THE BEGINNING

The latest 7″ by Let’s Wrestle, Young Governor, No Joy, Becoming Real, Flats, Comanechi and Divorce.

Let’s Wrestle / Young Governor
Crushing Nerves / Old Hat
(Tough Love)

When you’re a confessed kleptomaniac trying to ‘go straight’ one imagines it’s all a matter of keeping your tea-leafing tendrils busy. Ben Cook has managed to stay off the rob by shredding about with Fucked Up and playing dank garage rock he calls “cave pop” as one half of The Bitters. Rather impressively he also manages to make time for second side project Young Governor – his only solo effort and most skeletal, no-fi affair by some distance. ‘Old Hat’, then, is unsurprisingly fuzzy as fuck, but it also puffs out a certain glam rock pomp of walkie-talkie effected vocals and a simple ‘Satisfaction’-esque back beat that prevents it from simply being another DIY garage track du jour that’ll be consumed but rarely savoured.

Let’s Wrestle are the only band that Cook wished to share a split 7” with, and nothing supports such insistence quite like ‘Crushing Nerves’. An underdog’s comfort blanket, it’s the kind of clumpy, nearly sung punk song that people will find solace in having watched The Inbetweeners and been spooked by how closely it resembles their own existence. “I really think it’s time I cleaned my life up/Have you seen how bad I messed it up?”, asks singer WPG before rhyming “crushing nerves” with labelling himself “a perve”. But as self-deprecating as Let’s Wrestle remain, their ability to write perfect punk melodies is better than ever.

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Comanechi / Divorce
Split 10”
(Merok)

Grunge pop duo Comanechi and Glasgow noise pests Divorce have long been kindred spirits in search of abrasive, sexual, sometimes horrifying sonic messes. Here Comanechi throw ‘Let It Bloom’ into the ring (a stretching, sludgy psych number more akin to their filthy ‘Mesmerising Fingers’ than the playful pop of early single ‘Naked’), which is then devoured by Divorce’s ‘Amuse Bouche’ (a frightening barrage of barked vocals, static metal guitars and a shit load of cymbal crashes) before the bands buddy up for an endless cover of Sonic Youth’s ‘Death Valley 69’. And yeah, that’s some scary shit too.

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Becoming Real
Spectre EP
(Moshi Moshi)

UK grime began treading water long before Dizzy went Bonkers; every bass wobble the same, every vocal phrase too similar to the one before. Having teamed up with Trim for his debut EP, Becoming Real is offering UK hip hop a new angle (much like the recently formed Dels/Joe Goddard partnership is), and it’s all down to the production. On both ‘Like Me’ and ‘Showdown in Chinatown’, Trim raps with a refreshing, mellow modesty, but it’s Toby Ridler’s trundling, muffled beats and minimalist, squealing electronics that suggest it really is possible for grime to be inventive and successful without being wacky.

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Flats
Flats EP 2
(Sweat Shop/Loog)

Let’s not pretend that London punks Flats are “actually quite melodic”. They’re not! They’re aggressive and loud and snotty and unimpressed, which are just four reasons to like them in a list of hundreds. Naturally, they’ve named their second EP after themselves again – because that’s what their heroes of 1976 would do – and have returned to familiar ground where volume and speed take preference over the clarity of singer Dan Devine’s shouted vocals. It’s safe to say that he’s fucked off about something though, which may or may not help make this band’s simplicity as compelling as it indeed is.

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No Joy
No Summer
(Sex Beat)

It’s amazing how far the chords of ‘Wild Thing’ will go. You don’t even need to change their order, as proved here by girl duo No Joy. ‘No Summer’ sounds less like The Troggs and more like the shoe-gazing Trailer Trash Tracys though…until it’s having a schizophrenic turn. On two occasions the weightless, detached vocals shut up as the pair sprint off in the direction of a short, instrumental blast, only to drop straight back into a crunchy 60s groove. Without these fleeting dynamics, this single could be too awash with hiss to make an impression; with them, ‘No Summer’, I think I love you.

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Originally published in issue 22 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. October 2010

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