Friday 16 July 2021

Poster Paints - Number 1

Remember about 12 years ago when it seemed like every kid in Brooklyn and San Francisco discovered the Shop Assistants and formed a band? We're happily back there again, only the revival is close to home courtesy of Glasgow's Poster Paints.

Number 1 does exactly what you expect, only better: Spector echo, Mary Chain demonic snarl and Aislers Set pop bite with the guitar fx set to fuzz and reverb. And that's their entire output. Everything crossed that there's more to come, because this is pretty special.

My gut tells me they're closest to the Vivian Girls from the last Shoppies revival, so I'm expecting 60s girl group melodrama meeting thrift store shoegaze. But I'm open to whatever comes next.

Thursday 15 July 2021

The Midnight Steppers - Isolation Drives

Shitgaze isn't exactly back - Isolation Drives was recorded between 2007 and 2019 - but The Midnight Steppers have got the core uneasy listening sound of vital early post-punk releases from Flying Nun played fast and fucked up. Think of the corrosive barbarism of The Gordons and the jaggedly caustic tunes of The Clean recorded on a primitive Dictaphone.

Recording 12 songs in 12 years seems antithetical to the shitgaze ethic of feeding early Pavement songs through a two-dollar amp and beating them to a bloody pulp in a damp garage. You'd think they could have done this in a weekend - nothing about this raw feedback and breathless invigoration suggests that much time was spent on refinement.

But if you want a band playing fast and loose with sonic intensity and melodic bloodlust, who call their last song My Broken Guitar (no kidding, you broke it before the first song) then Isolation Drives is your next essential purchase. It came out on tape (of course it did) last year, and there's now a vinyl issue. UK buyers, head to World Of Echo.

Sunday 4 July 2021

Dolour - Televangelist

Shane Tutmarc's mission is to write the songs Paul McCartney forgot to in 1967 and make a perfect facsimile of the Raspberries recording them in 1972.

Televangelist is a modern powerpop classic, with enough deft touches - harmonic soft pop and baroque pop grandeur - to transcend genre or be a period piece.

This album is theatrical, tender and melancholic, and even manages a pagan tribute to Tom Petty (The Day Tom Petty Died). It's basically classic songwriting - I feel certain My Sweet Darlin' is from the great American songbook. But Google's no help, so this must be a Dolour original. Expect 1,000 covers of it in the future.