Sideroxylon - HOT1001
  • Debut album for The Rifles and HOT Records
  • Released : April, 1983 Formats : CD, LP, MC Cat No : HOT 1001
  • Produced by : Col Ford, Dave Connor & The Rifles
  • Engineered by : Dave Connor
  • Recorded at : Honeyfarm Studios, Sydney
  • General Comments : Re-mastered for CD in 1992. Also released with "5 Languages" on CD by Megadisc (MDC 79467), LP by Megadisc (MD7946/7) and MC by Survival (HOT 0017). CD re-released by HOT in 1999 with a black cover.
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    Track Listing
  • Killing Time - hear a 45 second Sound Sample of this track
  • Society
  • Tick Tock
  • This Week
  • Anthem
  • Back On The Corner
  • Gonna Cry
  • Where Do I Go
  • Ice Blue
  • Gimme Gimme Gimme
  • God Squad

    With their TV eyes wide open and spewing forth the junkography of our time, Sydney band the Celibate Rifles accelerate head-on into their first album, Sideroxylon (no, I don't know what it means either).

    Their noise is a mutant offspring of the Stooges/MC5/Saints/Visitors/Ramones/Dictators/Other Side etc. There have been many others who have attempted to drive this vehicle before, most of them slavishly copy cats who rarely, if ever, had an original thought in their lives. The Rifles make the machine their own and take it forward in high gear rather than stalling it in neutral.

    Peter Corris breathed fresh life into the post-raymond Chandler detective novel by relocating it in Australia; likewise the Celibate Rifles revive their chosen genre with an uncomfortably keen awareness of what it means to be half-Australian and half-dead in the closing stages of the twentieth century.
    Instead of moralising about the situation, like Midnight Oil or Goanna, the Rifles swallow it whole like the good suburban boys they are, then turn around and spew it back out at you in lightning-fast bursts of feedback and irony. Neither inner-city hipsters nor suburban petrol-heads, they turn a savage eye on everything and reduce it all to naught. Photo : Sideroxylon back cover
    Sideroxylon is populated by the detritus of the modern world : the housewife, the junkie, the rising young executive, the punk, the radio talkback king, the surfie and all the others who inhabit the twentieth century wasteland, grooving to a soundtrack of easy-listening new wave pop, eyes glued to a screen full of soap operas , electronic pornography, game shows, crime and Mike Walsh, comfortably sedated with Heroin or Valium, marijuana or alcohol.

    Onstage, the Rifles' white trash thrash is one of the best manifestations of their style of music. by the judicious use of other instruments - sax, trombone, trumpet, keyboards, extra guitars and vocals - the strength, humour, style and intelligence of their sonic attack comes through with undiminished force.

    Of the songs: Killing Time is a mordant vision of military history from the Vikings to the Falklands to the Future. Tick Tock, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Gonna Cry, Anthem, Society, and This Week take a savage look at the society that has resulted from that history; Ice Blue and This Week consider the fate of the would-be outsider who tries to reject it all only to end up as one more zombie in this eternal night of the living dead. The lyrics occasionally stumble but the band always carry it through like a runaway subway train.

    The real block buster though is God Squad. Taking a musical cue from the Electric Prunes "Mass In F Minor" and the New Christs' "Face A New God", it opens with church organ and ghostly mock monks chanting the "Kyrie Eleison" before breaking through a wall of noise into a savage putdown of religion. This is where everything the Celibate Rifles have got going for them - the rhythm section of Phillip Jacquet, David Morris and James Darroch, the impeccable Epiphone tek-nique of guitarist Kent Steedman (check his wah wah solo), the voice and lyrics of Damien Lovelock and the guest guitaring of Simon Knuckey from the ultra-fab Wet Taxis - comes together in a furious splendour.

    I know this record sounds like it might be heavy going, but it's not. It's trashy, it's loud, it's fun, it's noisy, it's dumb and it's smart. Buy it.

    - Frank Brunetti, RAM, 8 July 1983

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