Lipstick Killers

Reviews

Lipstick Killers Strange Flash: Studio & Live ’78–’81 2xLP

A garage-y quartet formed from the ruins of two first-wave Australian punk bands (FILTH and PSYCHO SURGEONS), the LIPSTICK KILLERS played the kind of spunky, glam-tinged rock‘n’roll that was popular among grown-up punks in the late ’70s. This collection takes the sole single released during the band’s active period and gives it the ol’ “as much bonus material as you can handle” treatment. In addition to the 1978 “Hindu Gods of Love”/”Shakedown USA” 45, this double-LP includes studio demos, an additional album-length unreleased demo session, two lengthy live shows, and some bonus PSYCHO SURGEONS songs as well. “Hindu Gods of Love” showcases the band at their best, with a crankin’ guitar that recalls DMZ and a sort of stripped-down jazziness that brings fellow Sydney rockers RADIO BIRDMAN to mind. On the single, this hit tune is pushed through a wall of flashy production that gives it a tint of psychedelia. You can compare it to the demo and live versions of the song that also appear in this set. These guys are really only putting in the tip in terms of punk, as most of their songs read as a “STOOGES-lite” kinda deal and often flirt with a commercial sensibility, though the singer does pepper it up with a good amount of growls and howls that you probably wouldn’t hear much on the radio in that era. The LIPSTICK KILLERS eventually made their way to L.A. and gigged with the likes of the GUN CLUB and the FLESH EATERS before calling it quits in 1981. If you’re clueless and curious about this hazy chapter of Aussie punk history as I was, this sprawling body of work pretty much tells the whole story.