Bertie Page Clinic : Rock & Roll In A G-String
Ever since Elvis wiggled his pelvis on American national television, rock has been the domain of nocturnal fantasies and primal fears. Bertie Page Clinic continue the tradition of heavy boogie rock sleaze. But unlike the slinky funk of say Betty Davis or Melbourne's own George Huxley, Bertie Page Clinic like to think they are more The Cramps with a pinch of Meatloaf bombast.
Rock & Roll In A G-String doesn't leave much to the imagination. Nor do the topless women on the sleeve or inside the booklet. Neither do some rather trite lyrics; Loaded Up, for example. In case you thought "You'd never know l had a rack/ It's the kinda rig that'll never go slack" is followed up with "He told me his name was Signor Ding Dong/ He asked me if l had the ability to touch my toes". Just the type of prose even Judge Dread would not put his name to. And he was an over-weight, sleazy, middle-aged white man playing ska.
Then comes the almost-skinhead call and response chant of Turbo Nicko. This is not in fact as redundant as it sounds, even with the tongue firmly in (butt) cheek lyrics. "U-boat commander in a kombi van" is tempered with the request "Friends, bogans, countrymen lend me your ears". This is happily true, it seems. Glitter Johnny then invokes the spirit of the late Mr Thunders. No good reason why, it just does.
But Dreamboat represents the artistic benchmark of this record, with questionable suggestions like "l'd do the roadie just to get to you and the band could watch." Not that this is an insight into rock debauchery. Hailing, as they do, from The Sunshine State, you cannot help but wonder what Joh would have thought of them.
Years down the track you can be assured that if the question is asked "Why did Bertie Page Clinic never make it big?" you can be certain that the reply will not be "They were just too good." But if this is understood and one has an ear for degraded lyrics (and bad ones at that) you will appreciate that the Bertie Page Clinic are without context or connection to time and place. But this in itself brings them somewhat closer to misguided perfection.
And while the organ drenched funk that makes up the continuation of closer Hong Kong Hit is amateurish and ridiculous, that's in the best possible sense, given what the band are trying to achieve. And because the record is only slightly over 30 minutes, the joke does not totally wear thin.
Best Track: Dreamboat
If You Dig These, You'll Dig This: THE CRAMPS, METALOAF
In A Word: Nostalgic
Label : Turkeyneck Records