Around the same time that a newer, less-constricted underground scene-- exemplefied by labels like Homestead Records and zines like the then-newly revitalized Forced Exposure-- began sprouting up from what was left of the first waves of U.S. hardcore in the mid-80's, a bunch of people started to realize that just about every piece of punk rock vinyl that made its way to American record shops from Australia or New Zealand was absolute gold. For a while there you could pretty much count on anything from Citadel or Flying Nun or Aberrant or Waterfront, etc. etc., was gonna be great, and so I'd take regular trips down to the old Rhymes Records in New Haven, which had a good OZ/NZ section, and try to grab whatever I could get my hands on. The day that I walked out of Rhymes with a Greenhouse of Terror 12" and the Cosmic Psychos' "Down On The Farm", both scored from the used bin for less than five bucks each, was an awesome day indeed.
Like a lot of Aussie bands, the Cosmic Psychos definitely take their cues from the Stooges' stretched-out, wah-wah pedal-infused jams, but in that bass-heavy, lyrically-direct way that the Australians have a knack for. If you haven't heard this stuff before, though, don't be misled into thinking this is some lame-ass drugged-out hippie shit (I mean, fuck, that's what always pops into my head whenever I think back to my old Stooges records). This stuff has definitely got some big balls, and seeing how "Down On The Farm" came out in '85, it's pretty easy to draw a direct line from this to Halo of Flies-- especially since Amp Rep re-issued this on CD a while back, or so I've heard.
Just listen to the crushing riff on "Custom Credit", and the way Ross Knight sings, "You drove me up the wall, I ain't no spidah" before bringing in the guitar solo by announcing, "Give us some wah-wah, Dirty," and then tell me this shit ain't great.
Cosmic Psychos -
"Down On The Farm"
(these files are now listen-only)