PRIMITIVE CALCULATORS - Primitive Calculators
Melbournes Primitive Calculators met as teenagers in the early 70s, growing up in the grim outer suburb of Springvale. An older friend who lived in a bungalow behind his parents house provided an oasis of culture, and there they were introduced to music of a kind rarely heard in their neighbourhood. The Velvet Underground and The MC5 were obvious heroes, but they were also inspired by lesser known bands like The Fugs, The 13th Floor Elevators, and The Godz (they went on to dedicate their album to Godz singer Jim McCarthy) as well as the writing of obsessive rock journalist Lester Bangs.By 1977, they had deserted Springvale for the more musically liberated environs of St. Kilda, sharing a house in Park St and forming a band called The Moths. But they were a couple of years older than most of the punk bands starting up around them, and their uncultured accents clashed with the inner city, private school values of their so-called peers. Well-known figures like Nick Cave (The Boys Next Door, The Birthday Party) and Ollie Olsen (Whirlywirld) would often come by to listen to borrow records, but the Primitive Calculators were always outsiders in Melbournes punk scene.A move to Fitzroy in 1978 helped Primitive Calculators cement their own identity and develop a network of likeminded friends. The band set up a series of gigs called Little Band nights, where up to ten hastily-formed bands, with names like Too Fat To Fit Through The Door and Thrush & The Cunts, would play sets of fifteen minutes each. Their own debut single was also released that year, featuring the songs -جø¬-??I Cant Stop It-جø¬-?-جø¬- and -جø¬-??Do That Dance-جø¬-?-جø¬-. Pressed with plain black labels and stark monochrome sleeve, the single introduced many to the impassioned, atonal, electronic chaos that was the Primitive Calculators trademark, and it has gone on to become a highly collectable classic of Australian post-punk.The following year the band attempted to relocate to London, but seeing how difficult life was for fellow expats the Birthday Party and Whirlywirld, hey decided instead to take an indefinite break. A 1979 live recording of a gig supporting The Boys Next Door turned out to be the Primitive Calculators swansong. Released by friend and supporter Alan Bamford in the early 1980s, Primitive Calculators is a crucial document of a band whose originality, power and humorously belligerent Australian mindset has never since been duplicated.But the story didnt end there, as the Primitive Calculators had an unexpected renaissance in 1986, when filmmaker Richard Lowenstein included them in his feature Dogs In Space (starring a young Michael Hutchence). The Primitive Calculators reformed to appear in the movie and recorded their song -جø¬-??Pumping Ugly Muscle-جø¬-?-جø¬- for the soundtrack (the song was also released as a 12-جø¬-?-جø¬- with some original late 70s recordings on the B-side).The Primitive Calculators revival continued a good fifteen years later when Chapter Music released the pioneering Cant Stop It! compilation CD of Australian late 70s/early 80s post-punk. The CD took its name from the Primitive Calculators track -جø¬-??I Cant Stop It!-جø¬-?-جø¬- and included an original 1979 recording of -جø¬-??Pumping Ugly Muscle-جø¬-?-جø¬-.Chapter Musics reissue of the Primitive Calculators album, twenty-five years after its original release, includes six bonus tracks (four by the Primitive Calculators, one by the Moths and one by a nameless Primitive Calculators/Whirlywirld hybrid band, recorded in the UK) plus a rarely seen video made for the -جø¬-??I Cant Stop It-جø¬-?-جø¬- single by band friend Janis Lesinskis. - Chapter Music. Highly recommended!
- Regular price $16.00