Listen up: This is killer. Ten songs of sharp-edged, driving punk with lots of melodies.
The original Aberration kicked around Sydney in the 1980s as a four-piece, playing New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) inspired punk, sharing stages with the likes of the Hard-Ons and Massappeal before that hoary old chestnut, “lifestyle issues”, took ‘em out in ’86.
Original Aberration singer, Big Al Creed (Hell Crab City/New Christs/Panadolls), is the sole survivorv on vocals and guitar. He’s joined by Tony Bambach (ex-Lime Spiders) on bass and Stu Wilson (ex-New Christs, Lime Spiders) on drums.
(Declaration: I’ve worked with all of these guys and like ‘em, so there’s a bias that I’ll attempt to screen out.)
The material on “Tuckerbox” comes from set lists of the original line-up, recorded mostly in Sydney with overdubs in Newcastle over the last few years. It’s not mindless and angry three-chord thrash. The NWOBHM tag should tell you as much, although they’re (thankfully) more Motorhead than Iron Maiden. Articulated guitars wind their way through the mix, over a relentless engine room.
Tony and Stu are a consummate power-trio rhythm section. Chris Masuak stole them for his 2017 shows in Australia which should tell you a lot. Ultimately, it’s Al Creed’s careening guitar lines and the quality of the songs that make Aberration stand apart.
Big Al has a melodic voice and while his lyrics spend their fair share of time in the gutter gazing upwards to the stars, they’re not your average “kill the man/we’re all rooned” punk fodder. More like: “What did I do last night?”
The ragged, rise and fall melody of “Dregged Out” gives it an infectious edge. “Loaded Dice” is a searing Motorhead-style surge with trilling guitar licks and some stellar drumming. “Trapped” mixes suburban paranoia with some Ron Asheton licks for impressive results.
There’s a touch of the New Christs on a '60s groove trip about “Nothing To Say” with its percussive accents and spiralling lead, while “Spiders” sounds like the Fab Four being channelled through Husker Du. It’s a varied lot but Big Al’s tremendous guitar tones tie it all together.
3.-Nothing To Say
7.-Looking For Direction