Words Anthony Moore.
If you’re familiar with punk, hardcore and pub rock from the ‘80s and ‘90s, you’ve surely heard of one of Australia’s greatest bands, Massappeal. They’ve influenced many of todays bands with or without them even knowing it.
Massappeal’s 1986 Album on Sydney’s Waterfront Records, Nobody Likes A Thinker, has become the stuff of legend through it being a solid a release as well as the artwork done by artist Ben Brown.
Since Massappeal broke up, singer and co-founder Randy Reimann has had a few projects including the alt noise pop electro collective, Tralala Blip and now most recently Wolf Shield. This latest project pays homage directly to the passion and memory of his time with Massappeal, the punk sound and way of life.
The name Wolf Shield is also a close to the heart creation due to where the name comes from , as Reimann explains, “As this is a fairly personal and solo project I decided to use my name. If you look up Randolf, the old germanic meaning is Wolf Shield or House Wolf. I did like house wolf as a lot of the rhythms I construct are very inspired by house and disco, especially the slower subdued underground stuff of the ‘70s and ‘80s.”
Reimann started the project to create songs based around old Massappeal practice tapes from the ‘80s. It’s a very unique process and one that’s grabbing people’s attention. “I wasn’t interested in using Massappeal riffs or anything, I somehow wanted to express sonically how that music of my youth still hums away under my skin and in my bones, it feels like a physical part of my atomic make-up. So I started the Residuum Suite. Each song process starts by me taking just the tail end of a Massappeal song from one of many cassettes, just the last ringing out of a chord or a cymbal crash or just the reverberation of the room as the song ends. I then loop this and process it a bit with filters until it resembles a drone, a spiritual haze. This is the way I experience Massappeal now. Then I sync this drone to my machines and start construction. The final step is to extract lyric ideas from my diary of that same period, the 1980’s. I then record it all live, in one take. The whole process is very quick, from constructing the drone to pressing record is about 5-6 hours. I usually do this on Mondays when I have the house to myself.”
There’s been a long time that’s gone by between Massappeal’s final release in 1994 to this new project yet it seems it’s been on Reimann’s own mind to pick back up where he left off, albeit in a very different way, as well as fans of the band.
“I have wanted to do this for a couple of years now and have had a few attempts and different approaches. I think part of me doing this was because of social media and quite a few people asking about Massappeal and this made me look deeper at it. I was finding myself answering lots of messages like “why doesn’t Massappeal reform?” or “don’t you like punk / hardcore anymore?” To answer, I really had to investigate my emotional responses to these questions and my answers were never short!”
Reimann is touring Wolf Shield and promoting the track No More which is a part of a vinyl compilation, ‘Normalised: The Detonic Collection’ from Melbourne label Detonic. A compilation Reimann is proud to be a part of, “I really like a Brisbane band on the label called Multiple Man. When I heard that Detonic Records were putting a compilation together, I sent them a PM.”
No More is part 1 of a series called The Residuum Suite, there are approximately eight more Residuum tunes so far and at this stage Reimann is unsure what he’ll do with the other tracks. After being asked if he had anything to share Reimann contacted Jason Heller who had recently created a clip for Tralala Blip while they were in Melbourne but didn’t know what direction to take. “He asked if I had any ideas? I said absolutely not! He had an idea he wanted to try out that involved old VHS equipment and magnets and I said something like “that could work great using old Massappeal footage, just how I used old Massappeal tapes for the song!”
Check out the clip for No More below and Wolf Shield when they hit Melbourne.
‘Normalised: The Detonic Collection’ Tracklisting:
1. VvvV – Slugs (FR)
2. Tuxedo Gleam – Fiction (US)
3. We are enfant Terrible – 1to4get (FR)
4. Infecticide – Prehistronic (FR)
5. Jonny Telafone – I will ascend (AU)
6. Men Oh Pause – Graceville (UK)
1. Diesel Dudes – Earthmover (US
2. Sashcloth and Axes – Ready to Die (US)
3. Wolf Shield – No more (AU)
4. Tripple Nippples – Masaka (JP)
5. Vulgar Fashion – Fatal Photographs (US
6. Dead Boomers – The Hammer (AU)
Monday 17th November – The Public Bar, North Melbourne with Bono Ono, Mnttab
‘Normalised: The Detonic Collection’ – BUY IT HERE!