up there." Of course, the subject of Chisel's song "left my heart to the sappers 'round Khe Sanh", but the 1968 battle was fought between US marines and the North Vietnamese. Aussie sappers were not officially involved (though the RAAF provided air support). Adam does add, "But I'll give Don Walker his due, his song meant a lot and he was right to say there were no V-Day heroes in 1973."

Gotye scores his first Top 10 hit.

Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (number five)
Inescapable JESSICA MAUBOY (20, debut)
We Run The Night HAVANA BROWN (25)
Khe Sanh COLD CHISEL (40)

The Living End land at three, while East is the most successful of the Chisel re-releases.

The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating THE LIVING END (number three, debut)
Soft Universe PNAU (13, debut)
Seeker Lover Keeper SEEKER LOVER KEEPER (14)
Live At Red Rocks JOHN BUTLER TRIO (22, debut)
Double Platinum THE TEN TENORS (24, debut)
Like Drawing Blood GOTYE (32)
God Is Able HILLSONG LIVE (35)
The Last Stand COLD CHISEL (39)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (40)

Behind Painted Walls BRIGHTER AT NIGHT
Livewired RON S. PENO

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