Just in time for Halloween, another long-buried post-punk act comes snarling out of the grave, a little bit older, a little bit more demented, and with a little bit more dirt/blood under their fingernails. In this case, it’s Melbourne’s legendary synth-punk band Primitive Calculators, a sort of missing link between Suicide and Big Black, with a dash of Sex Pistols-esque punk rock sneer. Now, 33 years after the lads released their first single, “I Can’t Stop It,” they’re back in the studio, and working on their first new recordings since 1979. Recorded by famed Melbourne man-about-town Julian Wu and mixed and mastered by seasoned Yank producer Casey Rice, the album is slated for release in 2013.
With new tracks like “Sick of Myself,” an ode to the ludicrousness of being in a synth-punk band when you’re a dude in his mid-50s, and “Cunt Life,” a song written in 1977 by Primitive Calculators-related project The Moths, it sounds like the band’s latest will be as cheerily snotty as ever. The band reunited in 2009 when Nick Cave asked them to play All Tomorrow’s Parties; Primitive Calculators and Cave’s band, The Boys Next Door, were part of the same St. Kilda-based punk rock scene. In the 30 or so years since the band hung up their synths, appearances by classic Primitive Calculators tracks on Australian post-punk compilations have reignited an interest in their screeching, visionary tunes. Listen to “Cunt Life” below, which was released a few months ago as a 7-inch b/w “Sick of Myself” via Chapter Music.