Wednesday 4 November 2020

Lunchbox - After School Special

This is just pop music. Sure, the time might be right for protest songs, for bands to confront social problems rather than personal issues. But one of pop music's main functions is as distraction from the everyday, as reminders of a better world, of hope and of personal celebration. Lunchbox make pop songs - really good pop songs - and they're a very welcome distraction.

After School Special is a record where it never rains in southern California. It's an immediate sugar rush like The Archies. It's got dancefloor snap like The Go! Team. It's full of punchy horns and jangly guitars like The Housemartins.

Lunchbox break absolutely no new ground here. That's the whole point. There's no great profundity - it's just pop music with all the attendant colour, glamour and magic. It's enormous fun. And sometimes that's what we need.

Tuesday 3 November 2020

deathcrash ‎– People thought my windows were stars

deathcrash's eternal songs sound like they've been buried for thousands of years and uncovered in an ancient rite, like wholly intact extinct animals revealed in Siberia's melting permafrost, and given an afterlife on vinyl.

Where last year's Slumber single was granted its powers by Arab Strap's Girls Of Summer, this latest record was brought to life by studying Slint's Spiderland. One side of the 12" ep is songs for m, i-iv (deathcrash aren't big on capital letters), a post-rock suite in four parts, each roughly lasting a light year, taking as long as it does for new galaxies to emerge.

Black Country, New Road are - rightly - getting a lot of attention, but they're going to have to share the post-rock limelight with deathcrash who are quietly excellent. And don't have a saxophone player or threaten free-jazz improv.