Storming The Citadel Vol 1 - Various Artists

Label:Divine Rites Records (France)
Tracks: Slave Girl - Jack & The Beanstalk
Move A Little Closer - Challenger 7
Virginia - The Hunchbacks
Liquor Fit - Sheek The Shayk & His Royal Camels
Sad TV - Mother Jones
A Legacy Of Morons - Tension
Sisters Life - Indignation

Rating: 4/5

Storming The Citadel Vol 2 - Various Artists

Label:Divine Rites Records (France)
Tracks:Voodoo Slaves - The Panadolls
Don’t Talk About Us - The Pyramidiacs
Savage - The Backsliders
Headin’ South - Louis Tillett & Charlie Owen
Mirror Blues/Final Solution - Asteroid B-612

Rating: 4.5/5

The Concise Oxford Dictionary sums it up thus: “Citadel...fortress, especially one guarding or dominating a city”. The Citadel record label was and still is a fortress against the dross and crap that permeates modern music.

Thus begins the liner notes to Storming The Citadel, a two volume tribute to the Citadel Record label. In retrospect, John Needham couldn’t have picked a better name for the independent record label that he formed back in the early eighties in order to release Voodoo Slaves, the debut 7 inch single for his band, Minuteman. Whilst his band went nowhere, Citadel subsequently went on to become the finest and most consistent independent record label in Australia, releasing records by such acclaimed artists as The New Christs, The Visitors, Died Pretty, The Lime Spiders, The Screaming Tribesmen, The Stems, The Someloves, The Bamboos and DM3. Thanks to these and other artists, Citadel Records has a reputation worldwide as the home of the best Australian rock and roll, garage and power pop bands.

These two discs gather some of the contemporary Australian, American and French bands that were influenced by this wave of Australian bands that called Citadel home. Whilst all the bands do the originals justice, I must single out Jack & The Beanstalk’s 60’s garage take (farfisa and all) of the Lime Spiders’ Slave Girl, The Panadolls’ version of Minuteman’s Voodoo Slaves and Asteroid B-612’s take no prisoners rendition of Died Pretty’s Mirror Blues as being my favourite cover versions. Together, these two records are a fitting tribute to one of Australia’s finest record labels and the great bands on it (although really you should try and hunt down the originals first).

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