And I often wonder if writing about these types of bands is actually worthwhile. I mean what on earth is the point of saying that this is 10th-20th generation Litter?
A noisy mess, but one that’s a very entertaining listen at times. I like its truculence and lack of any real ambition outside of making a clattering din. And yes, though a reviewer could fill BIN BAGS full of these sorts of thrashy two minute rave ups it’s still fun to stick a record like this on and while away an uncomplicated 30 minutes or so.
Go one further… you could make an interesting sculpture out of all the CDs of bands turning it up to 11 and pretending it’s 1965 in a two car garage and flog it to the Tate Modern… In all probability there is a valley of lost 3rd generation garage bands, waiting to be rediscovered; what is it about this particular style and set of attitudes that simply refuses to bugger off to Xanadu (in Ireland).
So yeah… back to Unnatural Helpers and their LP. The tracks are ok, I like it a fair bit, I don’t know how long for, but at the moment I see no difference in liking this or Tyvek or any other nom du jour like Paws. The guitars rev up nicely, it’s a bit cleaner than other efforts around: it doesn’t shamble about in a smug way, and tracks like Toil are quite hard, shiny, and clear cut. Of course, there are songs all about “girlz” too: the pining, plodding love by numbers variety like Over You, or growling, chest beating statements of intent that no doubt have something to do with girls or being top dog, or being a rebel, like Stiff Wind and I Trust It Hurts. Hate Your Teachers (as well as being a sort of speeded up take on Warsaw) is a classic example too. Now and again there’s a funny, endearing goofiness that can’t keep itself in check as in Devil Is A Liar or the never ending riff that the band can’t, won’t escape in You’re Right (by the way…. this track also reminds me of a Soft Boys song Black Snake Diamond Rôle.)
Quite what this kind of guitar music says about “now” or “us” I’ll leave to musicologists or amateur sociologists. And I often wonder if writing about these types of bands is actually worthwhile. I mean what on earth is the point of saying that this is 10th-20th generation Litter? In that way it may be the perfect pop music – just to listen to, to enjoy, not to get hung up on or emote over. As the singer bawls in Julie Jewel, “We had it made, we were eager young and unafraid”. Move over Rihanna.