With his Sixties sensibility and a penchant for garage and punk rock, Gav Icon, DJ and frontman from Gavin and Thee Icons selects his favourite records from the likes of Black Lips and The Cramps to The Sonics and Ramones. Photos by Ste Murray.
Black Lips – Good Bad, Not Evil
The Black Lips are one of Garage Rock’s modern greats, with a live show that would make GG Allin stop and say, “Ah, Jesus that’s just too far lads”. They there are what a rock and roll band should be. This album has the tracks ‘O Katrina!’, ‘Bad Kids’, ‘Lock and Key’ and ‘Veni Vidi Vici’. Need I really say more?
The Sonics – Here are The Sonics
One of my all time favourites and one I will never get sick of listening to. Packed full of great songs about been a teenage guy, with the greatest screaming in rock and roll history delivered by lead vocalist Gerry Roslie, who can still out-scream the best of them. Songs about motts, cars, drinking strychnine for kicks, witches, psychopaths, and Satan are always winners with me. Ahead of its time.
Talk Talk – The Music Machine
What can I say about this record? It has all you need. A great groove. Fuzz, fuzz and more fuzz, every band member wearing leather on one hand only and the greatest cover of ‘Hey Joe’ I’ve ever heard. A must for any garage rock fan.
The Gruesomes – Tyrants of Teen Trash
I fucking love this band! One of the early garage punk bands hailing from Montreal, Canada. This album is half covers and half originals. Covering bands like Screaming Lord Sutch and The Sonics you can guess the roots of the band sound is with 60’s punk. Their primitive, trashy and snotty garage punk sound has influenced many bands, including my own, and you can hear it on The Horrors first album. Bobby Beaton’s voice and Gerry Alvarez’s guitar style together with the Davis brothers as the rhythm section; this is one high energy and ballsy rock and roll record.
The Stooges – The Stooges
I really don’t need to tell anyone how good this record is. Iggy Pop has been labelled the Godfather of Punk, and rightly so. In proto-punk terms this kind of took up where The Sonics left off. The pile-driver heavy riffs, big beat and angsty lyrics screamed by Iggy it’s a punk as punk could be. It’s one of them records I can stick on and it will get me all fired up!
The Cramps – Off The Bone
I got the LP with the 3D cover version, which actually works. The only downside came after pissing and moaning to the guy I bought it off… asking did the original 3D glasses come with it, and he assured me that they did. And did they come with it? Did they fuck! Lucky I had the 3D glass from The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disasters 7”, similar band with a similar idea, to see what the cover was like and it was deadly. I love The Cramps and this is them at their finest. Throwing together primitive rock-a-billy, garage, r&b and punk with a gothic twist in such great style. Lux Interior in my opinion is the greatest front man of all time and the music is adrenaline packed rock and roll greatness.
Billy Childish – Archive From 1959 – The Billy Childish Story
Billy Childish has released well over 100 albums at this stage so this comp has just some songs of his career from 1978 till 2009 when it was released. The music is a mix of garage, punk, blues, indie and more punk! With his lyrics about social issues or darker stuff about his childhood. It’s great the way he can just keep been so prolific in writing and recording. With every new release there is still that snarl and attitude. That’s why he is one of my favorite artists.
The Strokes – Is This It
Jaysus, I remember music was shit around 2001 until these handsome fucks came along. Playing simple 3-chord garage rock with really cleaver catchy lead guitar bits over it. First time I saw them was the video for ‘Last Nite’, they looked so cool in their vintage clobber, smoking cigarettes, drinking beers and looking like they just had been dragged through a bush. It was the perfect antidote to whatever clean cut “rock” or pop band or cool rapper was in the charts at the time. It was just back to basics dirty rock and roll which sparked off the likes of The Hives, The Libertines and The Cribs getting out there and every A&R man wanting to step over their own Ma to sign anything in skinny jeans and Chuck Taylor’s. Another album I will never get sick of and one of my desert island discs.
The Mummies – Fuck C.D.s! It’s The Mummies
The budget rockers themselves. They rejected professionalism and star status and have a D-I-Y aesthetic. Recording and playing gigs in warehouses and bedrooms on cheap or damaged equipment, hence the whole budget rock thing. I really like this band, garage punk lo-fi sound and their “fuck you” attitude. They are so trashy and the organ sound is just amazing. It might have that sound because it’s damaged due to Trent throwing it around the stage and riding it like a surf board during live shows. A monster of a band that I like to play a lot when I’m Djing and I always get people coming up and asking me who they are, Just goes to show how underrated they really are. So get this record on your turntable, kick back and play it loud!
Ramones – Ramones
One of the first punk bands I got in to. When I was 13, my uncle just moved back from London and we where in my Grannies front room in Finglas. At the time I was into Guns N’ Roses, Transvision Vamp and the heavy metal that was around at the time. Me uncle brought in all these flight cases opened them up and they where stuffed full of records. I says “Here, Alex what’s that?” He replies, “This is Punk!” We listened to it all, but the Ramones really stood out for me. The songs were just so catchy and they had something edgy about them, pop but in a cool way. After that I was a punk.