James Griffin /The Agents
No Adjustment To The Face


This New Wave, independent 12 inch EP was the fourth and final record by Sydney band, the Agents. Compiled from earlier singles and released in 1983, it has never been reissued ‘til now and has only been available in its original form: the limited edition, 12 inch vinyl 45, No Adjustment To The Face. So it’s with great pleasure that we can at last make the collection available in this re-mastered, digital edition.


  • Suburbs Of The Heart
  • Merciless Cinema
  • Manhattan Project
  • Seven Samurai


  • James Griffin, vocals
  • Kydric Shaw, guitars, synthesizer, backing vocals
  • Lindy Allen, bass on Suburbs Of The Heart
  • Karl May, bass on Merciless Cinema & Manhattan Project
  • Kim Knight, bass on Seven Samurai
  • Robin Walsh, drums on Suburbs Of The Heart
  • Gye Bennetts, drums on Merciless Cinema & Manhattan Project
  • Phillip Hrywka, Drums on Seven Samurai
  • Special Guest, Rick Turk, synthesizer & organ on Suburbs Of The Heart
  • Cover design, Greg Hill

Recorded at Studio 221, Sydney, 1980 & 1981
Recorded by Ian Davies
Produced by Ian Davies, Kydric Shaw & James Griffin
Seven Samurai recorded on analogue 8-Track somewhere else in Sydney, 1982
Produced by Kydric Shaw & James Griffin

“After we’d had some success with our first three independent singles: Suburbs Of The Heart, Merciless Cinema/Manhattan Project and Seven Samurai – and sold out the initial pressings and re-pressings - Darlinghurst based independent label, Hot Records offered to reissue the A-sides as a 12 inch vinyl EP. We gladly said yes and the No Adjustment To The Face, collection was released as a dual label partnership between Hot and our own label, Venice Beach. The No Adjustment To The Face, title is a line from my Merciless Cinema lyric.

“The three A-sides are already re-released as digital singles, and are talked about in detail individually in that context, but as this is the first re-release for Manhattan Project, I thought I’d better tell you a little about that song.

‘Recorded in the same session as Merciless Cinema and originally released as the B-side/kind of double A-side to that single, Manhattan Project is pretty obviously an anti-nuclear bomb/missile/warhead, anti-war song: here’s the first verse:

Radio-active wasteland
By the sea is what you get
The nuclear family heirloom
Is a broken TV set
Men in suits and Italian shoes
Stare into the silence
The setting sun bursts upon
The shell-shocked sons of science

You bought your shares in the cold war
What did you expect
From the smiling face in the open door
Of the Manhattan Project?

“So: an inspired piece of new wave music composition from Kydric Shaw; similarly inspired drum part from Gye Bennetts; just the right bass from Karl May; and I spoke/sang what was then my new, hot off the typewriter, anti war/anti nuclear lyric/poem….

“The phrase, Manhattan Project comes from the code name for the USA led nuclear research and development project that created the first Atomic bombs, including the so-called ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’ bombs that were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, late in World War Two.

“Initially, ‘Manhattan Project’ was merely the informal code name for the venture because its headquarters were in the Manhattan army district….and it’s easy to see why that happened, because it is a very resonate, poetically appealing phrase….but to me, another weirdly poetic thing about all the naming is that the original, official codename was apparently ‘Development of Substitute Materials’ – a strangely musical phrase in its own right; and a remarkable feat of smoke screening double talk any way you cut it….

‘Manhattan Project’ is certainly a resonate title for a song - just as language/sound - but really, when I was looking to write an anti war song, the horrors of nuclear war seemed like the most effective thing to focus on. And if the project was still called ‘Development of Substitute Materials’ I guess that would have become the title….

And here’s the rest of the song:

Meanwhile back on easy street
The two-year-old is howling
Collecting pieces of the cat
Where the high-rise flats are melting
Tinker tailor soldier sailor
Checking out the damage
Eye-balls running down their face
The medium is the message

You bought your shares in the cold war
What did you expect
From the smiling face in the open door
Of the Manhattan Project?

How far now to Babylon
Three-score miles and ten
There and back in a minute flat
There and back again
Casualties of secrecy
Get laid out end to end
With famous naked women
And silent powerful men

You bought your shares in the cold war
What did you expect
From the smiling face in the open door
Of the Manhattan Project?

The No Adjustment To The Face EP is available from James's Store.

All tracks available digitally from Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Deezer, Pandora, YouTube Music, Tidal, Groove Music (Microsoft) from Sept 1st 2017.