Jan 132015

I’m raising the RTH “choose sides” battle flag high with this one. There is no way any self-respecting lover of rock and roll music could possibly prefer Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs’ turgid, plodding, bongwater-soaked “Mama” to The Atlantics and their tight, focused, garage punk colossus “Come On.” I present it to you here. Who’s with me? Should Mod just return to his seat quietly and try to forget this ever happened? Who’s on Team Atlantics?

I mean, come ON. The lead singer’s hair alone wins this one!


  17 Responses to “In Which HVB Calls The Mod Out On the Topic Of Australian/NZ Mach Schau Rock Goodness”

  1. I fixed the video for you, HVB. I can’t listen to it yet, but I think you meant to type “The lead singer’s rug alone…” What’s with that bass player fingering the high part of the neck all delicate and shit? What a candyass style of playing bass? Can you fit a sheet of paper between that guy’s ankles?

    Man, this thing better deliver when I can watch it with sound. I expect more of you, HVB. So far, you are going DOWN IN FLAMES compared with the bongwater-soaked focus of “Mama” and Billy Thorpe’s loose ponytail!

  2. misterioso

    This is pretty much an apples and oranges type comparison, no? These bands are working different sides of the street entirely.

  3. hrrundivbakshi

    The question is: which side of the street are YOU on, misterioso? Choose sides!

  4. Right, don’t make us send the COPOUT MOBILE to your street!

  5. I’m finally able to listen to this track. It’s MUCH better than the band’s Look and performance when I had the sound turned down. Still, though, you can’t tell me that a solid 9:45 of “Mama” does not win out by the sheer force of its commitment. There’s NO DOUBT about what Thorpe and his Aztecs are getting at. Go the the 5:15 mark and watch through the part when he starts scatting along with his blooz solo. Don’t even listen to the music. Focus on his Face and the way his Mustache works with him and the music he just happens to be playing. Thorpe could have stood on that stage in that white blouse and just made unaccompanied Rock Faces for 9 minutes and 45 seconds to make mincemeat of The Atlantics. As a red-blooded, AC/DC-loving American, HVB, I demand that you come clean with your deep appreciation of Thorpe’s essence of Aussie manliness. Stop trying to be something you’re not.

  6. 2000 Man

    Man, more proof that while I swore when I was seven if I ever went to Australia I wan’t coming back (I still believe that) that I have to bring my own music. Ya know, I don’t even care much for The Saints. Is there an English speaking continent with less to offer Rock N Roll than Australia? I don’t think so. Did that singer for The Atlantics teach Elaine Benes how to dance?

    Pick a side? I can’t even be bothered to buy a ticket to the match! Phooey!

  7. BigSteve

    Sorry, but a man with a bouffant toupee cannot sing garage rock. Deal-breaker!

  8. hrrundivbakshi

    I have fun imagining that lead singer guy actually had one of those glorious, mind-of-its-own, wigged-out, kinky manfros, and that just two years after this was filmed, after smoking dope a few times and hanging out with hot hippie chicks, he finally let his freak flag fly by letting his God-given natural hair do what it was designed to do. During this era of kinky hair repression, I bet there were lots of dudes with dead wombats on top of their heads.

  9. hrrundivbakshi

    There are so many transcendent moments in this film clip for me: the Richie Cunningham jacket, the white winklepicker shoes, the awkward, abrupt end to the guitar solo, the hand gestures exhorting you, the viewer, to just “come on” — but my favorite moment by far is when lead singer guy dances in momentary blissful unison with the lead guitar, mimicking long string bends with circular arm swirls and deep hip gyrations. That’s what the Aussie-version summer of love looked like as it prepared to explode from the body of the Wombat Hair Era.

  10. cherguevara

    I dunno about either of these clips. One is this empty machismo, the other is like people hopped up at the malt shoppe.

    I think I’ll submit a video I had posted here a while back, Rick Springfield’s early band “The Zoot” with their version of Eleanor Rigby. The guitar flip/spin thing in the last seven seconds seals the deal for me.


  11. underthefloat

    Despite plastic pre-Devo hair style The Atlantics win in a landslide. It rocks and gets to the point and then gets out. Also, extra points for containing no chicken head bobs from the lead singer.

  12. hrrundivbakshi

    Extra points for underthefloat for coming down on the side of truth, justice, and effortless mach schau!

  13. underthefloat

    Thanks. I forgot to mention the other magic moment in this track is the guitarist at 1:20-1:21 suddenly sporting Groucho Marx mustache. Just an odd shadow or an homage to a comic genius? Hmmm, we may never know.

  14. The chicken head bob is one of the crowning moments of that Billy Thorpe performance. To each his own…

  15. HVB, don’t think you’re getting out of this thing without sharing your thoughts – and feelings – on the bassist’s delicate handling of the 12th fret.

  16. misterioso

    I think you might have to. I am having a hard time deciding which one is less impressive. Which is not to say I’m anti-Australian. Per se. I think I’d prefer something from the other Atlantics, the early 80s “new wave” Boston band. As for Billy Thorpe et al, it’s all downhill after the first 20 seconds or so.

  17. Somebody sounds like they still haven’t gotten over their thrashing at the hands of the Australian Team in the World Cup of Rock all those years ago. Let it go man, you’ll feel a whole lot better.

    Seriously, I would put Australia up against any English speaking nation aside from the US and England.

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