Saturday, January 19, 2008

Melniks - Collection

Indie music in Brisbane

Sometime around 1990 a band called Toadstool was born. The band consisted of Jason Cassidy (drums/vox), John Swingle (vox/guitar), Nick Schoeffler and a guy called Porky. However, soon after the band formed Nick left and the remaining three members decided to change their name to The Melniks.

The Melniks enjoyed telling lies about how they came up with their name. For example, they claimed to have borrowed the name from:

  • Monty Melnik, the long time Ramones tour manager
  • Melnik the Smiling Killer, from the Get Smart episode Perils in a Pet Shop
  • Melnik, a town in the Czech republic renown for its rock formations

Apparently the real way the Melniks came up with their name is that one night Cass was watching TV and saw the video for the Ramones song "I Wanna Live". In one frame there was a light board at a venue saying "Ramones here tonight.... No Melniks."

In between playing shows around Brisbane, Cass, John and Porky managed to record and release a cassette in 1991 called I Was A Cartoon Pornstar. Shortly after the release of the cassette, Porky left the band and was replaced by a dude named Steve. However, after only a short time Steve left the band as well.

At this point, Cass and John placed an advertisement saying that the Melniks were looking for a female bass player. A young fellow by the name of Trevor Ludlow replied to the ad, auditioned for the band and landed the gig. Around this time a hyperactive young whippersnapper called James Straker also joined the band as second guitarist. James has previously been in a band called Custard Gun (an early incarnation of Custard) but had been given the boot after only a couple of shows. This lineup issued a cassette called Melniks R Uncool around 1992.

John Swingle then quit the Melniks to go overseas. However Cass, Trevor and James kept the band going - until Trevor decided to quit as well. Things weren't going well. Coming to the rescue of Cass and James was Terry Devantier, who became the band's new bassist. Shortly afterwards a young gent named Trent McNamara (vocals/guitar) was also drafted into the Melniks. Trent had previously played in the Rubber Jonnies and Cocksure. At this point the revolving Melniks line up settled down for a good three of four years, and the classic "four piece Melniks" got down to business, recording several albums and touring up and down the east coast of Australia.

The compilation features:

  • I sucked a lot of cocktails, Best of mates, Cops 'r' tops, Byrds & Beatles, and Backdrop from Fairway To Seven (1997)
  • Drew Romance, Anna, Grosby, Kim or Kelly, Bengal Curry House and Silver stars Schmelniks (1996)
  • The single remix of Chunky Doh (which was originally on Schmelniks)
  • Big toe, Squiddgy, Never see you, Apple tree, Close to you, Miller in the can and Lenny & Gladdys from Gordon From Sesame St (1994)
  • Hero sandwich, Tuffs, Lucy is a bean and Little old green man (Degrassi Mix) from I Know You Are But What Am I? (1993)
  • Sega from the Melniks R Uncool tape (1992)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great blog!

I loved these guys. Saw them play in Brisbane many times in the 90s including the support for Dinosaur Jr.

Any chance of upload Schmelniks and Errol from Hot Chocolate if you have these albums? Both were victims of my car being broken into...never been able to find them again :(dohv