Monday, November 10, 2008

Razar "Money" ep (EMI 1979 / Australia)

It doesn't usually happen this way, but i was at work when i found out that an acquaintance of mine was going to have a table set up at a local record convention that weekend. I hadn't planned on going, but when my boss from my other job at the record store dangled a free pass in front of me that got me in early, it was kind of hard to pass up even if i would be finishing work at 4am and getting up at 8:45am. My fellow collector made mention of a few things that he'd be letting go of, mostly things that didn't phase me in the least or at least didn't distract me from my work. Well, at least not until he dropped the magic words "Australian Punk" and "Razar" at which point my ears perked up like some retarded canine. He informed me that he had a copy of the 2nd Razar single that he would be parting with, but having only heard the first one my excitement died down out of fear that Razar might have made friends with that terrible thing "progression". When i asked him if it was any good (or at least as good as the first single, Task Force / Stamp Out Disco), he assured me that if i liked Aussie punk or early Razar, then i would be all over it. Maybe so, but i needed more proof before i was going to scoop it up.

The following afternoon i decided to use my internet machine to do a bit of research. Not only was i able to brush up on a bit of history of the band, but i can also say that i at least now know a thing or two about their hometown of Brisbane. Add one to that, there was even a museum in Brisbane that had an exhibit in recent years dedicated to the band! But fun facts aside, i was really after the tunes and after downloading the mp3s from, i must say that the ears perked once more. For their second ep, Razar continued to rage and i was happy to hear that they kicked our good friend "progression" right in the face. Catchy, raunchy and oh so snotty, i had to give the songs several listens in a row trying to pick a favorite, but alas, i just couldn't choose! I did however figure one thing out though. I needed this record.

The plan was to finish work, sleep for a couple hours, wake up nice and early, record convention first, breakfast second and then back to my castle to catch up on the lack of sleep. Seemed like a pretty good plan to me and maybe add a pogo session to 'Here Is The News' thrown in there as well. But, there was one thing i didn't count on since it's something i never do. I slept right through my alarm until 12 while i was supposed to be one murder punk record richer by 10:05. Cursing my alarm (which has never let me down and i've probably owned the damn thing since i was in grade 6) i decided that "fuck it, there's still a chance i can make it". Going at my own pace, i did my usual wake up routine, got some Elvis Costello going on my ipod and i was out the door and on my way, prepared for the disappointment that was certain to lie ahead.

Through the doors with my free pass, i justified the trip by telling myself that even if i don't find anything, at least i didn't have to pay to get in. I'm automatically greeted by a sea of middle aged men carrying their Led Zeppelin lps that always serve to remind me never to get TOO caught up in my collecting. But all that aside, i look around until i see the familiar face behind the table that i'm looking for. Before i can even say my hellos, he puts it so matter of fact by stating "Yep, it's still there". Success. Despite catching many an eye, no one decided to bite on it. Possibly for the same reasons i wasn't going to to begin with. Feeling a sense of relief, i handed over some of my tips from the previous night at work and was even given a bit of a discount. Ah yeah buddy. After that, i didn't really feel too up to digging deep due to everything being pretty picked over, so i mostly stuck to the singles bins before i decided that i wasn't going to find anything and that i'd best book it.

The record starts off with a silly little intro that might have to double thinking the platter, but it's only a matter of seconds before Razar kick in and start blitzin'. Money is a pretty straight forward rager that will have your toe tapping and singing along all the way to the boppin pogo anthem of Self Destruct, but the real pudding is on the B side! No time to waste as they slam right into Shutdown Countdown and cap things off with Here Is The News, which certainly has the catchiest riffs on the entire record as far as i'm concerned. Anyone in their right mind and has a taste pallet for fine Australian punk would be a complete dipshit to skim over this choice record.

Strangely, the "Money" ep was released on EMI, but even though it was on a major there's still less than 1000 pressed apparently. This used to fetch some bucks a while back but in recent years, a former band member uncovered a box and started selling them with a makeshift sleeve that it wasn't originally issued with, so the price dropped. Only now is it starting to go for triple digits again. There was supposedly 200 made with said sleeve, which is a xerox of a few pictures and a band history on the other side. Nowhere near as cool looking as the original 'Task Force' sleeve. Speaking of which, the search is now on for a copy of that, but judging from the price of most Aussie stuff these days, i'm not really holding my breath.


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