Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Scientists & Shows # 640 & 641

The Scientists are a band from Perth, Australia that not only formed from early incarnations of other bands, but also that had quite a few line-up changes throughout their history. The Scientists formed in 1978, but initially Kim Salmon guitarist/vocalist and main songwriter in the group, formed a proto-punk band called The Cheap Nasties in 1976. Following some line-up changes the band went by the name The Exterminators and The Invaders, before changing their name to The Scientists. The Scientists recorded their first single Frantic Romantic/Shake (Together Tonight) in 1979. The line-up for this single included Salmon on guitar/vocals, Rodd Radalj (guitar), Dennis Byrne (bass), and James Baker from The Victims on drums. “Frantic Romantic” is a power pop-infused track drawing influences from Big Star and guitar sounding like a cross of The Troggs and Johnny Thunders. An EP followed in 1979, with yet another line-up change. It was amended with Ben Juniper on guitar and Ian Sharples on bass, replacing Radalj and Byrne respectively. In February/March of 1980 the band appeared on the Melbourne, Australia based TV show Countdown. It was an equivalent to the British television show Top of The Pops, which primarily featured lip-synced performances to charting singles. The Scientists performed the song “Last Night” on this program.

In May of 1980, The Scientists became a three-piece band when guitarist Ben Juniper left the group. They recorded a full-length album that is commonly referred to as The Pink Album. The album mixed themes of teenage romance, alienation, girls and sounded pretty different from the other music in Perth, Australia at the time. It was shortly after the release of this album that The Scientists broke up in 1981. This would be the end of the early incarnation of the group. Their sound and vision would be much different than the version of the Scientists that would follow. This early version of the band would reflect simpler lyrical themes such as young love, and reflect the musical influences of early 70s punk and power pop that would come off in a sound that resembles The Undertones meets the Buzzcocks.

In September of 1981, Salmon and bassist Boris Sujdovic relocated to Sydney, Australia and reformed The Scientists. Along with drummer Brett Rixon and guitarist Tony Thewlis, the band also took on a new musical direction and sound. The band pulled influences from bands such as The Cramps, The Stooges, Suicide and Captain Beefheart for a sound that has been described as swampy psychedelic rock and roll. Like when they started in 1978, the band released a single, which was then followed by an album. This Is My Happy Hours/Swampland was the first single released as this incarnation of The Scientists in December of 1982. The band’s grittier sound would become more apparent on Blood Red River, which was released in 1983. The Scientists became a very popular indie band in the Australian underground music scene. In 1984, they supported The Gun Club on their European tour. The band would continue making music, releasing five more albums (This Heart Doesn’t Run On Blood, This Heart Doesn’t Run On Love (1984), Atom Bomb Baby (1985), You Get What You Deserve (1985), Weird Love (1986) and Human Jukebox (1987)) before splitting up after a show in November of 1987.

While both incarnations of The Scientists are good in their own ways, it was the second reformed incarnation of the band that would be more influential. The band’s distorted sound that flirted with swampy rock and roll and psychedelia has been called a precursor to the “Seattle Sound” that would eventually be referred to as grunge in the 90s. Lyrically, some of the themes that The Scientists sang of were things such as getting drunk, driving around in suped up cars, working crappy jobs and paranoia. Along with their earlier teenage romance and alienation themed lyrics and power pop/punk sound, The Scientists covered a large scope, which has proved to be vastly influential on music that was alternative to the mainstream.

In 2016, the Numero Group released a box set of all of the band’s recorded output. It is entitled, A Place Called Bad.

Show 640 Playlist:

1. Blue Rodeo - Dust To Gold
2. Gord Downie - Swing Set
3. Drive By Truckers - Filthy And Fried
4. Frankie & Jimmy - Got My Mojo Workin'
5. Nice Motor - Duck And Cover
6. Gramps The Vamp - The Cave Of 1000 Eyes
7. Whitney - Red Moon
8. King Khan & The Shrines - Lucky Man
9. Lesbo Vrouven - New Sealand
10. Jeff Rosenstock - I Did Something Weird Last Night
11. No Museums - No Reason To Send Letters
12. Paul Jacobs - Vincent (Don McClean Cover)
13. Paul Jacobs - Words Of Wisdom
14. Kevin Morby - Dorothy
15. Crocodiles - I'm Sick
16. Ritual Howls - Nervous Hands
17. Derm Kean & An Incredible Woman - Better Things
18. We Are Wolves - Wrong Wrong
19. Iggy Pop - I Dig Your Mind
20. New York - Dolls Bad Detective
21. Ty Segall - Orange Color Queen
22. Tad - 3-D Witch Hunt (Demo)
23. Thee Oh Sees - Unwrap The Fiend Pt.1
24. The Dickies - You Drive Me Ape
25. The Scientists - Frantic Romantic
26. The Scientists - Shake

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 26.

Show 640 Playlist:

1. The Replacements - Election Day
2. The Damned - Politics
3. Radiohead - Scatterbrain
4. Preoccupations - Monotony
5. Monomyth - Puppet Creek
6. Duotang - Nostalgia’s A Vice
7. Foxhart Fishman - Home
8. Brazilian Money - The Hammer
9. Tommorow’s Tulips - Optimistic Vibes
10. Sprinters - Last Song
11. The Seams - Seeds
12. The Zantees - Rockin’ In The House
13. The A-Bones - Sham Rock
14. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights
15. The Clash - Stop The World
16. Jakob Dylan - Evil Is Alive And Well
17. Pop Group - Words Disobey Me
18. OFF! - Legion of Evil
19. Extroverts - TV Baby
20. The O-L West - Trespassing
21. The O-L West - West Coast Blues
22. Port Juvee - Double Vision
23. The Evaporators - Ogopogo Punk
24. The Fallouts - No Ambition
25. The In Crowd - Stop! Wait A Minute
26. Pretty Things - Don't Bring Me Down
27. The Diodes - Behind Those Eyes

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 19.

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