This LP should live in the real world of first dates and being sick after a party, and doing your smalls at the laundry, not looking to play out a role as the example of some Simmel-style deconstruction about musical spatiality and society.
What fun Hard Feelings is! I'm tempted to leave it at that, as sometimes there seems little to recommend a record outside it being a lot of fun, because - if we're honest - analysing anything other quality the LP may possess will just lead to a whole set of mental equations which devalue that fun we all value. You still with me? As I think singer ? says in the title track, "you put two and two together, and get nine."
So; what to say further? Well, Apneu's debut is an example of a nice, simple, uncomplicated record that is up for fun, regardless of the odd snarky lyric and observational quip. There's no real hidden agenda. Firstly, we have to deal with girls. An obvious example is Three Cool Chicks, which it trundles along nicely enough with a number of pithy salvos directed at (you guessed it) three cool chicks. And, oh yeah, things speed up or slow down. On Ice and Walkie Stalkie see the band careering through a sort of Buzzcocks style thrash, whereas by way of contrast, Shopping Spree is the sort of track girlz love to put their heads on their best pal's shoulder, (it's classic bedroom gig stuff). What else? Erm, shit sounds like something else; Number One catches Apneu looking towards the ghost of Camper Van to make an "American" version of Felicity. It's all so "complicated" this rock business...
You know, the more I write about this, the more I'm caught up in worrying about writing about this kind of record. This LP should live in the real world of first dates and being sick after a party, and doing your smalls at the laundry, not looking to play out a role as the example of some Simmel-style deconstruction about musical spatiality and society. See, what is the point of trying to deconstruct this kind of record? The reviewer ends up making everything sound half arsed or over-derivitive. And, despite your best efforts that's not the point; because this record is fun. Seriously, I love sticking it on when I fancy a nod along. Yes, we've heard this sound a trillion times before; the guitars chug along in that way we all know; even the singer's voice coming on a bit like Jeffrey Lewis or David Lowery (especially on XD, which is classic Jeffrey L).
But so what?
All you really need to know is that the LP clocks in at around half an hour, and there are some incredibly catchy tracks in that time, such as White Castle, a great pop song entangled on an attractive guitar lick. And the single, Battery Island is way, way too short, (criminally so) clocking in at about a minute.
There, you have it. Sometimes writing about the most simple and pleasing things is such a drag.