There’s no real time for you the listener to sit comfortably as it’s a full on Trippe from the opening notes.
This is a cracking record full of revolutionary spirit, and because of the fact that it’s a split release, crammed full of emotive twists and turns. Be warned! There’s no real time for you the listener to sit comfortably as it’s a full on Trippe from the opening notes. Still, it’s great; and right from the bit where The Wharves yodel “Do you scream obscenities/ do you know what day it is?” on Thick Syrup you know this is going to be good, regardless of any “imperfection”. Let’s be clear; the first band on this LP, The Wharves, have placed votive offerings to the Three Graces of bolshiness, edginess and sonic imperfection and they’re fucked if they’re switching deities at this late stage. Nope, (maybe because of this approach) there’s a giddiness to this sound; the songs slide over both beat and melody with an abandon that may be down to the fact that – you know – playing the instruments comes a distant second to belting out the message.
This slightly hysterical, puritanical edge to their sound can freak you out; tracks like Motif (where the Wharves erm, try to quieten down but end up sounding like a mock opera penned by Bernie Taupin in his post punk phase) or the sinister Deepwater Horizon are intense things, and not to be ignored. It’s probably down to the way the vocals gang up on the listener throughout; the band preferring a twin lead attack that doesn’t give you any escape route. At times – especially on Woodchip - it sounds as if you’re being picked on in the playground. Take it, pedagogues!
What next? Well if you’re a bit ruffled up by them Wharves, then look out cos you’ll need to grease the joints on your sonic armour to withstand the tinny glam-stomp of The Rosy Crucifixion. This is some death disco and no mistake; the sound may come on like a Fall powered by 60 watt bulbs (listen to Dr Zaiden and get your notebook out) or cod-rockabilly played in a barn, but it nevertheless whips up enough energy to get you slightly loose and bug eyed. I mean; Lose Yourself is so fucking determined to sort you out with the good stuff, it’s ridiculous. And the front shown on tracks like Sinners and (the brilliant)Hot In Your Head is laughably, improbably brilliant; like that knight in The Holy Grail, they may have no arms or legs but they’re still up for a scrap. Man it’s so good to hear a band with such a cocky strut, and maybe with them it’s what they leave out of their sound that is the key to their all-round fabulousness. Best is saved till last with a brilliantly spiky run through called Night of the Wailers, the guitar sound suggesting that a young Will Sergeant had been secretly jamming with the Cramps back in the day.
Give this a few spins it’s really great.