It’s arguable that no band knows the sweaty, beer-splattered stages of Australia’s underground scene quite like The Meanies. Forming way back in 1988, the Melbourne punk stalwarts rose to acclaim with their raucous live shows in the ’90s, releasing a string of well-received LPs that saw them win over the hearts of punters all around Australia.
After making a formidable return to the scene with their 2015 comeback record It’s Not Me, It’s You, The Meanies have doubled down on their legacy with their latest release, Desperate Measures, out now through Cheersquad Records and Tapes. Recorded at St. Kilda’s Hothouse Audio, the ten track effort sees the beloved group back at their best, delivering a collection of raw, hard-hitting cuts that reminds us just why we fell in love with the band in the first place.
To celebrate the release of Desperate Measures, we hit up The Meanies chaotic vocalist and guitarist Link Meanie to take us on a trek through Aussie punk history, celebrating our country’s finest entries into the punk canon by taking a geez at some of the best Australian punk tracks of all time.
Powder Monkeys – ‘Yin Yang’
There aren’t many singers I can think of who could belt out vocals like that. And the energy and great songs made them pretty damn special.
The Bo-Weevils – ‘Have You Been To Mars’
I was obsessed with their record ‘The Vortex Took Them’ and loved seeing them live. The Meanies used to cover the track ‘You Know’ in their early live set.
Splatterheads – ‘Fake Smile’
Like Tim from the Powder Monkeys, the quality of vocals didn’t get much better than Sly. When you add their killer songs and the unique double lead vocal attack you had a real standout in Oz rock history.
Radio Birdman – ‘Do the Pop’
Do I need to say anything?
Exploding White Mice – ‘Fear’
I used to see these guys a lot before The Meanies got to play with them. I fell in love the moment I heard them being played at Au-Go-Go records.
The Saints – ‘(I’m) Stranded’
It’s The Saints.
X – ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Out’
You talk originality and you talk X. No one sounded like this band. Hot shit. This song has one of the best bass guitar/guitar interactions ever.
The Hard Ons – ‘Something About You’
I remember going to Hard Ons shows when I was in my late teens and the chills I would get were almost unsurpassed. I always loved that brutal assault mixed with a beautiful melody and gorgeous love song as being something truly unique. Then you’d have their ‘fuck you’, hilarious types of songs as this really weird counterpoint. One of a kind and a big early inspiration.
The Eastern Dark – ‘Johnny and Dee Dee’
My older sister used to take me out to shows when I was around 15 and I got to see many great Aussie bands. Unfortunately I never got to see these guys but this single had a profound effect on me.
Tumbleweed – ‘Planet of the Weeds’
Friends for years, stage buddies, great songs, incredibly convincing, powerful, melodic. A national treasure. Like all of the bands on my list it was hard to choose a favourite track but I think this song just gets there. Such a tough riff with Richie perhaps giving his sexiest vocal performance in the chorus. Love it.
The Meanies’ new album Desperate Measures is out now via Cheersquad Records & Tapes.
This article originally appeared on Mixdown Magazine.