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Studio 5 Live Session

Seminal Rats Studio 5 Live

by Seminal Rats

Feature Records for the week beginning Mon 15 Jul 2013

The early 1980’s represented a great era in Melbourne’s punk and post-punk music scene. Through this period and into the early 1990’s we saw, and heard the emergence of bands like God, Bored, Venom P Stinger, Hoss, Sydney’s Celibate Rifles and the New Christs and of course the Powder Monkeys amongst numerous others. One of the consistent forces on pub stages in Melbourne during this era was The Seminal Rats, a band whose influence is probably not recognized as broadly as it should be.

Originally hailing from Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, The ‘Rats were unafraid to make music al reference to their antecedents but at the same time wrote some immediately memorable and original 3 minute punk rock tracks. Their first two albums – Omnipotent and Hot Snapper Pie (Grruntled) stand as classic documents of both the band, but also of the sound of inner-suburban Melbourne at the time. Having started playing around Melbourne in 1984, the band quickly garnered a loyal following and in just a few short years would be hailed by The Age newspaper as “Melbourne’s veterans of grunge” – still some years before Nirvana and the Seattle scene took that genre descriptor from the underground into the mainstream miasma.

For the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival The Tote will be presenting a tribute to The Powder Monkeys on the 10th anniversary of the death of Tim Hemensley – bassist/vocalist for the Powder Monkeys. Like the Powder Monkeys, the Seminal Rats’ career would be cut short by the tragic death of one of its members – guitarist/songwriter Mick Weber in 1999. The ‘Rats would continue to perform after Weber’s death – both under their original name and also for a period as Cantankerous. For the most part this was with original members Reuben Pinkster, Todd McNeair, Michael Harley and Dave Balsamo, with Ian Wettenhall replacing Balsamo on bass guitar for a period in the 1990s.

At the Tote on Saturday July 21 from 2pm there’ll be a bunch of Melbourne’s finest bands playing across 2 stages to celebrate not just Tim Hemensley and the Powder Monkeys, but also the scene that Hemensley and his contemporaries were so much a part of. Some of those iconic bands will be performing during the day – including Hoss, Bored and The Seminal Rats.

This week PBS celebrates the great heritage of these bands by featuring an exclusive set performed at PBS by The Seminal Rats in our Studio 5 on September 21, 2011.

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