Spring Break sounds – and I’m sorry but you can blame the music for making me write this nonsense - like a load of Girl Scouts going on a soft metal camping holiday. It’s fantastic and basic and does what all great pop does, shakes you to the core with its ridiculously overheated, panting, doe-eyed, hateful simplicity.
Bloody hell, what have they put in the water at Subroutine? First the LP by Rats on Rafts, then the Space Siren release and now this: they need to have a word with themselves. The latest record on their roster, Destroyers of Worlds by the Sugarettes, is a ridiculously good LP, possibly the best out and out pop record you’ll hear all year: spilling over with howling, desperate love songs, smashing out a noise like a car crushing machine – albeit one with a Joan Jett gloss and a Glam/No Wave beat. I tell you this is a horse with some kick.
Now I liked the first LP by the Sugarettes, we liked them so much back in 2006-7 that we took them on what must be the weirdest and most shambolic UK tour ever staged. But their first LP, while enjoyable, just didn’t stand the test of time; it needed more oomfph, both emotionally and physically. It needed presence, and needed well… a dose of reality. And this is what we get with Destroyers of Worlds: reality in all its shitty aspects. Chronicling break ups, love triangles, violence and well, lots of sex during a desperate provincial love affair that got nasty, this record can be a rough, visceral and primal ride. Hello Charlie, Rave On and Please Please Me are desperate pleas for a sanity of sorts. You just can’t make this kind of emotion up. And you can’t turn on a sound like this easily either. This is a massively tense, ebullient, dramatic listen: the riffing is great – and I mean great - big boulder/truck/warhead like things that are strong enough to pull a caravan full of day trippers. Straight Flush is an iridescent metal explosion (especially in the bridge which can give you vertigo it’s such a powerful injection of noise) whereas Spring Break sounds – and I’m sorry but you can blame the music for making me write this nonsense - like a load of Girl Scouts going on a soft metal camping holiday. It’s fantastic and basic and does what all great pop does, shakes you to the core with its ridiculously overheated, panting, doe-eyed, hateful simplicity.
The more reflective tracks (well, all one of them) are filled with a yearning that makes you wonder whether the bands’ pants are actually on fire: Maybe You’re Broken Hearted Too? is an astonishing track, a doleful guitar line not far from Hooky’s bass lines from around 1985, a brilliantly warm wash of synth sounds and two singers screaming their sexual intentions at each other. It’s stupidly good. At times the sheer convoluted nature of the guilt, indecision and lust spills into the arrangements – Kon’nichiwa is a sonic bowl full of tangled leads and dead ends writhing around in a clammy attempt at compromise and Rave On can’t make its mind up what it wants to be either, nodding to Thurston Moore and the Glitter Band in equal measure. Both are defined by killer choruses and a thumping rhythm section.
Best pop record of the year, no shit.