Negative Approach – Total Recall (7″ Tracks especially)
As any punk rock dork knows, drooling over SST or Touch & Go Catalogs way back was a rite of passage. My Laughing Heyenas LP came with one that had words to the effect of : “Brannons roar of the lion kings primal beginnings.” I had to have it. Short sweet and seething. Never the same after that.
The Saints – Eternally Yours
As a young kid, skateboarding and raw music was all I gave two shits about. So when the second Ramp Riot video came out (Australian skateboard video) with a soundtrack including Bored! songs and GODs My Pal amongst other stuff I was well impressed. But it was when “Run Down” and “Misunderstood” kicked off that I really got pumped to learn Madonnas or die trying.
Rocket From the Tombs – Bootleg and Live Recordings
These tracks really hit the nail on the “tomb” (just shoot me). First listen they were the staunchest thing I’d ever heard. Fit perfectly with the lifestyle I was living at the time. Debauchery at its best. Thanks to Al, Jai, Colla and Sarah for this one.
Stalin – Stop Jap
There are way too many records to mention, however this one really changed the way I looked at punk music. There was something instantly sentimental about it – perhaps it was more special to me to hear Japanese sung in punk for the first time ever. It gave me great joy and psyched me up to take interesting approaches towards writing music.
The Heartbreakers – L.A.M.F
This one was a game changer for me. Thunders is king. Perfect record. Don’t need to say any more.
The Birthday Party – Hits
I’m cheating on this one and choosing a “best of.” I first heard Zoo Music Girl as a 16 year old kid at a friend’s house in Western Sydney and it blew my mind. I had heard “punk” bands before, but this was next level. It’s all about Tracey Pews hypnotic repetitive bass lines for me. And the photo of him on the cover is all time.
X – Los Angeles
This was a big album for us, in the early days of Low Life. We were young and super loose, and all about mischief and destruction. X showed us that you can be about more if you want, too. Particularly with writing, Exene and John Doe illustrated that you can be tough and poetic at the same time. They also taught me that it’s ok to try to express bigger and broader ideas within punk music. That was huge for me, personally.
Sonic Youth – Evol
In 2008, I was introduced to this LP by one of my dearest mates – aka Low Life’s secret member and photographer “Samoh.” Definitely a major influence for me, in terms of guitar playing. Got a mad romantic angle and hefty bit of angst as well. Kim Gordon is amazing and a big hero of mine and Cristian’s.
The Germs – (GI)
Sure, it’s probably been namechecked a million times before, but it’s pretty much the perfect album. I’d been listening to the bands they influenced for years, but I never gave them a proper go til my mate Elli gave me a burnt CD copy. I guess this album convinced me that punk could be aggressive, weird, seedy, and melodic (without sounding like a corny pop-punk band). And of course, “I came into this world like a puzzled panther / Waiting to be caged,” are some of the best lyrics ever.
Poison Idea – Kings Of Punk
Another classic. Pig Champion (RIP) has to be one of my fave guitarists. This album was always on blast after hardcore shows in Sydney, so I have a lot of memories of destroyed living rooms attached to it. There’s a dark undercurrent to all the songs on this album – even at its most rockdog, there’s some real unhinged shit going on. Never gets boring.