And thus, the band is Bits of Shit. These charmers have been around for about 3 and a half years, having morphed from another previous outfit, The Southernhay Orphans. The band consists of Danny on vocals, Andy on guitar, Elias on bass and Pete on drums. They've played over 50 shows in their lifespan, released a 7" on Melbourne's Lexicon Devil label (now sold out), tore up the east coast a couple of times and played at Melbourne's annual Maggotfest at the Tote. They're even set to play Memphis' Holy Grail of rock & roll festivals, Gonerfest, September 2012 (as well as other shows throughout the US). Their ages range from the early 20s to the early 40s. In real life, they are responsible citizens, two of them educators of young children; on stage, they are Bits of Shit.
Cut Sleeves is the debut full-lengther from the band and is available only on the 12" long-player format, featuring a download card, lyric sheet and the stunning cover art of local artist, Rona Green. All 13 tracks were recorded by the band and mixed and mastered by man-about-town, Mikey Young.
The sound of Bits of Shit is caught within the netherworld of tough-arsed Aussie punk/pub rock a la Powder Monkeys / X / Rose Tattoo, the fuzzed minimalism of Wire and The Wipers and the art brut of Black Flag and their minions. Danny's nasally howl is part John Lydon and part Bon Scott, Andy’s guitar hysterics stem squarely from the Ginn-damaged school of six-string dementia, and that rhythm section... those kids are sphincter-tight. In short: THIS IS THE REAL DEAL.
In a live setting, Bits of Shit have knocked socks off and frightened unsuspecting squares from the premises on frequent occasions. The pure ENERGY of the band is captivating. Cut Sleeves captures that energy for all to hear, even in the comfort of your very own living room. When you have THE SONGS and THE ENERGY together, THAT is the reason why Cut Sleeves must be purchased and heard, capice? Ergo sum whatever-the-fuck. Good night.
SOME NICE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN SAID ABOUT 'Cut Sleeves':
Depending on their musical persuasion anyone who has witnessed the Bits of Shit Music Club perform in full flight will testify to how a) rocking or b) disturbing they are. Decked out in denim patch jackets, the Melbourne four-piece belts out a riff-heavy punk rock that brings to mind mid-era Black Flag, classic Aussie rock and restraining orders.
Danny Vanderpol is a true frontman. Charismatic verging on psychotic, he channels the energy of Iggy and Hank Rollins – spewing what seams a stream of conscious diatribe against all that is ‘square’. The round peg sings/howls wide eyed into his hands, crawls across stage and basically has a breakdown in front of the audience. The polite term is ‘animated’.
The band’s debut album does a great job at capturing this manic live energy. From ‘Orphan Age’ and ‘Patrol’ – two flat-out burners – to the slower ‘Flunkies’ the BOS offer some musical dexterity. The instrumental ‘Reign’ shows off Andy Lang’s guitar chops – that pay more than a little debt to Greg Ginn (SST records/Black Flag) – while ‘Wedding Song’ starts with an AC/DC-like riff then turns bonkers.
They have an upcoming tour to the US that will include an appearance at Memphis’s Goner Fest, and after listening to this wild musical excursion I only pray that they return in their denim jackets and not body bags.
- Tim Scott (thethousands.com.au
, 17th July 2012)
"The record hits a delicate balance (of sorts) not succumbing to a sameness that has a tendency to sink lesser-thought-out punk releases. Looking at these blokes, they don't strike you as the 'thinking man's punk band' or as though there's much intellectuality applied to any aspect of their music (recorded or live), but their song structures, delivery, and the fact that it's actually taken them bloody ages to release a debut album suggest a more considered approach than they'd have you initially think. There's more than enough variation in tempo and structure to keep you engaged, and a few of the more melodic parts (notably on Rock Sing) and Orphan Age) harbour many of the facets of great pop songs under the rumble and thrash of punk formats - but please don't tell them I said that.
- Samson McDougall (Inpress, 8th August 2012)
Forget any ideas of coolness or irony: this is not being played tongue-in-cheek. This debut album does a great job of capturing their dizzying propulsive energy. It tickles similar hard-rock brain receptors as, say, The Dacios’ Monkey's Blood or Deaf Wish’s Reality & Visions did in the recent past. About 20 seconds in, instrumental opener ‘F’ sets the ground rules when it locks into a solid groove with Andy Lang spraying tight, noisy chords all over the shop. ‘Rock Sing’ features buzzing guitars that sound like a wall of flies a couple of metres thick, while the harsh, repetitive riff of ‘Traps’ is a lurching monster that may make you feel seasick. Singer Danny Vanderpol sounds like the class clown after a few drinks: clever and needling, a sarcastic little shit who brings an exaggerated effect to a lot of the lines. Listen to him squawk at the start of ‘Patrol’.
But as with Total Control, some people insist on missing the point and blunting the overall effect of the music by worrying too much about where it has come from, trying to isolate specific influences. That's a waste of time. Sure you can hear echoes of some old-school L.A. punk, but on this album the Bits have come up with something more than just the sum of its parts.
- Trevor Block (messandnoise.com
, 10th August 2012)
released 19 July 2012
The Bits of Shit are:
Danny: vocals / lagerphone
Elias: bass / backing vocals
Andy: guitar / xylophone
Pete: drums / can kicking
Recorded by Pete at the Thornbury Clubhouse, 2011
Mixed and mastered by Mikey Young
Rock Sing & Flunkies written by the Up-Syndrome,
all other songs by the B.O.S.M.C
Cover drawing by Rona Green
Back photo by Cimony Van der pol
Lettering by Dandy Lang der pol
Layout by Richard Stanley
Dedicated to all our fallen:
Jim, Joan, Brendon, Steve & Scarlet
Thanks to all members & affiliates