Biff! Bang! Pow! Records catalogue re-release

Seemingly named after the old English indie band (or perhaps inspired by the mascots on boxes of Rice Bubbles), Brisbane record label Biff! Bang! Pow! (aka Bif Band Bow!) is briefly waking up from its 8-year dormancy to re-release its records on the internet – for free! Biff! Bang! Pow! knocked about only for a couple of years – from 1994 to 1996, to be exact – but they’re back to share recordings of local Brisbane indie bands from back in the day, like Crop Circles, Indigo Husk, and Pale.

biff bang pow

The indie label that almost could but then didn’t. Forgotten local 90’s label Biff Bang Pow! Records have moved their entire catalogue from jewel case to bandcamp – for free.

Now I’m honestly not one to say “omg that’s so 90s” – cultural trends don’t stop and start at the bookends of a decade (frost tips continued to be in favour for a few years into the 2000s, for instance) – but listening to these records really, really does take you back. The covers of two of Crop Circles’ albums are the first encounter of nostalgia: High in the Sky was ostensibly drawn by an artist of the same school as the creator of ClipArt, whilst Live at the Espy has a cassette on the front. A cassette! That shit so old it been superseded twice in 20 years, yo.

The music itself takes you back in time, with flashes of funk, ska, grunge and even acid all inflecting the fundamentally indie sound of the bands. Again, hearing these genre bubbles pop again does fill you with the scents of childhood. Also, in a way, does it separate our ears from the modern indie pop and rock we’re accustomed to now.

These bands owe part of their quality to the fact that their genre or sound existed in the lull before the inevitable assimilation into capital and the wake of a breakthrough artist. Crop Circles, Indigo Husk and Pale all contribute an individual, indie sound, unlike today where there are a legion of indie bands (named with a definite article and followed with a plural, cos like, that’s cool hey) signed precisely because they sound like previous successful bands.

I’m not a big indie rock fan (mainly for the above reason), but the many albums on offer by Biff! Bang! Pow! are all pretty solid and listenable. Even though – or perhaps because – they’re from Brisvegas, these three bands are all of a good standard, and have a acceptable amount of quirkiness that propels their then-embryonic indie stylings. Furthermore, most albums have extra material, mostly remixes. Far from being a distraction, these remixes actually are quite good, seamlessly fitting in with the rest of the album (I didn’t realise that Indigo Husk’s didn’t have a tangential electronic aspect to them until I looked at the liner notes).

As I type, Biff! Bang! Pow! is uploading new albums – a new Indigo Husk record was put today, even. If you wanna go check out some old-school indie, desperately want to feel nostalgic, or even if you’re curious to see if it’s true that Queenslanders are capable of more than growing bananas, drinking horrible beer and hating on NSW, then you can hit up their website.

Radical. I’m off to tie my jumper around my waist.



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