(And did the singer say, “I sometimes eat snowballs” or “I just pruned my body”? He* can’t have. Well, he might… it’s that sort of record).
The music for all four tracks is very much in the Joep van Son mould: hoe-down roots-pop, replete with a shuffling, juddering impatient beats and an angry jangle plonked on the top.
Luckily his earnest, frail personality never allows any pompous or bombastic nonsense into the mix. Concentrated, seriously wrapped up in a world of its own and certainly interesting, this record deserves a few listens.
Like a bottle on the ocean with an old map in, this is a document from another space and time. On breaking the seal and inspecting the contents, some parts are recognisable some are mystifying and not readily understandable.
This record is aimed squarely at “Girls”, what with its whispered confidences and wine-bottle-by-the-sofa moralising.
Given there are a lot of noisy garage/screamo bands about making slightly abstract, slightly academic records, it will take something more than just leavening out the noise to make them stand out.
...the collective urge to turn these reflective, carefully constructed instrumentals and slices of ambient avant garde pop into something more hedonistic, urban, chippy and “in yer face” is fairly overwhelming.
Betraying an umbilical link to some bug eyed kids programme soundtrack from the late 60s/early 70s (yes they were like that, trust me), it’s possibly their most pop release to date and deserves your time and attention. Oh and a predictably cracking cover from artiste du jour, Viktor Hachmang; NL’s very own Barney Bubbles.
I realized then that he had shorted 220 volts of power from the microphone through his mouth, out of his hands, through his guitar to his amp and into the earth, for it was exactly this that was lacking in the electrical power system.
We couldn’t drop off our gear until half past 6 because the stage is a shooting range during the day. The venue, aptly named the Gun Club, was scattered with gun shells and the human shaped targets watch over the drummer’s back when playing.
The record is all about timing; about choosing the best moment to introduce the limited instrumentation. Thijs Kuiken’s laconic drawl is the anchor on which the sound is moored: the other key sounds that are present are stripped to the essentials.
...make no bones about it, we at Incendiary think this is a stupendous record. Tough, sassy, incredibly consistent, and possessing the kind of strength of character and wit that is all too rare nowadays.
Like a musical self-help manual, with plonky acoustic notes and glockenspiel taps Baskin’ sounds like a Broadcast 2000 pep talk. A song wrapped in child-like simplicity and words of barefaced encouragement that ‘life is yours’. Bad moods are unwelcome here...
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.
In some ways this is a band that is coming to terms riding their own genre and decade-hopping sound. The record’s restlessness can be both its strength and its weakness, and there are times where you are wondering what is coming next but just enjoying the music for the hell of it.
And, as befits two members of seminal Dutch avant garde band Minny Pops, we also get a Minny Pops track – Kogel – but one stripped of its icy punch and replaced with a sort of abstract, Arabic funk.
...this record creates an imaginary world of its own, conjuring up spells at will, hell-bent on a strange kind of enchantment. There are some great songs on here.
It’s very girly stuff, lots of dreamy songs… falling in love on New Year’s Eve, songs called After School… but the arrangements and sense of touch are tremendous; it’s difficult to listen to this and feel you’re being conned or having to excuse the band any failings or dishonesty
There’s a rich, confident atmosphere throughout, and frankly the track listing means sack-all in that it’s such a well-balanced record. You can dip in and enjoy it at any point.
Personally I think he’s at his best when he adds a bit of swagger and dumb optimism and stops trying to act twice his age.