Live in Texas

Radio Birdman

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Live in Texas Review

by Jack Rabid

If you missed Australia's punk pioneers Radio Birdman's only U.S. tours, 2006-2007 (like Brisbane's also incredible punk-era Saints, the Melbourne sextet never played our land of their inspirations in their original 1974-1978 incarnation, a mutual sorrow), you're probably out of luck; the revived legends regrettably split again, probably permanently, in 2008. But you can still experience how freakishly good they remained, as if their rocketing post-MC5 ramalama had been preserved in amber for three decades. (Plus, cuts from the group's third, 2006 LP, Zeno Beach, just added to the urgency.) You merely have to parlay some bucks into purchasing this hot 'n' raw, exciting-sounding radio broadcast (for Houston's KPFT) of two Lone Star lashings, at Austin's Emo's 6/24/07, and Houston's The Meridian 6/26/07. They're down to three original members, singer Rob Younger with guitarists Deniz Tek and Chris Masuak, since keyboardist Pip Hoyle missed this jaunt. But post-2004 drummer Russell Hopkinson kicks as much ass as in You Am I, and post-2002 bassist Jim Dickson chugs as nimbly as Warwick Gilbert. All the hits sizzle, such as "Burned My Eye," "I-94," and "What Gives," and though there's no "Aloha Steve and Danno" or "New Race" (why?), covers of the 1966 Sings My Generation Who's "Circles," the 1965 Kontroversy Kinks' U.K. number eight "'Til the End of the Day," and 1973 Tyranny and Mutation Blue Öyster Cult's "Hot Rails to Hell" spice things up nicely.

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