Words: Doug Wallen
Band image: Gunay
After nearly a year and a half between releases, Naarm/Melbourne psych-punk trio Bitch Diesel are suddenly a flurry of activity, dropping a new four-song tape on the way to a full album later this year.
Bitch Diesel is comprised of guitarist Ruby Koomen, drummer Ashlee Pierce and bassist Phoebe Taylor (also of Venetian Blinds), all of whom share vocal duties as well as a fondness for alter egos like “The Stang” and “Silver Skidmark”. Although formed in 2016, they’re only now preparing to release their debut LP, Bitchcraft, later this year through Roolette Records in Australia/New Zealand and French label Future Folklore in the US and Europe. First comes this four-song tape, timed for the band’s two gigs at the newly reborn venue Brunswick Ballroom (formerly The Spotted Mallard) for Brunswick Music Festival on March 11 and 12. The second show (with support from Exek, Imperial Leather, and Spike Vincent) has already sold out, but you can still grab tickets for the first night, where the group will be supported by Alien Nosejob and The Bush.
Leading the charge for the limited cassingle is ‘Hail’, a badass fever dream of charred effects and incantatory lyrics about angels, demons, and rock ‘n’ roll itself. Summoning classic Stooges as much as Sonic Youth at their most sinister, it’s a witchy bout of gnaw-and squall that builds plenty of heat by the end, thanks in part to a ropey rhythm section. The four-song cassette includes ‘Hail’, previous single ‘The Void’ (recorded by Tropical Fuck Storm’s Gareth Liddiard), an exclusive remix of the unreleased track ‘Bionic Woman’ by Phil Gionfriddo (Jacky Winter), and a cover of X-Aspirations’ 1978 anthem ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Out’. The latter also appears on the new 20-band compilation Cover Is Blown, curated by Zak Brown from Easy Browns. Besides ‘The Void’, all of the tape’s songs were recorded and mixed in the French Pyrenees while the band were touring Europe in late 2019. That’s quite a lot of variety for a humble cassingle, and the perfect chance to reacquaint yourself with Bitch Diesel’s scorching presence before that album arrives in June.
Listen to ‘Hail’ below: