The Scientists: Blood Red River 12"

Numero Group Records

$18.50

After trekking east from the suburbs of Perth to take new root in Sydney, in 1983 the Scientists hooked up with producer Chris Logan, who's credited with the album's imposing sonic girth and rumbling low end, and premier Aussie punk label Au Go Go for an album that would define their unmistakably swampy, psychotic aura. These six songs revisited band leader Kim Salmon's interest in the Cramps and the Stooges,while adding in the repetitive dementia of Suicide and elements of cow punk twang, with Salmon's distinctly unrefined Australian accent snarling tales of lust, confusion and angst.

Our take: Gorgeous reissue of the Scientists' 2nd 12", originally released in 1983. Though I prefer their earlier material it's hard not to acknowledge the greatness of this record. If there's an earlier record that more clearly presages the development of grunge then I don't know about it... grunge's combination of swampy, bluesy riffs and punk energy seems to start with this LP, and I'd be surprised if the members of Mudhoney in particular didn't take direct inspiration from it. I must admit that I'm slightly biased against this sound because the slightest whiff of blues-rock in punk is a major turn-off, but this record is so lean, concise and powerful that it's as easy to get down with as the great early Mudhoney records.
Tags: 77&KBD 80s australia/nz garage punk reissues