Update 5/1/14: I've just learned that plenty of copies of the Stems book are still available direct from High Voltage Publishing.
I think this is only the second book review I've offered on Wilfully Obscure, so here goes. In the '80s, there were more than a few decent garage/psych revivalists to emanate from the land down under. For my money, two that really stood out were the Lime Spiders and The Stems. While the Spiders' collective legs seemed to web their way around the world for their proverbial fifteen minutes, the geographic challenge was more daunting for Perth's Stems, whom I don't believe made any inroads in North America save for a cut on the Young Einstein soundtrack (embarrassing times, I know). Yet the Stems, helmed by demigod-in-the-making Dom Mariani, were responsible for some of the most pristine and quintessentially definitive garage rock songs ever produced from that era, deliberately retro as they may have been. You see, while the Lime Spiders resided on the trashy, punk side of the continuum, Mariani and Co, were steeped in all things beat, Mersey and mod.
Accompanying the book is a CD of live Stems material, culled from multiple concerts, some of which were heavy on covers, and fitting ones at that - The Stones, Count V, Easybeats, Blues Magoos, and even the Plimsouls all get the Stems makeover. In the link below, I've set you up with two tracks from the disk, plus a pair of Stems classic studio sides, that were anthologized on Citadel Records Buds anthology. You'll also be treated to one song apiece from Dom Mariani's excellent power pop act The Someloves (who ran concurrently with the Stems) and his even more prolific '90s outfit, DM3. I've even tossed in a few page spreads of the book to whet your appetite. The Stems 1984-87 is available from High Voltage books in Australia.
Tears Me in Two
Psychotic Reaction (live)
Zero Hour (live)
Someloves - Back on Side With You
DM3 - 1x2x Devastated
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