Tuesday, 14 January 2020

THE ARGUMENTATIVE BASTARDS - s/t 12'' 1989

A fine record is now waiting and I quote a little info from the essential upthepunks site, the source for music/bands from down under: TAB began playing in 1988 with a set of originals and smattering of Black Sabbath and Agnostic Front covers. Guitarist Simon Gotlieb (previously of After Shock and Compos Mentis) was originally on vocals before Aaron Watson joined, with this early version also including Hamish Laing on rhythm guitar. The band played fairly regularly in Wellington’s late 1980s’ scene with gigs alongside other local acts Flesh D-Vice, Microwave Babies, The Sub-Dominants and a young metal act out of Wellington High School called Shihad. In early July of 1989 TAB went into Writhe Studios and recorded the seven songs for their sole-release 12'', the sound is a meld of punk/metal/hardcore/reggae with TAB veering across a number of musical lines and ending in a punked up version of John Denver’s: (Take Me Home) Country Roads. The record starts with Brave New Soldiers a song credited to Kevin Kermack who played with Simon and J.P de Raad in early 1980’s thrash-punk outfit Aftershock. The next two tracks, Kill The Dogs and Fred are 80s metal riffs within a punk framework, with 3rd track Fred breaking down into a slow-tempo reggae beat half-way through before jumping back into thrash tempo. The B-sides three original tracks takes a leaf out of Bad Brains with Video Nasty and Used Prophylactics showing Watson’s strong vocals can throw out a halfway decent H.R. yelp, while third track Sniffin is a slow tempo reggae/ punk song based on seeing kids glue sniffing in Porirua. The Argumentative Bastards EP was released at The Carpark off Willis Street on June 21, 1990 with 500 vinyl copies pressed on New Plymouth label Ima Hitt. The gig was videoed and there were plans for some form of video release with interviews, three new songs and footage of people smashing cans of beer on their heads. A second EP, Ganja and Chocolate Fish, was also recorded but not released before the band split up, and now languishes on tape somewhere in the Hutt Valley. In June 1991, TAB played at New Plymouth’s notorious Mushroom Ball where vocalist Aaron ensured one of TAB’s last gigs was seared into the psilocybin plastered minds of those in attendance by igniting his pubic hair on stage.


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