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HELLMENN (Buy CDs by this artist)
Herbal Lunacy EP (Aus. Waterfront) 1987
Bastard Sons of 10,000 Maniacs EP (Aus. Waterfront) 1988
Mourning of the Earth (Aus. Waterfront) 1990

Early on, these representatives of the rowdy Sydney surf-punk crowd showed only glimmerings of ability that might lift them above the garage-grunge mass — and oh, those inane lyrics! On the LP, a lot of the audible words are still dopey (one decent set are borrowed from someone else's poem). Yet the band also shows some real melodic strength as they add folk-rock and other musical elements to their now-potent noise-rock. Too bad screamer Ben Brown can't sing; the more demanding the song, the worse he sounds.

[Jim Green]