Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Stiff Richards - self titled (European Pressing)
My final review of 2021 is of a reissue of an album from 2017 that's coming out in 2022! What could be more perfect? I first wrote about Stiff Richards in January of 2019, and since then the Melbourne-based outfit has ascended to the cream of the crop of present-day Aussie punk rock. There are so many great punk bands coming out of Australia right now, but in my book Stiff Richards and Civic are the very best of the lot. Drunken Sailor Records, who released the European pressing of Stiff Richards' most recent album State of Mind, is reissuing the band's 2017 self-titled debut album on January 21st. Considering what a face-melting record State of Mind is, you might think that Stiff Richards' debut long player would pale in comparison. Well, it certainly does not! If you had heard this album in 2017 (I sure didn't!), you would have instantly identified Stiff Richards as a rising force of nature in the garage/punk/rock and roll universe. This ten-track scorcher rages in the grand tradition of Aussie punk rock and roll. The sound is raw and blistering, Wolfgang's vocals are pure fire, and songs like "Little Creature" and "Layla" more than hint at the brilliance to come. The beauty of this record is that it doesn't try and reinvent the wheel. This is thumping Aussie punk rock in the grand tradition, yet it's executed with such force and fury that it reignites the sheer thrill of hearing punk music for the very first time. Originally self-released by the band in 2017, this album was reissued by Legless Records last year. Now thanks to Drunken Sailor, this crackling debut will be getting its first release outside of Australia. Silver and gold pressings are already sold out, and the black vinyl isn't likely to last long either. Hit up Drunken Sailor on Bandcamp to reserve yourself a copy of this contemporary classic!