If you come from fabulous wealth and live in some big city, showbiz dynasty, gentrification bubble and take selfies with the name brand bar owners and replacement members of soldout hair metal bands eight days a week, you might incorrectly assume that music scenes have always been dominated exclusively by ultra affluent surgically enhanced twenty something skinny ingénues and their creepy Svengali producers, because that is what we have all been inundated with, for years now-unhappy girls with lip jobs and techno-pop beats. Nobody really has angry, or rebellious, or energetic rocknroll groups anymore, partly because all the kids are in that consumerist gadget spell, and techno and DJ festival culture prevails among the upperclass unreality show heiresses and Mimosa sippers, but when we were kids, we always had you know-basement bands that played at garage shows and backyard parties, so even the brokest forty ounce leather punks still had a venue, an outlet, our own temporary autonomous zone turf–even if some elitist prick controlled the barscene, but nowadays, there are no spare garages, they are all being rented for $900 a month to some vegan non smoking nursing student. The powers that be have so relentlessly gentrified every former underground art safehaven, pushing out the working class with obscenely jacked up rents and tedious lectures and scoldings about manners and sensitivity-the rich fauxgressive fake liberal college people keep showing up in our shitty neighborhoods with their obligatory pitbulls and college degrees and first it’s bicycle racks everywhere, and artisanal cupcakes, then, it’s the fake dive bar where all the bartenders are like upwardly mobile actress stripper models. Next thing ya know, they are calling the cops on people for smoking tobacco, even outside. Tech money moves in from white flight urban meccas and the class patrols start profiling poor people–criminalizing poverty, houselessness, busking, they start checking poor people’s dog licenses, they outlaw smoking, impose crazy penalties for any public intox, or open container, or improper slouching or dress code infractions, they persecute free speech in public spaces, arrest skateboarders for loitering, beat-up panhandlers, etc., all so the fabulous children of hedge fund managers can feel cozy over cocktails while pursuing overpriced degrees in the liberal arts. Broken window policies are strictly enforced where a kid with a silver paint pen will get the book thrown at him for tagging a wall, but the rich “vibrant and diverse” real estate people hire their grad school honky associates to paint big “hip-hop influenced” murals on the side of high-rise condos that used to be neighborhood bodegas. It’s fucked. DJ Wonderbread is in the house, yo.
Meanwhile, the majority of the country is struggling like hell to just barely even make rent, selling off their prized possessions, pawning the old band p.a., I know good guitarists who no longer own guitars, ya know? So there is just no extra money for rehearsal spaces, guitar strings, recording studios, or insurance on band vans, anymore-just slaving and saving to keep the man off your back. It’s sad. The rich college people who continue to pursue their arty hobbyist NPR rock groups like keeping their tight monopoly on Saturday Night, so there ain’t a lot of shared resources, or communal workspaces, or mutual-aid, anymore, they mostly all deliberately employ the Starbucks strategies of their awful greenhead fathers, to drive out competition, silence other voices, so you got the dominant capitalist scene-rulers whose dad’s are all corporate CEO’s, and their assistants and waiters, ya know? “More Ice! More lemon! Extra olive-oil! Where is that waitress???” Personally, I don’t wanna hear the chubby guys with fuzzy sweaters and mandolins weep about their backyard chickens and rooftop koi pond problems, or pretend they are Barry White lady killers, and I can’t really connect to all the disco waifs with their dieting and one thousand dollar handbag Taylor Swifting. I miss the underground scene from years ago, when real working class zeroes could join forces and pile in a van and go somewhere. Now there ain’t nowhere to go, certainly nowhere affordable to park the van, once you get there.
Those of us who pay attention, have been amazed and inspired by all the real-deal, nitty-gritty, soulful rocknroll that still comes from Australia. It seems like regular everyday people can still afford to congregate in lively bars and share some pints and laughs and conversation and maybe even shake a leg at real live and in person dancehalls where wild rock groups perform. It is a genuine thrill to see some battle hardened, fast travelin’, dangerous, road warrior rocker dudes tear it the fuck up in the latest DARK CLOUDS video, which is a crazy, non-stop rockin’, action packed, hundred miles per hour, Mad Max meets Smoky and The Bandit, Death Proof, Tarantino outlaw freakout like Guns N Roses woulda made, if they didn’t suck. Remember when your older brother used to turn you on to primo stoner-punk classic-rawk like UFO and Thin Lizzy and AC/DC and Alice Cooper, way back in the golden days? DARK CLOUDS are like some great band from another era you just discovered under the bed with the vintage “OUI” porn mags while snoopin’ around for his dope stash. EXACTLY the kind of heavy rock with memorable tunes some of us washed-up yank battle-axes would be aspiring to crank out if we weren’t all so impossibly behind the 8-ball, living in cars with three legged dogs, or pawning off our last few collectible rocknroll books to ripoff record store owners for pennies who will sell them for top dollar on fucking E-Bay. If you were ever a longhaired, whiskey drinkin’, old vinyl blasting rocknroll animal with a bad reputation and a pocket full of pills, DARK CLOUDS is really the still-standing, modern day band for you. These fellas can all take a punch, finish the gallon jug, beat you at pool, stay awake for nine days at a time, and play their asses off, absolutely untamed and unafraid outlaw bluespunk scumbaggery from the land of the lost, where the wild the wild things are. Not for gentrification pussies or trust funded safe spacers.