Monday, 6 May 2013
Tactics were a Sydney based Alternative band in the 1980s. They formed in Canberra in 1978 by David Studdert and were regarded as an "art-punk" band.
This is a single of theirs called "Standing By The Window", issued as the B-side to "Gold Watch" and on the independently on the Long Weekend EP on the Folding Chair label in 1979.
Australian punk, for some reason, was regarded as culturally cringe-worthy during the 1990s. No-one wanted a bar of it. Outside of the Saints or Radio Birdman, other bands were just completely forgotten. Enter Tim Pittman, and his essential 2 volume set "Tales of the Australian Underground", which unearthed a whole heap of great bands, on 7-inch vinyl. His two double CD compilations look at bands who have concentrated their energies into the single - short sharp blasts of raw energy on one side of a 7-inch vinyl record. Most of the records are as rare as rocking-horse poo now, but they showcase a music scene that was as creative and as vital as the ones that broke out of London and New York in the 1970s.
Tactics had an unusual musical trajectory. Their music has been obtuse and obscure listening. It's quite hard to get into some of their music - at least I think so. This particular track is an example of the band at its most rocking: the band push-and-pull the tension and lead vocalist Studdert goes completely apeshit, sounding uncannily like David Surkamp from Pavlov's Dog on a bad dose of illicit stimulants. He frequently gets lost in the mix, and one assumes he is completely losing his shit in the studio, running around screaming about an impending doomsday approaching.
It's a compelling record, and Tactics are a band I really need to listen to more closely. Their two volume collection "The Sound of the Sound" are a great place to start if this track has you even mildly curious about the band.