Ever seen that ’60s Hanna-Barbera cartoon “The Herculoids?” It was about a family of warriors and their monster friends Zok (the dragon), Igoo (the stone ape), Tundro (the rhino…thing), and Gloop and Gleep (the shape-shifting and ultimately useless blob creatures). I don’t know why, but whenever I listen to Fabulous Diamonds, my brain goes immediately to “The Herculoids.”
It’s got that caveman tribal drumming and those weird, faraway lo-fi instrumentals that are perfect for a bunch of caveman warriors and monsters to run to. The Australia duo’s last record 7 Songs (or self-titled, or Seven Songs…jury’s still out on that one) on Siltbreeze is awesome, but indescribable (thus, the “Herculoids” reference). Nisa Venerosa and Jarrod Zlatic’s minimalist dub tribal sound makes for one of the most fascinating albums of last year.
Fabulous Diamonds – “Track 3” (from 7 Songs)
Here’s a list from Jarrod.
1) Elton John – “Benny & The Jets” (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road) – “This song has a very Eno-like quality for me. I’m not sure if its the Jet theme, Elton’s dramatic falsetto, or the quasi-arty glam stomp to it (the stereo-keyboard solo at the end is pure Mike Ratelidge). I listened to previews of the rest of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on Amazon.com in the hope of some similar gold, but apart from ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting,’ it was a bit shit.”
2) Lou Reed – “Baby Face” (from Sally Can’t Dance) – “Sally Can’t Dance continues to be dismissed/malligned within Lou Reed’s catalog, but apart from the song ‘Animal Language’ (which is so bad it is hilarious, hence redeemed), the album is fairly enjoyable. I like the late-night groove of this song in particular.”
3) Ruth – “Mon Pote” (7″) – “I heard this first at the wrong speed of 33 1/3 rpm when it was played for me at Vox Cyclops, the store members of Castings run in Newcastle, NSW. I thought it sounded like Hawkwind or something—the singer’s voice is high enough to sound relatively normal at half speed.”
4) John Phillips – “Topanga Canyon” (from John Phillips) – “Sad song.”
5) Roy Orbison – “Wings of Glory” (from Rare Orbison) – “I’m not an expert on Roy Orbison but I’m guessing that the mid to late 1970s was a bit of a lost period for him before his revival with that big comeback album of his. Anyway, the disco production is a strange context for me to hear his voice. It was a toss up between this or another song off the same album Rare Orbison, ‘No Chain At All,’ which contains a line I quite like; ‘The strongest chain in the world, is no chain at all.'”