The late 1970s punk rock explosion spread its tentacles far and wide across Australia. Perth (Western Australia) was the centre of a small but vibrant punk scene. The Victims were Perth's third punk band following on from The Cheap Nasties (with Kim Salmon) and Beheaded/The Geeks. By all accounts, James Baker was a New York Dolls/Stooges/MC5 devotee, whose powerful, furious drumming was legendary around Perth.
When his band The Geeks broke up in May 1977, Baker teamed up with Dave Flick and Rudolph V to form one of the legendary Australian punk outfits, The Victims. The Victims' acknowledged mentors included US pioneers like New York Dolls, The Stooges, The Heartbreakers and The Flamin' Groovies. With their frantic, explosive sound backed by a solid melodic bent, The Victims became the premier punk band on the Perth scene. The Victims staked out such punk haunts as the Governor Broome Hotel and Hernando's Hideaway as their own. They consolidated their fierce live reputation with the release of one of the first Australian punk singles, `Television Addict'/`(I'm) Flipped Out Over You' (April 1978).
`Television Addict' ranks with the first records by the likes of The Saints, Radio Birdman, The Leftovers, Scientists, News and The Fun Things as one of the great singles of the Aussie punk rock era. `Television Addict' later appeared on the Missing Link label's Various Artists album Inner Sanctum (1979). Just as `Television Addict' hit the record shops, The Victims decided to break-up. The band's final recordings appeared as the five-track EP The Victims (`I Understand', `Open Your Eyes', `High School Girls'/`T.V. Freak', `Disco Junkies') in August 1978. Some copies of the EP came in hand-drawn and painted sleeves; these are ultra-rare and highly prized collector's items. All the tracks from the single and the EP (plus the previously unissued `Perth is a Culture Shock') were later compiled on the album All Loud on the Western Front (December 1989).
With the break-up of The Victims, Baker joined Kim Salmon's band Scientists, where he remained until January 1981. Faulkner joined fellow Perth band Midget and The Farrellys, before travelling to the USA for an extended holiday. On the eve of his departure for the USA in early 1979, Faulkner re-formed The Victims in order to play a farewell gig for their fans. Following his return to Australia in late 1979, Faulkner joined another Perth band, Manikins. At the end of 1980, he travelled to Sydney where he formed Le Hoodoo Gurus with Baker and Roddy Radalj (ex-Scientists, Rockets). Baker has since played with Beasts of Bourbon, The Dubrovniks and Satellite 5. Rudolph V went on to join the Stooges-influenced Love Assassins with John Rowlings (vocals), Mark Hutchinson (guitar) and Marc Siddall (drums).