For Scots Stigma (Bronx Cheer!), it’s 1992 and they can probably be found sporting plaid shirts and manky hair. WE HAVE YOU SUSSED. They have riffs, they are quite clearly depressed about something, they are a Competent But Very Generic Grunge Band, they are Reuben without the tunes. If Kurt was still alive, he’d probably blow his head off anyway after hearing this. Fucking eight songs of it too.
Slightly more cheery are And What Will Be Left Of Them? (demo), who describe themselves as “like the B-52s (but less annoying)”. In other words, they have a male and female singer and some cheap keyboards. On Viva La Revolution, they even have the silly voices too. On paper, they should be my favourite band; on CD, it falls significantly short. As a starter we can certainly file under “promising” and they sound like they’re having fun (believe me, that counts for something). A few years ago, Where Are You Tonight? would’ve been an anthem among fanzine kidz.
Another band name-checking The B-52s in their biog are Hicks Milligan-Prophecy (When Icebergs Attack! EP) who must be liked for song-titles alone: 'Never The Bridesmaid (Always The Bride)' and 'Gap Kids Make Cracking Crack Whores'. Splendid. But hark! What’s this? Why, it’s the sound of a band mashing danceable post-punk influences with a bit of originality to go with it. Very, very dark pop. '9/11/73' is the Human League if the Human League hadn’t visited a cocktail bar and hadn’t had such a fear of guitars. I look forward to the A&R men scratching their chins and going “hmm, wouldn’t know what to do with them.” Maaaaarvellous, as Mr Brittas would say.
Continuing the darkness (rather than The Darkness, which would just be unnecessary) are Car Crash Horror (demo), who’ve been together for only six months and are depressing as hell. They might want to spend another six months trying to develop their slacker indie jangle sound. Next we have another bunch unhappy with their lot, three-piece My Dark Empire (Fits And Starts) who rock things up a little and are more like the Placebo you don’t want to punch in the face. The boy can sing. This is pretty rare on demos. Simple songs and some interesting lyrics.
Educated Animals (demo) thrust their CD upon me during The Rakes’ soiree to Brighton (I was so drunk at the time that I’m surprised I remember this happening). Better point out that they sound naff all like The Rakes. But it seems Educated Animals are starting to go good guns down in that lovely incestuous Brighton scene. They have slow, mellow verses, then faster, louder choruses, and a dose of old fashioned guitar soloing. It can even be, dare I say it, a little Floyd (Pink, not Keith), and then it heads down the same breezy road as fellow south coasters British Sea Power. Good stuff indeed. There’s definitely a place for this.
And I believe that’s enough your attention span will be able to take for now. ‘Til next time, cheerio.