Blackpool four piece Litterbug sound like every stereotypical disciple of independent music and it's original blueprint's dream. Their strictly no compromise, no sell-out aesthetic is a rarity amongst today's music as a commodity stockbroker mentality, and yet sadly, it also contributes to one of the most negative aspects of this record.
On the press blurb with 'Speaking Through The Gaps', the band admit to carrying out "minimal work" in the recording studio in order to "guarantee that the basic feel of the songs didn't get misplaced in a cloud of digital superiority". Which basically translated into English means this record sounds like it was recorded in their grandmother's outside toilet. Where it quite possibly may have been...?
But production quality aside - prick your ears up in a diligent fashion (and you'll need to if you don't want to miss half of what's going on here) and you'll find yourself listening to the foundations of an exciting, and in places original quartet here.
Frontman Stuart Diggle sounds like a lard drenched soulmate of Mark E. Smith during the vitriolic 'A Simple Contradiction' while 'Smile Is Fake' and 'Subhuman Scum' overflow with enough bile and spite too fill an empty cask at Worthingtons' brewery. Add to this the incisive harmonies of rhythm section Andy Higgins and Karima Francis and you've got the hallmarks of a latterday Superchunk fermenting by the sea.
So, apart from being a little rough around the edges, 'Speaking Through The Gaps' oozes more potential than the new series of 'The Apprentice', and more to the point, reaffirms the dying belief that there really is more to north west seaside resorts than stag parties and chip shops.
6Dom Gourlay's Score