The Fiction –Ramona LP review (Off the Hip)

Massive thanks to Rob Griffiths for providing me with this CD x

Now. A few years ago the Fictions long lost 1978 demo tape was dug up and released on the mighty Off the Hip Records (for a review of that release please visit https://frednegro.com.au/2018/05/17/the-fiction-negative-fun-off-the-hip/). It was an amazing time capsule of Melbourne in the 70s and up there with the finest punk releases to come out of this fine city. After 40 years since that demo was made, the Fiction ave returned to record 10 new tracks of punk/garage standards. With the same spirit they had in the 70s, the Fiction, driven by the two Robs, Rob Wellington on guitar, a great mate and good Piesman, and Rob Griffiths, pulling double duty also celebrating 40 years of Little Murders this year (new LP out now also via Off the Hip), is an tribute to those that say punks not dead.

Women is a ripper opening track, and the longest clocking in three and a bit minutes. Could ave been a 80s riot grrl anthem. Nice line about never finishing school and learning how to play bass. Rob W lets rip a great Ron Asheton style riff. Whatever It Might Take is an ace bubble-gum meets punk track telling the story of trying to find a girl then finding the right one and being so smitten with her and to do whatever it takes to make it work. Birdman is a brilliant tribute to the Oz punk pioneers. Should be used as a theme song for when the band walks on stage. I hope they do that at the Croxton. Rob unleashes a Deniz Tek riff to add to it. My Ramona slows things down. For a few seconds. Great lightning bolt style riff, Ramona, if she exists, should be very pleased with this fine accolade. Boy Town has a great 1 2 Ramones style punch, while I Need It and Elevator Man are bother ripper punk anthems, the former a scream together track, while Elevator Man is a come together get the lighter out moment. I know is a bare bones stripped back punk track that proves all you need is three chords a few lines of lyrics and two minutes. Nothing more

Ten tracks clocking in at 21 minutes, which goes nicely with my theory that no LP should go longer than 30 minutes. Instead of resting and living off the demo 40 years ago, the Fiction ave come up with a new wave of punk classics, showing that the spirit of 1976 will never die. Plus the live show, with the added guitar of drive of Rusty Teluk shows the band is still full of energy in the studio and on stage. Ramona shows the simplicity of punk rock and why its so brilliant. As mentioned above three chords a few lines and two minutes is all you need. So people think punk is stoopid because of its simplicity, but its simplicity is what makes it so great. It takes all the basics of rock strip it back and use the bare minimum and focus on that. Why come up with 20 chords and six minute wank fest solos when you can tell a story in 90 seconds. One of the best releases of 2019 and shows forty years after the band formed they still got it.

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