STIFF RICHARDS - State Of Mind LP
No one likes using words like ‘tradition’ or ‘heritage’ here - the punk rock clusterbomb is far too messy for any of that business - but also emerging from Australian rock’s primordial soup is the addictive sneer of Stiff Richards. Like their predecessors, the band are a gleefully wracked mess of full throttle energy and barrelling power chords, with songs like ‘Kids Out On The Grass’ and ‘Point of You’ proving at least the equal of ‘(I’m) Stranded’ or ‘Aloha Steve And Danno’. Nine tracks in less than 30 minutes, all winners and all determined to leave you flipping over couches and smashing your TV set. And let’s face it, you may as well; there’s nothing good on.
It all builds towards frantic closer ‘Fill In The Blanks’, which rattles around your speakers like the UK Subs trying to play Ed Kuepper riffs at the centre of an earthquake, before grinding to a halt as a voice says, “That’s the one.” Does it sound self-satisfied? Hey, it’s got good reason to - this is the best no-frills garage rock party since Gino & The Goons’ ‘Do The Get Around’, and the only appropriate response is to declare yourself betrothed to Stiff Richards because you can’t imagine your life without ‘em. Don’t believe me? Sort out your ears and get ‘State Of Mind’ in ‘em. Rock’n’roll as it’s supposed to be played.