Rolling Stone issue 552 - Sept 98 - DAVID NICHOLS
Tribute album to Sydney's Citadel label, which brought Died Pretty,
Trilobites and Porcelain Bus to prominence.
It's testimony to the far-ranging influence of the Citadel label - the
heyday of which was arguably in the mid-1980s - that this tribute collection
has been launched not by industry cronies, but by Strasbourg's Divine Rites
label. The bulk of the groups involved are Sydney-based, and a number of
them are new bands which feature one-time members of Citadel acts. It's
mostly conventional, hard 'n' fast rock, but still there are plenty of fresh
and inventive takes on old favourites; particularly appealing are Louis
Tillet and Charlie Owen's version of the New Christs' hilarious "Headin'
South" and Asteroid B-612's take on Died Pretty's "Mirror Blues", wherein
the song metamorphoses into an electrifying version of Pere Ubu's "Final
Rating * * * (3/5)
Alain Feydri - Rock Sound (France) - Avril 98
" S'il ne fut pas seul à " oeuvrer " en ce sens, le label Citadel n'en
personnifia pas moins durant son âge d'or, les 80's, la férocité retrouvée
d'un rock australien souvent plus éclectique que ne le dit la légende.
Il y a des miles des Screaming Tribesmen à Died Pretty, pas grand rapport
non plus entre Bamboos et New Christs. Ce n'est pas le moindre des mérites
de "Storming the Citadel" que de rendre parfaitement compte de ces diversités.
Et l'histoire n'est pas banale que celle de ces deux 25 cm lancés par un fan
strasbourgeois, internaute intrépide et soudainement décidé à rendre à John
Needham, le boss de Citadel, l'hommage qu'il mérite.
Douze groupes, dont dix australiens, se sont donc attelés à la
tâche, ce qui nous vaut, dans le lot, quelques cocasses collisions.
Comme Jack & the Beanstalk faisant son affaire aux Lime Spiders et
ressuscitant plutôt les Stems. Chez Pyramidiacs relisant Someloves,
on retrouve jusqu'à l'insatiable Bill Gibson en rupture de Lemonheads.
Le morceau de bravoure revient à Asteroid B-612 qui dégrippe de longues
minutes durant l'épique "Mirror Blues" auquel il n'a pas hésité à superposer
"Final solution" de Pere Ubu. Louis Tillett et Charlie Owen transcendent " Headin' South "
des New Christs, le tout produit par Rob Younger qui n'est pour rien dans l'époustouflant
numéro des Backsliders. Ils nous remettent en mémoire que Le Havre fut un temps presque
faubourg de Sydney. Avec cette citadelle qui tombe, un grand label est honoré. C'est justice. "
Col Gray - Vicious Kitten #8 - Sept 98
"How many readers out there don't have at least one record on the Citadel label in their collection ?
The Screaming Tribesmen, the Lime Spiders, the Trilobites ? Hell, the New Christs, Deniz Tek and Died
Pretty are still releasing records on Citadel. Since it's inception in the early 80's, Citadel
has released some of the hippest rock'n'roll around, and all with a distinct Australian flavour.
"Storming the Citadel" sees a dozen bands paying tribute to this influencial label, each covering
a well known tune wich has come out on Citadel over the years. Plenty of highlights too, and not
just Detroit guitar freaks. Louis Tillett & Charlie Owen deliver a sombre version of the New Christs
'Headin' South', rich in emotion and stark quality. Asteroid B-612 pull off a stunning take of Died
Pretty's epic "Mirror Blues", rock solid as ever and complimented by the judicious use of organ.
Sydney's underrated Hunchbacks surprise with a bittersweet twang on "Virginia", a likeable romp
through the old Bamboos chestnut. Rock action ? Sheek the Shayk & his Royal Camels kick out the
jams on the Lipstick Killers "Liquor Fit", and Mother Jones deliver a spot-on rendition od the
Visitors "Sad TV". The songs on "Storming The Citadel" have been approached with a new freshness
and dynamics, making them all more or less irresistible tunes in their own right. "Storming the
Citadel" again confirms that great guitar rock'n'roll is alive and well in Australia. Out now
on double 10" vinyl by mail order only."
Hiroshi Sakiguchi - Doll #132 - August 1998
A tribute record to artists of the Citadel label, made by a Frenchman who is in love
with Australian music. The bands covered are Fun Things, Screaming Tribesmen, Lime
Spiders and Died Pretty, very much the sort of line-up that people who like this part
of the world will enjoy. Every band's warm performance is the thing that will increase
the interest in this story.
Translated from japanese.
Oscar Garcia - Kick Out The Jams #6
"Un nuevo sello con idea mas que brillante, rendir homenaje a uno de los sellos
australianos mas relevante en la década de los 80's, por si aun no sabias de que
hablamos pues ni mas ni menos que de Citadel, el sello que dio cobijo a los proyectos
en solitario de la mayoria de componentes de Radio Birdman y dio a conocer a bandas
tan importantes como Stems, Trilobites, Died Pretty y un largo numero de australianos
locos por el rock & roll, siempre con una calidad musical mas que respetable y con un
trabajo de lujo en la edicion de los disco por parte del sello.
Este recopilatario tras un buen numero de escuchas uno llega a la conclusion de que es
una continuacion de Citadel desde el pais vecino, presentado por un formate especial
como es el 10", en formato doble y recopiiando en su mayoria a bandas australianas
que sin duda han crecido escuchando cosas de ese sello.
El primero en lanzarse es Joe Algeri con su banda (Jack & the Beanstalk) atacando
una animalada como "Slave Girl" de los Lime Spiders, y haciendo de este tema una
leccion de garage punk sesentero y dejando un poco de lado las raices de pop con
las que se nutre esta banda y arremetiendo con feroces solos de guitarras.
Les siguen cuatro nuevas bandas, a las que el mismo Rob Younger produce. Este es
uno de los motivos por lo que este tributo tiene un nivel tan elevado, un colaborador
habitual del sello, tambien participa en este disco. Las bandas son Challenger 7
que practicamente bordan el tema de Screaming Tribesmen "Move A Little Closer",
los Hunchbacks con guitarras cargadas de sentimiento reviven el "Virginia" de
los Bamboos, Sheek The Shayk & His Royal Camels arremeten con otros olvidados
de lujo Lipstick Killers y su "Liquor Fit", mientras que unos Mother Jones igualan
el "Sad TV" de los Visitors, el amigo Steve Gardner bajo el pseudonimo Tendion
recupera a los Trilobites y su "Legacy Of Morons", unico participante de estados
unidos ademas de su reconocida pasion por las bandas australianas como bien
demostraba en su impressionante fanzine "Noise For Heroes".
Cierran este primer disco Indignation con un tema de Porcelain Bus en donde
su vocalista Ian James da vida propia a "Sister Life", una verdadera maravilla
cargada de sensibilidad.
En el secundo disco Rob se hace carge de sonido de tres de las cinco bandas que aparecen.
Panadolls haciendo otro classico del rock australiano de los 80's "Voodoo Slaves"
de los Minuteman, los Asteroid B-612 dando su particular toque al tema de Died Pretty
"Mirror Blues" y uno de los momentos mas intenso del disco es cuando Louis Tillett,
que grabo un album para este sello, junto a Charlie Owen guitarra de los indispensables
New Christs y que colaboro en el disco de Tillett, hacen una version de la banda de Owen,
el clasico "Headin' South" a base de piano y guitarra con el particular toque de Mr Owen,
un temas desnudo comparado con la version original pero lleno de matices.
Los Someloves son la banda a la que rinden tributo nuestros queridos Pyramidiacs con el
tema "Don't Talk About Us", puro power pop como no podia ser de otra manera. La otra
banda que no es australiano sino de Francia son Backsliders, banda que funciono en el
sello frances Spliff (otro buen sello de R&R a tener en cuenta) y que recuperan a una
banda de leyenda en el punk rock de los 70's en australia, Fun Things y recuperan su "Savage".
Indudablemente un trabajo hecho con pasion por la gente de Divine Rites que se refleja
en el recomendable trabajo final.
Nota : Edicion limitada de 700 copias y que no sera editada en CD (AVISADO QUEDAS)."
Scott Ellis - Daily Telegraph - Sydney - 23.4.98
"Despite the unusual heritage of this album - a French fan of Australian indie music
organised Sydney bands to cover early Sydney indie tunes over the internet - the result is fantastic.
A meld of the past and the present, you've got tracks by The Died Pretty, New Christs,
Lime Spiders and others covered by Asteroid B-612, Mother Jones and The Backsliders
(among others), most produced by Radio Birdman frontman Rob Younger.
For anyone who remembers the originals this is an incredible trip down memory lane -
you will, for example, be amazed just how clearly the lyrics of the Lime Spiders'
Slave Girl come back.
It's hard to pick highlights out of such a good line-up, but Louis Tillet and Charlie
Owen's version of the New Christs' Headin' South is suitably dark, while Asteroid B612
do things to Mirror Blues you can guarantee Died Pretty never imagined.
Available only on vinyl and only through the 'Net, try
Patrick Peiffer - Station Service (France) - Avril 98
" On croit rêver. A Strasbourg, un gang de toqués de rock australien a décidé de rele-ver le gant de feu Closer, ce label du Havre qui distribuait le top aussie entre des skeuds des Only Ones, Barracudas et au-tres Nomads. Divine Rites inaugure l'entrée en matière sur le thème de la compile interactive : 11 groupes australiens et 1 français reprennent les aînés du genre au gré de deux 25cm vinyle (Storming the Citadel 1 & 2).
Dynamiteurs communs Citadel Records fondé par John Needham guitaris-te de Minuteman et généalogie discogra-phique de Radio Birdman né de la rencontre sonique entre Rob Younger de Sydney et de Deniz Tek de Detroit. Historiquement, l'Australie a un fichu poids de parpaings de guitares. Les Stooges via les Scientists, les Groovies et les Seeds de Sky Saxon via les Hoodoo Gurus, les Kinks et les Remains via les Sunny Boys à la une du magazine Nineteen. Ramones, MC5, 13th Floor Elevator, Yardbirds, Sonics, Gun Club, Kingsmen sont au pinacle chez les Wet Taxis, Lime Spiders, Celi-bate Rifles, Lipstick Killers, City Kids, Visi-tors...
Storming the Citadel s'inscrit dans la tradition pure et dure des tributes du pays consacrés à Alex Chilton ou aux Plimsouls, réveillant le souvenir d'un PIay New Rose for me, bouillon familial ou Sky Saxon reprenait Roky Erickson, Willie Alexander les Lyres, Alex Chilton les Troggs ou les Dead Kennedys Bobby Fuller. Là, c'est Jack & the Beanstalk qui reprennent Slave girls des Lime Spiders et Challenger 7 qui interprète Move A Little Closer des Screaming Tribesmen, Mother Jones (des mem-bres des Pranksters, de Naked Lunch...) choisit Sad TV des Visitors et les Panadolls craquent sur Voodoo Slaves de Minu-teman. Il y a Hunchbacks vs Bamboos, Sheek the Shayk vs Lipstick Killers, Tension vs Trilobites, Indignation vs Porcelain Bus, Pyramidiacs vs Someloves, Louis TillIett & Charlie Owen vs New Christs, Asteroid B-612 vs Died Pretty et nos excellents Backsliders (François Lebas ex-Fixed Up) vs Fun Things. Que du très bon enregistré à Sydney et produit par Rob Younger en personne... "
Bruno Petit - Real Kool Trash #8 - May 98
Storming the fortress of sound
CITADEL Records has been a trademark of quality for many rabid fans of "Australian Rock" (a tag which might annoy a lot of Australians down there, for obvious reasons, but which's still helpful for fans trying to define this wonderful tidal wave of first-class rock n 'roll to eager newcomers!), and although the label has been very discreet for the past ten years, its early releases are still fondly remembered and cherished and played again and again by thousands of die-hard high-octane rock n 'roll addicts everywhere!
Thus it comes as no surprise that one of these fine lads finally shifts into action Divine Rites Webmaster, the man behind the Internet site of Citadel, is launching his own brand new label, Divine Rites, with a top-notch pack of two distinct 10" dedicated to his oz rawk obsession Storming The Citadel, or 12 contemporary bands doing covers of songs selected among the finest singles and lps released by the label between 1982 and 1888.
When Citadel Rds appeared in '82, out of the unknown (Darllnghurst, a Sydney suburb), it was mainly for guitarist John Needham a means to put out the first and only single of his own band, Minuteman, whose only claim to fame was getting future Hoodoo Gurus' bass player Clyde Bramley in the studio for the single' sessions (although he wasn't a member of the band). The 7" didn't sell much but soon JN started releasing more singles, such as a Deniz Tek(Radio Birdman split or long time friend Rob Younger's band's cult-classic 7", the New Christs' Like a Curse (Younger ended up producing many Australian and foreign bands from all over the world). Then things went a bit out of control and Citadel finally managed to reach a broader audience with the Lime Spiders' 1st effort for the label (after a debut double-7" on Green Rds), and Died Pretty's debut, Mirror Blues, in 1984. (The rest is history; if you want to learn more about the label, check out the discography and try to find issue #17 (1986) of Bucketfull of Brains, the famous Brit fanzine. You'll learn everything from the man himself, plus there is a top-notch interview with Mick Blood, the Spiders' screamer.)
What's striking about Storming the Citadel is that obviously Didier put a hell of a lot of love and work in the two resulting 10". You may or may not dig the sleeve design and artwork but just check out the flipsides and you'll find yourself overwhelmed with information: color repros of all the original sleeves, color photos of each covering band with line-ups and contacts, short summaries about both the songs and the bands, pieces of info about Citadel itself,... all in all as much stuff to read as to listen to! And what you've got on the vinyl is no wimpy halfhearted shit either: with 7 songs produced by Rob Younger himself, the first fans of the early Citadel releases will feel the thrill of this Big Bad Aussie Sound again, and from Move a little closer (originally by the Screaming Tribesmen great version here by Challenger 7, a Sydney 4-piece featuring ex-Kryptonics Ian Underwood) to Don't talk about us (by the Someloves, covered here by spiritual sons The Pyramidiacs), every song gets a tasteful new treatment and every band develops its own vision while paying its dues.
Of course, A lot of the bands who recorded for Citadel during the 80's were following the path cleared by Radio Birdman and perpetuated this seminal band's Australian heritage of 60's/Detroit/Garage Punk/White Riot Rawk n'Rawl, and therefore the tribute is packed with supercharged guitar onslaughts, such as the last track of the Lipstick Killers "Mesmerizer" live lp, Liquor Fit - excellent unrestrained version by Sheek The Shayk & His Royal Camels - or Sad TV from the Visitors' one and only self-titled Ip (one of the short-lived offshoots from the 'Birdman, featuring 3/5th of the original RB line-up) here by Sydney supergroup Mother Jones, a band which features Tony Gibson and Murray Shepherd, among other ex-members of The Melting Skyscrapers or The Fun Things.
The Fun Things whose prehistoric teenpunk anthem Savage is also revisited (which seems a trend in itself at the moment -cf the more or less recent versions by Electric Frankenstein, Teengenerate, Bum and The Vikings of this frenzied outburst of anger and sexual frustration!) by the only European combo on the tribute, The Backsliders, a French Le Havre-based power-trio led by singer-guitarist François Lebas whose previous band Fixed-Up toured Australia in the 80's to promote their singles on Citadel. A dream deal which had of course something to do with the band being managed by Stéphane Saunier, the head honcho of Le Havre labels Sonics & Teenage Rds, which were dedicated to real rock n'roll and which released Citadel recordings (and other Aussie indie labels') under license, along with brother-label Closer Rds.
But Citadel was also prowling different grounds and got really beyond the fringe, far from the post -Birdman crowd with the first singles of bands such as Died Pretty or Perth's gun-totting Bamboos, whose threatening brand of countryfied rock n'roll was the perfect soundtrack for an afternoon at the hanging.. their fabulous Virginia is covered by The Hunchbacks and it's the only weak track, being too close to the original and lacking the extra humfph that would have transcended the song. Died Pretty's Mirror Blues gets the treatment it deserves from Asteroid B-612, that is to say a flamboyant rendering of that 9 minutes allucinogenic journey, a song that they could, in 'B-612's guitarist John Spittles' own words, 'fuck around with without fucking it up". And fucking playfully around they do, shifting into Pere Ubu's Final Solution and borrowing some riffs from the New Christs' Born out of time for an even more convincing result.
Other bands and people involved in the project are the Panadolls (a Sydney band featuring Al Creed, also today in the latest line-up of the New Christs), Louis Tillett & Charlie Owen (Younger's old comrades of war, doing a wonderful semi-accoustic version of Headin 'South), Indignation, Jack & The Beanstalk and Steve Gardner (ex-Gamma Men and editor of San Diego-based US fanzine Noise For Heroes), doing covers of songs by the Trilobites, Minuteman, the New Christs or Porcelain Bus, and every version is more than just worth checking out.
You may just be starting to get into Oz Rawk or you 're already a die-hard addict, but in any case get quickly in touch with Didier (hurry up 'coz each vinyl pressing is limited to 700 copies..) and get yourself ready for some ass-kickin' rawk n 'rawl; satisfaction guaranteed !!!
Abus Dangereux (France)
" Le label Strasbourgeois Divine Rites sort une compilation " Tribute à Citadel ", ou des groupes Australiens (Asteroïd B-612, Challenger 7 (ex Kryptonics), Decapod (ex Porcelain Bus), Louis Tillett, Pyramidiacs, Jack & The Beanstalk, ) et français (Backsliders) reprennent des groupes australiens de Citadel rds (Died Pretty, Screaming Tribesmen, Minuteman, Bamboos, New Christs, Someloves, Lime Spiders, Fun Things, Trilobites) On attends cela avec impatience. "
Face 55 - Février - Mars 98
Roberto Calabro' - Rockerilla - June 98
" Non accade tutti i giorni che un'etichetta indipendente decida di aprire il proprio catalogo con due dischi-tributo ad un'altra indie-label. La francese Divine Rites e' un caso a parte, pero'. Il suo fondatore, Divine Rites Webmaster, grande appassionato e profondo conoscitore del suono australiano, e' gia' da alcuni anni l'editor - con l'omonimo marchio - di uno straordinario sito Internet dedicato a Radio Birdman, New Christs e alla Citadel Records, l'etichetta di Sidney che sin dai primissimi anni '80 ha contribuito in maniera fondamentale all'esplosione dell'Oz-sound, mantenendo sempre un profilo indipendente e una alta qualita' delle sue produzioni. Dal suo catalogo sono passati o fanno tuttora parte nomi quali New Christs, Died Pretty, Lime Spiders, Screaming Tribesmen, Lipstick Killers, Porcelain Bus, Stems, Visitors, Deniz Tek, DM3, ovvero il meglio dell'underground "aussie" degli ultimi tre lustri.
"Storming the Citadel" e' un doppio dieci pollici a tiratura limitata (700 copie), in cui una dozzina di bands, per la maggior parte australiane e prodotte in larga misura dal mitico Rob Younger, rende tributo a quelle canzoni che hanno reso leggendaria la label di John Needham. Una cascata di suoni caldi, sporchi, eccitanti, di guitar-sound vibrante e garagistico, in alcuni casi psichedelico, a tratti con sfumature pop, in cui emergono in maniera brillante i nomi di Louis Tillet & Charlie Owen, Asteroid B612, Jack & The Beanstalk, Challenger 7, Indignation, Mother Jones, Panadolls e Sheek the Shayk.
Due dieci pollici "sotterreanei" e da culto, profondamente underground per contenuto sonoro e confezione (l'artwork, solare e colorato, e' splendido), assolutamente imperdibili. "
Steve Gordon - X-Press Magazine (Australia) - Jan 22, 1998
"In the 1980s, Australian independent music, especially the Detroit inspired, garage style guitar driven pop, attracted some fanatical attention in Europe. Music fans in countries like France, Holland, Belgium and Spain were rabid about some of our bands. As a result, many of them sold a lot more records over there than they did at home. And, with bands like our own DM3 and the Chevelles, that interest continues today.
One such fan was Divine Rites Webmaster, a 38-year old computer programmer from Strasbourg in France. He's just started a label over there, Divine Rites Records, and his very first release is going to be a double 10" vinyl job called Storming The Citadel, a tribute to John Needham's Sydney label that was the early home of the Died Pretty, the Stems, the Trilobites, the Lime Spiders, the Screaming Tribesmen, the Bamboos, the Dubrovniks, the Moffs, the New Christs, Wet Taxis and a bunch of others.
Several current Australian bands like Challenger 7, Asteroid B-612, Indignation, the Panadolls, Sheek The Shayk and Perth's Jack & The Beanstalk (doing the Spiders' Slave Girl), along with a couple of European and US outfits, will each tackle a favorite song from the Citadel catalogue.
When recorded, the tapes will be mixed by Rob Younger who, as virtual house producer for Citadel in the '80s, oversaw most of those bands' early sessions. His own bands Radio Birdman and the New Christs are still with the label today, as are DM3 and the now returned Died Pretty.
Storming The Citadel, limited to just 700 copies, is expected to be released (in Oz and France) in March or April. We'll let you know when it happens."
Murray Engleheart - Remedy - Drum Media (Australia)
"Divine Rites Records in France are releasing a double 10-inch vinyl package called Storming The Citadel in the next few months. It's a tribute to this country's ultra influential, Citadel Records.
The roster will include Asteroïd B-612 (Mirror Blues -Died Pretty), Sheek The Shayk (Liquor Fit - Lipstick Killers), Challenger 7 (Move A little Closer - Screaming Tribesmen), Panadolls (Voodoo Slaves - Minuteman), Hunchbacks (Virginia - Bamboos), Jack & The Beanstalk (Slave Girl - Lime Spiders), France's Backsliders (Savage - Fun Things), US's Tension ( A Legacy OF Morons), and Sweden's Sinners (Date With A Vampire - Screaming Tribesmen),. The local tracks will be produced by Rob Younger.
There's a showcase gig on the 31st at the Riverview hotel at Tempe with Challenger 7, Sheek The Shayk and The Royal Camels, Mother Jones and Decapod. It's free too. "
Jan 20, 1998
" The Citadel Records' tribute album Storming the Citadel is coming along just fine. Perth band, Jack and The Beanstalk, and Swedish outfit The Sinners are both doing The Lime Spiders' Slave Girl. The Sinners stayed close to the original while Jack and The Beanstalk did a '60s acid punk version completely with cheesy Fairfisa organ. In other sessions for the album, Asteroid B612's 13-minute version of Died Pretty's Mirror Blues is said to be a monster. It segues mid-song into Pere Ubu's Final Solution (remember Bored's version of that?) and the Asteroids nailed it in one take. Challenger 7 have recorded The Screaming Tribesmen's Move A Little Closer. They debuted the song at the Riverview Hotel last week, watched by none other than head Tribesman Mick Medew himself. Medew offered his congrats but was even more surprised when bass player Dan told him that his high school band in country NSW used to play the Tribesmen's Date With A Vampyre at school assemblies."
Feb 11, 1998