Shout louder and do people pay you any more attention? Apparently so: with their star ascending, ‘Midnight Garden’ is sure to be Help She Can’t Swim’s most successful single to date, helped in no small part by a support slot on Test Icicles' watch-us-fall-apart tour and, simply, because it’s an ace song.
Leesey Haines’ screams are a little gimme-that-now kiddie squawk, but her interaction with co-vocalist Tom Denney is superb throughout this three-tracker’s lead effort. Its opening – all ADHD toddler tantrums and horror-flick keys speared with a guitar jagged enough to saw the Franz-alikes of this world clean in half – is boisterous, but it’s when ‘Midnight Garden’ calms that its appeal becomes apparent. This is, whisper it, the sound of a band maturing properly: they’ve incorporated a greater intelligence of compositional subtleties without losing their razor’s-edge sharpness.
B-side ‘Mind Game Girl’, though, is as crazily unhinged as existing aficionados should hope for: Bis goes to the disco dressed as The Blood Brothers, only the disco’s at the Dome in Tufnell Park and the goth kids are already there en masse. To summarise: c’est bon merde, or summin, and you should probably buy it.
8Mike Diver's Score