With all the changes in popular music over the decades, the stereotypes about being…
- Posted on Oct 6th 2010 10:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
Carol Slater Photography
This was opening night of the Gurus' first US tour since 2007, and if Faulkner wasn't campaigning, he might as well have been. Dressed in the sort of multicolored silk shirt only a true man of action and vision -- or Parker Lewis -- can wear, the singer and guitarist presided over three decades' worth of grabby punk ragers. The quartet delivered each with the searing twang-fuzz intensity of a bar band waist-deep in crushed Fosters cans, showing their love for both the Stones and Ramones.
"There's no time like the right time," went encore 'The Right Time,' the sort of song you can sing when your band has never really gone out of style.
The Gurus formed in Sydney 1981, when Australia was midway through a punk explosion documented by the killer compilation 'Do the Pop! The Australian Garage-Rock Sound, 1976–87.' That set includes two Gurus tunes, one of which, 'Leilani,' was among Tuesday's highlights. With its thudding tom-toms and "whoa-oh-oh" background vocals, it was pure jungle-stomp teen drama, the best song ever written about losing a girl to the volcano gods.
Before he was a Guru, Faulkner was in the Victims, another influential Aussie punk act, and Tuesday night, he honored a request for that band's 1977 single 'Television Addict,' also featured on 'Do the Pop!' To Faulkner's credit, it was about as fast and hard as 'Crackin' Up,' from this year's 'Purity of Essence,' the Gurus' ninth studio album and first since reforming in 2004 after a five-year hiatus.
On grand finale 'Like Wow-Wipeout,' a garage-punk reworking of 'Mony Mony,' Faulkner sang, "I kiss the city of New York," shoring up the support of a town already in his camp.