Lucas Abela (Justioce Yeldham) criticised me for not covering more Australian noise music so here’s one from the vaults.
Thug were a shotlived band from Sydney who released a cople of records in the late 1980’s on the avant rock label Black Eye. Besides also being the home of Kim Salmon and the Surrealists, Lubricated Goart and the Butcher Shop, the actual output of Black Eye was pretty limited. The mover and shaker behind Thug was the awesome TexPerkins who also fronted The Butcher Shop, Salamander Jim, The Beasts of Bourbon and later Cruel Sea. In Australia he is best know for his work with the Cruel Sea, a twangy pub rockband that actually won Best Band at Australia’s equivalent to the Grammys (an ARIA) ten years or so ago. When you consider his output in Thug (scroll down for a video snippet) you’ll understand that to those who remembered Tex from his early days his later success was a bit of a shock. For those overseas it’s the equivalent Aaron Dilloway from Wolf Eyes fronting up for an MTV award after forming a supergroup with Wilco.
Unfortunately the only thing I could of Thug’s short lived output is this hobbled together compilation released 13 years after the band folded. The fact that it this was released on Universal is an ongoing mystery to me. I mean, what the fuck were they thinking? It’s difficult to reconcile this with the full length albums they released but over its 28 tracks Everything … seems to cover the majority of their output.
The incredibly frustrating thing about this record is the complete lack of liner notes. Thug have an interesting history and their story deserves to be told. The tracks themselves span the gamit of experimental music. Some of their outputsounds like the intense noise fuck of Whitehouse, the frenetic cut and paste technique of John Wiese, the bonged out psychedelia of Butthole Surfers, the fart joke ambience of the early Boredoms records and a hunderd other strange and wacky bands through the ages. Although the compilation itself is disappointing due to the lack of info or context, Thug deserve to be heard by more people.
The excellent Dave from Lexicon Devil has a very good write up.
I’ve posted the first thing of Thug’s that I’d ever heard. This is from the excellent Carry on Disarming video released by the NME in 1988.