Graham Reid | | 1 min read
It is extremely good news to see on the line-up for next year's Auckland City Limits the re-formed D4 who – in the late Nineties and early 2000s – held high the banner for punk-fueled rock'n'roll along with running mates the Datsuns.
Bassist Dion Palmer aka the Lunadon here, came into the D4 from the equally incendiary Nothing At All! and was the pure embodiment of take no prisoners rock'n'roll energy.
In their career the D4 played on bills alongside the Stooges, New York Dolls, the Hives and many more, and this writer recalls a thrilling pre-Big Day Out gig with the Datsuns in a small bar on Wyndham St . . . and catching them at a gig in London which remains one of the most incendiary in memory.
After the band split in 2006 Lunadon made his home in New York and has most recently been in A Place to Bury Strangers.
This ear-searing album – on record with a download code – under his own name is enjoyable confirmation that Lunadon is not going to go quietly into middle age. These are mostly thrashing, focused slabs of guitar-grit, garageband rock'n'roll, the longest still shy of four minutes, the shortest barely over 90 seconds.
Interestingly enough though, the throbbing Hanging By A Thread – those are the sole lyrics and they come in right at the end – at the end of the “first” side (there's no identifiable A and B) rides what sounds like a repeated and menacingly low keyboard part while Lunadon applies blowtorch chords.
Howl approaches a kind of garageband power-pop run through emotional distortion and a piece of steel wool, and the raw and raucous Ripper comes with a production which must have cost all of $12 but with harmonic and a sprinting bass line it leaps from basic rhythm'n'blues to proto-rock'n'roll. White Fence could almost be called a pop song at a pinch, if the pinch came from heated pliers.
Aside from drums, it seems Lunadon plays everything here and there is an explosive energy almost everywhere. Strap yourself in for Insurance Rent and Taxes, the terrifyingly good feedback'n'organ desperation of Fire, Move and Eliminator. But No Control at the end of the other side once again closes proceedings on a more dialed down, brooding mood.
Dion was, alongside his D4 bandmates, the Datsuns and outriders like Rock And Roll Machine, the bastard offspring of the Ramones, Stooges and all those along the never-explain axis.
It is very reassuring that he hasn't lost an ounce of energy or commitment.
And makes the appearance of the D4 at Auckland City Limits a genuinely exciting prospect.