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MUSIC: BITZER – Pedigree Mongrel

| 15 June 2018 | Reply

MUSIC: BITZER – Pedigree Mongrel
June 2018
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

There is arguably no better rhythm section in Oz Rock – scratch that: worldwide Rock – than Steve King and Mick O’Shea. They’ve already released the best damned original rock EP of the year with The Rose Carleo Band (Battle Scars – you need this!) and now they’re following it up with another pearler.

This is the second release from their Oz rock homage project Bitzer and – full disclosure – I haven’t heard the debut. I’ll be getting it soon, rest assured.

Like any good Bitzer it’s made up of a bit of this and a bit of that – you’ll hear a swag of Aussie demi-legends tackling a swag of the finest rock songs ever written.

Vanda and Young are represented, of course – what dabble into great Aussie rock would be complete without them? We’ll get to some tracks they produced later, but here’s St Louis, originally by The Easybeats, and it shows this engine room has swing. Fellow Rose Carleo Band member Mick Adkins provides excellent guitar to complement Steve (younger brother of Ted) Mulry’s vocals.

Superman is a more obscure selection. Originally recorded by Alison McCallum, this is pure pop and done great service by industry vet vocalist (and the late, great Pete Well’s personal and often professional partner) Lucy DeSoto, with guitarists Wal Thompson and Mick Arnold.

Dragon’s Sunshine gets a great workout with Mulry supported by DeSoto on vocals, and Steve Edmonds’ guitars alongside Arnold’s; before Aussie Crawl’s Things Don’t Seem featuring Adkins and Mulry. It’s not a mis-step exactly, but it’s odd to hear James Reyne’s vocals actually enunciated clearly… so that’s what he sung all those years ago, huh?

Spectrum’s I’ll Be Gone and Chain’s I Remember When I Was Young (DeSoto/Arnold on vocals and guitar, and Mulry/Adkins respectively) are both great revisits, though The Angels’ Run For The Shelter is an odd selection when there are so many far better tracks in their canon, but Mulry/Arnold and the Kingie/O’Shea alliance nail it regardless.

With all this – and so much more available – it’s possibly a too heavy finger on the scales choosing to include no less than THREE AC/DC songs – even with The Poor’s Skenie singing each one. Down Payment Blues, Bad Boy Boogie and Dog Eat Dog are all classics – and all done second-to-only the originals, but I’dve rather heard this ace collective tackle an alternative or two.

Bitzer are the real deal, and with far more pedigree than any mongrel pack you’ll ever hear. Their takes on these classics and underground stompers are uniformly excellent. All we gotta do now is get this stellar collective on the road instead of chasing cars in the parking lot.

Category: CD Reviews

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