Title:Lodge Party
Band:Thurston Howlers
Label:V8 Records
Highlights:The Hipster
Miniskirt Action
You Want It?
Hey Little Buddy

Is your bag a swingin' lifestyle? Do ya dig brain splittin' reverb fracas? Or even the menacing mindbending tones of fuzz and grind? Do you partake in stompin' booze-soaked topless a-go-go frat house debauchery' If the answer is yes, then I recommend you check out Lodge Party, the debut album from Australia's premier frat party band, The Thurston Howlers, who as it turns out, are comprised of members of the Crusaders, Psychotic Turnbuckles and Hekawis.

Lodge Party is a fun listen although at times it does tend a bit too much towards parody for my liking. Nevertheless, the playing is strong and the recording excellent, with boss party tracks like Insane, You Want It, Miniskirt Action and Rumpshaker '65 all guaranteed to get everyone up and dancing. Other tracks, with names like The Hipster, Go Go Beach, Spy Girl, Beer Run and Lodge Party should give an even clearer indication of what's on offer (if that isn't already apparent!). If you're into the likes of the Phantom Surfers, Fortune And Maltese or any of the aforementioned bands, then make sure you check these guys out.

Title:What Rhymes With Cars And Girls
Band:Tim Rogers & The Twinset
Label:BMG Records
Highlights:You've Been So Good To Me So Far
I Left My Heart All Over The Place
Arse Kicking Lady From The Northwest
Happy Anniversay
Under The Flight Path

What Rhymes With Cars And Girls is Tim Roger's debut solo album, which not surprisingly takes a totally different approach to the rock-pop stylings of his regular band, You Am I. With the help of The Twinset, Rogers has been able to bring his penchant for country influenced music to the fore; something that was not previously possible within the confines of You Am I. However, to label What Rhymes With Cars And Girls as a country album is not entirely accurate as the sound could just as easily be described as acoustic pop and folk rock.

Set to the pub sounds of clinking glasses and background chatter, What Rhymes With Cars And Girls opens with the delighfully drunken instrumental waltz, Bushell And A Peck, which sets the scene for the rest of the album. The first 'real' song of the album is the sparkling, You've Been So Good To Me So Far, a typically honest and uplifting song for which Rogers is famed. Tim displays his heart on his sleeve yet again for I Left My Heart All Over The Place, a more downbeat but brilliant song all the same, which explores the same territory as Heavy Heart. On the other hand You Just Do It For Me Friend is an infectious upbeat track driven by Jen Anderson's violin. Arse Kickin' Lady From The Northwest and Under The Flight Path, which were both originally You Am I B-sides, get resurrected here and are strong cuts. However, my favourite track is the purely magic Happy Anniversary with its brilliant muted trumpet solo and wistful, longing feel. Unfortunately, some of the remaining tracks, such as 28 and Hi, We're The Support Band seem underdone and I can't help but feel that this album was recorded just a touch prematurely. If this was a You Am I album, I'm sure these tracks wouldn't have made the final cut. Subsequently What Rhymes With Cars And Girls doesn't come across as being as complete or as fullfilling as it could easily had been. Still, as the liner notes say, Tim Rogers wrote these songs because he can't help himself and thankfully we've been given the opportunity to here them.

Title:Mumbo Jumbo
Label:Grudge Records
Highlights:Planet Of The Weeds
Glow In The Dark
Before The Rain Set In

During the 90's, Tumbleweed forged a strong reputation for long haired, bong tokin' and fuzzed out rock and roll. They were stoner rock before the term had even been coined. With their fourth and latest album, Mumbo Jumble, they have deliberately and successfully moved away from this established formula and explored new areas such as 60's styled garage (Herman), pop (Glow In The Dark), country rock (Before The Rain Set In), swamp rock (Blue Lady) and even middle eastern psychedelic grooves (Midnight Sunshine). That's not to say that Tumbleweed have forgotten how to rock as the lead track, Planet Of The Weeds, attests. Mumbo Jumble is a magnificent return to form for one of Australia's best known bands that is sure to win them many new fans as well keep their old ones happy.

Title:Apocalypse Dudes
Band:Turbonegro (Norway)
Label:Blitzcore Records
Highlights:The Age Of Pamparius
Selfdestructo Bust
Rock Against Ass
Don't Say Motherfucker, Motherfucker
Humiliation Street

Apocalypse Dudes, the final studio album by legendary Norwegian punk rock band Turbonegro, is a loosely based autobiographical tale about a bunch of denim clad punks known as the 'Apocolypse Dudes'. Looking at the photos of the band, it is hard to believe that they can create such kick-ass music. Lead singer Hank Von Helvete looks like a truly scary Alice Cooper while the rest of the band are glammed up in denim like some twisted cousins of the Village People. Yet the music is a powerful combination of The Who, AC/DC, Rolling Stones, New York Dolls and the MC5. My favourite song is the epic Age Of Pampirus, which is about baking pizzas of all things. This is followed by the exhilarating Selfdestructo Bust and more melodic Rock Against Ass, both of which are also excellent. Other songs like Don't Say Motherfucker, Motherfucker, Rendezvous With Anus and Good Head prove that perhaps there is room for humour in music if it is played as well as this.

These days Turbonegro are known as forerunners of the current Scandinavian invasion and undoubtably were a major influence on the direction taken by bands like The Hellacopters and Gluecifier. However, none of these bands have songs like Rendezvous With Anus and Are You Ready (For Some Darkness), which for better or worse, makes Turbonegro unique. Put simply, there is no other band quite like Turbonegro.