on 16 February 2012
Ok I admit I was at my most impressionable music-loving years between 1992 and 1995 so this is something of nostalgia bait. Still I am not sure why Jimmy Martin is reviewing this when scuzz, melodic, punchy US indie-rock stuff is not his cup of tea. Although I admit he is far from alone in failing to appreciate the likes of the infectious merge heroes Superchunk this side of the Atlantic.
Anyway, this unheralded (again at least on their home soil - they were snapped up to Sub-Pop over in the US) band released their second album which took the fertile, adrenalised hooks of their fine, if slight "Nothing Hurts" debut album and refined them into a less ramshackle, almost civilised sound. Crucially though unlike the majority of acts, they don't seem to have exhausted their songbook and lost their verve by the time of their sophomore. A truly exciting listen which is a surprisingly rare combination of three forms of indie-rock all from the early-mid 90s. Its one-third the US lo-fi vintage (the skewed dynamics pf Pavement, Superchunk, Pixies) one-third the more bubblegum, energetic bounce of other US acts such as the Lemonheads and Fountains of Wayne, whilst the final third represents the shoegazey British vocals and harmonies of Ride, Adorable and Chapterhouse. To be honest with that Venn Diagram of influences they could all be Spurs supporting (ok , I know, this is their year!), Bob Diamond loving short-selling bankers and they would still have found it a challenge not to enter my affections.