MP3: Radio Birdman - Zeno Beach
Radio Birdman, along with The Saints, were one of the first punk rock groups to come out of Australia. They formed in 1974 and have been hugely influential on generations of Australian bands to follow (one of their songs was later covered by the intermittently impressive Silverchair). Their first releases were very much in the style of the MC5, the Stooges and the other bands associated with the Detroit sound, and these influences still shine through into the record i'm listening to right now, which is their first in 25 years.
The name of the record is Zeno Beach, it's out on Yeproc in the U.S. and it's a stunner. Really a band who are this old have no right to sound so exciting and contemporary. I think we Brits are used to hearing our older punk heroes bringing out new albums that sound like cheap historical facsimiles, so it's great to hear how vital Radio Birdman still sound. The band only released one album on their initial 1970's deal with Sire records, only to be dropped before their second was completed (it later came out on another label in 1981), so perhaps this record is the result of 25 years of unreleased and unexpressed ideas. This record comes after a resurgence in interest in the band, first sparked by the band's live re-appearance at the Australian Big Day Out festivals in 1996 and 1997, and further solidified by a 2001 hits compilation compiled by Sub Pop.
Radio Birdman are thought by many to be the best Australian rock band of all time. Here are a few songs from the new record, which are to be recommended to fans of MC5, Stooges, The Constantines and The Who.