Royal Baths – Better Luck Next Life

“Are you tired like me? Are you bored to death?”, drawls the singer on Be Afraid of Me. Well, no, cock, frankly I’m not.

 

http://www.konkurrent.nl

 

Now and again you get a record which, despite it sounding like all of your records, and something that you theoretically really, really don’t need – in fact a record you could (given an ounce of wit) parody or second guess what’s coming next whilst listening to it – love. And this is what has happened with the record by Royal Baths. I can’t offer anything but slavish devotion to this set of classic shapes, attitudes and guitar licks rounded up and offered up by a bunch of gauche youths who probably wouldn’t know their Rubble from their Groundhogs. And I’ll probably be bored sick of it next week, but so what?

Sensual, scratchy, sluggish and dripping with a thick, treacly inertia, Better Luck Next Life sounds like virtually every record I stand by, so let’s name them… The Velvet Underground, Syd’s Floyd, Love, Swell Maps, Soft Boys, Spacemen 3, Loop, 1968-69 Can, obscure (and mostly crap) 60s garage, some of the better C86-87, Amon Düül 2, but mostly The Velvet Underground. And Spacemen 3. But this record has pretty good songs, and a clear, cheeky attitude: tracks like Burned and Map of Heaven are trips supreme, and there’s a lot of 60s precocity in tracks like Nightmare Voodoo and the ridiculously, brilliantly derivative Contempt; (no prizes for guessing where the verse melody is ripped from). Black Sheep is a great stroll too, stoned out of its mind and wandering round in a state of giddy abandon.

“Are you tired like me? Are you bored to death?”, drawls the singer on Be Afraid of Me. Well, no, cock, frankly I’m not.