The Adelaide music scene: to many of you it might be little more than a touring speed bump between Melbourne and Perth but to us it's a way of life. Feast within, on all its dysfunctioning splendour, as we bring you the highly satirical, laughingly fictional and intellectually imbecile tales from our rock & roll wasteland...
DIAMOND SINS + DEAD POPES OF THE VATICAN + BLOW UP BETTY LIVE @ ENIGMA BAR / Friday April 18th 2008
One bedraggled figure in a full length trenchcoat and spiked hair shivers barefoot down a broken road. A sore thumb, an anachronism, a violent allergy to all but the darkest corners. Wild eyed, itchy triggered and sprung like a mousetrap he flees from the screaming neon, the gunfire beats and the slow boiled sinewave. One false move he trips, he falls over that threshold with both guns drawn. Wildly the walls spin to his nightmare reality, this twisting metal, this stop motion puppeteering with claws outstretched. Fight and flight he recoils from the lurching figures clad black, denim and leather, mohawks and mullets, all howling, primal tongue unison with fists raised punching air. This blue light and cold steel, this pounding funeral dirge, this one severed hand bubbling in a single glass jar: "Where am I? what year is this? WHAT YEAR DAMNIT!!?" he screams clutching lapel, knuckles drawn white to the bone. Yup, welcome to Enigma Bar! Where every one of James Cameron, George Miller and John Carpenter's most retarded post apocalyptic fantasies come to life. Where all the bastard children of glam, metal and emo come to play. Where too many chromosomes are barely enough (and where I'll surely be found face down gargling in a pool of my own vomit). Enigma Bar? OOOH FUCK YEAH!!
CALLERDENIGHT (***1/2) myspace :: First band of the night. Their name may be unfamiliar but you've seen them before, you've seen them everywhere: in your shopping centres, in your parking lots, your food courts, skate parks and train stations being chased down by the cops; they're bumming cigarettes, shoplifting porn, drinking goon, keying cars, setting fire to school gymnasiums and bombing your letterboxes. They're your wasted youth coming back to haunt you. CallerDeNight. They're every reason why being a teenager sucked balls in the late 80's to early 90's. Think Slayer, Pantera and At The Drive-In thrown into a prison cell whilst some idiot flicks the light switch on and off screaming "fight fight fight!". Think Clockwork Orange and 28 Days Later looped to the soundtrack of Abu Ghraib. Think one lit chinese firecracker and a bag of ferrets let loose on your face. Or better yet, don't think at all; simply beat that head till there's nothing but neck and you'll be right here in the thick of it. Loud shrieking and dumb as fuck? bring your deck and grind it up!
For those of you born in the 90's, for those of you who missed out on this first time, this middling prehistoric world of suburban angst, street crime and lit tennis balls: before the ipod, before the mobile phone, the internet, myspace and facebook; then let this video be your guide..
BLOW UP BETTY (***) myspace :: Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, The Veronicas; every once in a while they're let loose out've their respective cages in the deluded belief that they're rock stars. Out on stage in their glossed out MTV music videos, thrashing and flailing their fluffy dyed hair and wallet chains, punching fists with fingerless gloves, host to a shrieking chorus of tweenies going spastic with their cameras phones cheering them on. Then just as they skip triumphantly off stage, fly past their minders and sneak off into a back alley for a spare cigarette, they're kicked, clawed and clubbed to death by this band; here to show those prissy little fuckers how this shit is REALLY done! Blow Up Betty. They're 60's pop punk. They're a cheerleading squad hit by a bus. They're The Donnas crossbred with an exciteable breed of labradoodle that pisses on your leg and chews up half your furniture. They're an advertising slogan that screams: "FUCK THE BLEED. STICK A MOUSE IN IT!", They're a voodoo effigy of an ex boyfriend with 50 needles to the crotch burning in a waste paper basket. Oh yes! Hell hath no fury like a Blow Up Betty!
This is their new drummer. They call her the Kid. She likes long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, Hello Kitty dolls, the colour pink and knifing you in the ribs if you dare look at her the wrong way (ooops now I've gone and done it!). Sure she's a homicidal maniac and I fear for my life but as long as she keeps that ankle bracelet beeping, I reckon she'll do just fine!
Whilst the rest of these lunatics you should be familiar with, as they're the ones you'll often see hanging around suburban fast food restaurants beating up kids for their lunch money..
Yup, that's Blow Up Betty. As much as I could've easily mimed out their entire set using nothing but four sock puppets, one enraged chihuahua, a megaphone, a can of hairspray and a cigarette lighter (and none of you would be any the wiser), I captured this live video instead. Enjoy!
DEAD POPES OF THE VATICAN (****) myspace :: One pineapple, whole. One large stick, species: Oak. Three mid sized cinderblocks, grey. One goldfish bowl with two live fish (dead one since removed). One RGD-5 handgrenade, armed (but later defused). One first edition copy of Tolstoy's "War And Peace", mint condition. One foot long plastic PVC tubing used for housing an indeterminate number of gophers. These and many other objects just like it have been born from the howling sphincter of Ben Gel, lead singer of The Dead Popes Of The Vatican. His is a burning urge to rock that knows few equals. Science has yet to prove where any of these said objects have come from, although rumours abound that Ben Gel may very well be the receiving portal for a small sized "Bermuda Triangle" like anomaly. If you've ever found yourself missing one sock, a pen or a set of car keys, chances are he's keeping a growing pile of them in his tool shed. Such is the unlikely muse that fuels this musical genius and the band of flying monkeys that have formed around him. Dead Popes Of The Vatican: part punk catharsis, part cautionary tale on the importance of good dietary fibre, all rock!
If you too ever suffer from similar symptoms: muscle cramps, bloating, chills, sweats, blind spots or the urge to form a four piece punk band inspired by the works of The Ramones, The Stooges or The Sex Pistols; watch this instructional video, heed the signs and see your doctor. Dead Popes Of The Vatican. They make childbirth look like a trip to Disneyland! YEAAS!
DIAMOND SINS (****) myspace :: And now for the final course in this gastronomic feast for the beaten sensless: they present to us the very Frankenstein in headlining acts this post apocalyptic shit heap was built for: the Diamond Sins. Did they erupt fully formed from a crackling blue time displacement sphere, a Kryptonian prison, the hellmouth below Producers Bar, a giant egg on top of Mount Fujiyama or screaming from Ben Gel's arse it's hard to say; either way it's clear they do not belong to this space or time. One look at all those blinking diodes behind the drumkit, Sebastian Bach thrashing it out on guitar, lead singer Davey Damage, sans eyebrows, with that crazy spider black hair of his flapping about like a burns victim and you wonder if it's already too late for the human race. Diamond Sins. If you could imagine Twisted Sister, Motley Crew, Alice Cooper and Velvet Revolver combined into a giant Japanime sized killing robot blasting laser beams out've it's eyes then you can imagine the 9th plane of hell that burst forth and invaded this venue tonight. Bodies were flying everywhere, the living dead spiralling into the double and triple figures and there was nothing I could do but get really REALLY retardingly drunk and join in..
Somewhere amongst all the chaos, the screaming, the dozens climbing over each other to flee this fantasm of gore and mere moments before this upper level finally collapsed to meet the bar below, I managed to capture this singular live video. It wasn't their cover of Blondie, nor their equally horrifying cover of Poison (we can be thankful for such small mercies) but it ISN'T for the weak of stomach either. Behold the eye bleeding terror that is, Diamond Sins..
2:37AM - Little can I say over how we the few survivors of incident "Enigma 419" stopped that invasion force this night. Little do you need to know. Little do I even remember. Suffice to say, humanity is safe once more and I'm in a serious need for a stiff drink. And as luck would have it, a rescue party just so happens to arrive shortly after to join me in the celebration..
3:07AM - Many drinks later and suitably stupified beyond all rational judgement, who else but Joe Blogs comes up with the genius plan to hit up Max Karaoke Club next door.. yeeeouch!
If Micheal Biehn's itchy trigger caricature from the opening paragraph ever came by this place, there'd surely be nothing but a thermite crater and his splattering remains where this building once stood; such is its ever present threat to our mortal souls. But since as we all know time travel is impossible (*cough* and why would I ever say otherwise?) this crime against sobriety still stands like a venus flytrap drawing drunks just like us to their untimely doom.
Why here of all places? two words: "it's free!". All it takes is one skeezy drinks purchase at the bar *burp* and their entire fucked up song menu is yours for the taking.. weeeeee!
I'll spare you the gory details of what ANY of these songs were..
as, thankfully no-one was sober enough to remember to capture ANY of this shit on video..
*phew* could you imagine what idiots like us would come up with after 10-12 drinks!?
Still, it appears we're not the only fools to have stumbled into this joint in recent history. As (thanks to a chance discovery on youtube) we present to you Adelaide's very own Dick Dale with his unique howler monkey rendition of James Brown. Oh yes, it don't get much better than this!
4:01AM - About five or six songs in, Joe Blogs attempts a high note three octaves above his vocal range, bursts an artery in his brain and collapses dead on the floor, whilst simultaneously in a distant apocalyptic future a human resistance army declares their victory..
Thus with my mission over for another night, I steal his wallet, I dump his lifeless body in the dumpsters behind Jive and I buy my ticket home. Knowing full well that although many of you may never understand my methods; one day when this is all over, you will thank me!