VARIOUS ARTISTS: Tales from the Australian Underground, Vol.1: 1976-1989: CD

If the bulk of your “Australian Rock” experience is limited to “name” bands like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, or Midnight Oil, the scope and breadth of what came off of that oft-neglected continent might prove to be a bit mind-blowing. To school you on high points of the Australian rock underground comes this stunner of a compilation, showcasing tracks from assorted singles released during the period identified in the title. That means you get seminal tracks from the legendary (The Saints, Radio Birdman, X, Birthday Party), the well-regarded (Died Pretty, Hard-Ons, The New Christs, Celibate Rifles), assorted Killed by Death faves (Psycho Surgeons, The Scientists, The Victims) and a bevy of obscure groups (God, Wet Taxis, Pel Mel, Sunnyboys, Thug, Makers of the Dead Travel Fast, Do Re Mi and a buncha others), all presenting a wide variety of punk and post-punk noise for your listening pleasure, and all of them nothing short of fuggin’ cool. There’s something for nearly everyone’s taste on display here—from the grungy proto-punk of The Saints to the trash/thrash of the Psycho Surgeons to the new-wavy pop of the Triffids to Died Pretty’s gloom-rock to the Motorhead-meets-Descendents musings of the criminally overlooked Hard-Ons—and those with broad tastes will truly appreciate the bounty before them. Truly indispensable, this is.

 –jimmy (Feel Presents)