It is with that unmistakeable, gut wrenching scream of Rob Younger and its clarion call exhorting us all to play some Stooges that Radio Birdman signals the start of another Wide Open Road, playing the things that connect and link the vast catalogue of Australian independent rock, from dirty smelly punk through to the chiming harmonies of power pop and the lost relics of the best first bands of the eighties, Wide Open Road is the vinyl beat in the heart of the digital jungle.

Wide Open Road 2015 Show 7 – Five Minutes to Drive to.. by Djringfinger on Mixcloud

On this show, we hear most iterations of the Screaming Tribesmen, Adelaide indie from the Greasy Pop label, the return and re-return of Jodi Phillis and some new stuff from returning champions of the nineties, but first lets get smelly, with the Smelly Tongues from 1989

Smelly Tongues – Five Minute Drive to
The Eastern Dark – Julie is a Junkie
Loose Pills – The Mess for Me

We start with a set connected by the driving bass of the pharmacist of Newtown, Big Bill Gibson (he actually worked/s at a pharmacy in Newtown back in the 1990s). Bill has been present on so many great bands local and or international (he did a stint in the Lemonheads at one point). The first track comes from the 1989 EP ‘Pickle’ released on the Waterfront label. This short lived band put out one single, one EP and one single in the late eighties, this EP has some incredibly whacked out stuff, with Bill’s bass at the fore. Next up we the Eastern Dark, the legendary band fronted by James Darroch. Julie is a Junkie is a great single b/w the equally pumping tribute to the Ramones called Johnny and Dee Dee. Released in 1985 also on Waterfront, this is one the seminal Australian singles. We finish with modern supergroup Loose Pills, off their 2014 LP Rx. Featuring members of the Barbarellas, Eastern Dark, Happy Hate me Nots, Scruffs (shall I go on), we play the lead track from the record ‘The Mess for Me’. Get it on their bandcamp site right now. go on.

And now…Jodi Phillis

NuGenes – He’s Living with You
Fifth Business – Making Love in Cars
The Clouds – Visionary

This is one of those ‘god bless the internet’ moments. For years, I have had a copy of the NuGenes 7” which was labelled ‘pre-clouds’ when I picked it up many years ago. This single single of the band that featured Jodi Philis (pre clouds) is a nice piece of power pop with a sexy slinky sax solo. Well, Alexander Mark Lucas from the band has put up a whole EP of rare stuff from this shortlived collective on Bandcamp, for free, along with a whole heap of his other eighties/early nineties stuff. Get it now. Also available on the same Bandcamp is the predecessor of the NuGenes, Fifth Business, also featuring Mark Lucas and Jodi Phillis. Apparently the film clip for this track was directed by Jodi’s dad. Last up we just had to feature the Clouds., which formed from the ashes of NuGenes. How can you past a track from their debut album released in 1991 on Red Eye, the simply amazing Penny Century and one my fave tracks off the LP, the last track of Side A, Visionary, which highlights the amazing harmonies between Jodi and Trish Young.

The Garden Path – Rosemary
Dust Collection – 10 til 13 OClock

Over to Adelaide and some jangly pop from the Garden Path and their second LP entitled ‘Blue’. This is an epic track (clocking in 7min 30 secs). It was produced by the ever present Kim Horne and came out in 1989 on Greasy Pop, pretty much home to almost every great Adelaide band. We link this track with the next by the Dust Collection, a one off single released in 1986 and featuring the vocals of Vic Conrad (as Travis Underdog), who is also the vocalist in The Garden Path.

The Screaming Tribesmen – I Don’t Wanna Know
The Screaming tribesmen – Move a Little Closer
The Screaming Tribesmen – Igloo (1988)
The Screaming Tribesmen – Got you on my mind

The Screaming Tribesmen are one the great post-detroit indie bands, hailing originally from Brisbane. We have four tracks that span some of the major iterations of the band, held together by the unique vocals of Mick Medew. We start with their incredibly rare first EP on EMI from 1982. This version of the band featured Murray Shepherd, brother of Hoodoo Guru Brad. Next up we have the Citadel era, and the B-Side of the single ‘A Stand Alone’. Move a little closer is a brilliant piece, produced by ex-Birdman and Future Tribesmen Chris Masuak in May 1984. Next up we have a track from the Masuak era and a re-recorded version of a Citadel classic ‘Igloo’. A slightly sped up version (and less dirty) version this one featured on the Bones+Flowers record, which was released around the planet on Ryko in 1988. Last up we have a track from their last LP Formaldehyde which was released in 1993. produced by another Birdman in Rob Younger and with the skin pounding of Paul Larsen from the Celibate Rifles, this was the last gasp of the Tribesman for nearly two decades.

Alannah Russack- Lullaby
Suzie Higgie – K
Juliet Ward – Jessamine

One of the most welcome returns of the 2015 has to be this sublimely wonderful EP by the guitarist/songwriter of the Hummingbirds, Alannah Russack. This EP ‘Lesser Mysteries of Life’ is intense, direct and compelling return from one of the most underrated Australian songwriters and voices. There are promises of an album in the new year. You can get this EP right here from Bandcamp
Next up, another welcome and unexpected return, this time Suzie Higgie from the Falling Joys bringing together a whole heap of songs from 4 track demos to make what could have been a lost FJ’s record. You can get the whole record here Finally, another unexpected return (times three) with a new solo record from the voice of the Lighthouse Keepers Juliet Ward, Jessamine is atmospheric, slightly off kilter but hypnotically melodic. Welcome back to all three of you! Find this record here