This album is a powerful reminder that the punk scene is still producing innovative and exciting new sounds. The first track "PS Exclusive" hits you right away with a heady blast of fast-moving lo-fi guitar work, and a unique dreamy but attitude-filled stream of conciousness from vocalist Sue Tompkins. The band are from Glasgow and their sound really stands out amongst recent releases. The guitars have echoes of Sonic Youth or even Mogwai, but the pace is more lively and the sound more quirky and impassioned. The vocals are very distinctive across the album - they blur the boundary between a constant spoken stream of words, phrases and subconcious poetry, and a more traditional punk vocal style. Whether shouted, whispered or sung Sue Tompkins' vocals gives the band a unique character. The strength of the backing material can't be ignored either - avoiding predictable punk-rock guitar chords they pour energy into constantly changing rhythms of dischord and beauty that borrows the best from punk and post-rock and combines it with a fast-paced but dreamy indie-rock edge. Each song seems to work on some kind of vocal mantra - phrasings that seem delibarately naive and impassioned are improvised, repeated and thrown around with such energy you can't help be drawn in. In the best punk spirit the music has an edge to it that suggests the record is merely a document of the band's live energy.
While tracks like "PS Exclusive" and single "Young offenders" are bursting with a quirky catchy energy, they don't need to be incredibly noisy for this to show through. The band have a quiet beauty to them aswell, which shows in final track "Sorrow". The album ends with a really calming beautiful sound with subtle chords and dreamy vocals, reminiscent of the Velvet Underground's quieter moments. "You're beautiful but you're going to slip away like that... feeling that way about difficult people"
It's a sound to fall in love with... listen and you won't be disappointed.
10Matthew Willson's Score