Monday, September 12, 2011

The Give it Ups / Santa Monica Swim and Dive Club split on the Odd Box Records singles club

Odd Box Records is based out of London, England and in addition to already putting out a bunch of releases from a bunch of diverse sounds they believe in, they recently launched this 7 inch singles club, I picked this one from the pile, The Give it Ups and The Santa Monica Swim and Dive Club, which is an actual organization who have to be scratching their heads at some of the google results that feature this Saturday Looks Good to Me offshoot project. Using the swim meet as a metaphor in "False Start" they girl guy harmonize in that classic indiepop combination with the help of an understated organ melody. The kind of thing that on the surface has this bubbly sweetness of completely joyous pop, but of course is dealing with an unrequited love, and failure. The sort of track for loveable losers who can't get a break. You've been there of course, and this will make you pick yourself up try again...not a bad soundtrack for Monday morning. It's going to get better, learn from those mistakes...or just keep doing what you're doing, what are you getting all worked up about? Put it on after the Besties, Bearsuit or The Shout Out Louds and get over it!
The Give it Ups blast their guitar ramshackle pop with a bit of post-punk couple of tracks, and "Why won't you go out with me?" yells insults at that guy's girlfriend this lead singer is clearly into. A little echo on the begging frustrated vocal, reminding me of Love is All or even Poly Styrene, with a sort of stripped down minimal jangle guitar. The straight forward beat and deceptively sweet melody is broken by this maniac and her inside voice yelling (let's hope). It doesn't help her that the backup vocal is delivered in a Shangri-La's '60s girl group harmony. She's going after them next.
I love this kind of attitude combined with a Beat Happening raw instrumentation. Like getting a cupcake tatoo, bad ass and not at the same time. "Knives Chau", is a Scott Pilgrim homage track to the character, sung from her point of view by one of the guy members in The Give it Ups, which is delivered in a voice cracking, just out of range vocal. It literally goes through her and Scott's history, also an unrequited love, with catchy harmonies, all working background to this up front gender bending unpretentious pop. I could see Eddie Argos loving this one all the more because it's on a seven inch. I would agree.

All 6 records are still available from Odd Box, everything from The Ketamines to the Gold Bears coming up next, for the very reasonable £24, which will make those shipping changes to the US go down easier. But who wouldn't want these exclusive tracks, from a this variety of completely different bands if the two I know are any indication. I'm not a fan of compilation LP's, it seems to defeat the purpose of listening to an album, but you throw these six records on and you'll have the Odd Box compilation split into singles...which I am totally fine with. It makes no sense... I know.

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