Monday, August 13, 2012
The Wobbly Lamps on Polyvinyl Craftsmen Records
This one came in hot off the presses of Polyvinyl Craftsmen Records, which has spawned out of the great garage punk podcast of the same name. I've been a regular listener for a while of their drunken garagerock playlist and chat. The first single they put their hard earned money down on is from The Wobbly Lamps a five piece from Southend on Sea, UK. Something like a resort town on the ocean, it's somehow spawned this rawkus underground garage sound. But I wouldn't expect anything less from the Polyvinyl guys and it's great to hear this new label born out of their shared love of the 7" single and all things scuzzy and loud.
A-Side's "Neon Tepee" brings out the gritty guitars in dual force, one rocking out this steady rhythm while the other flys off on this mess of scratchy melodies, coming together in jittery post punk spazz bursts. Gareth on vocals has the slight distortion through a tin can echo, energizing this one with the right kind of punky attitude, blaring out his lyric with plenty of harmonizing backup, a nod to those earlier era scuz pop rockers. A breakdown section hits with one of those guitars going rogue with a warbling psych, super phased out, bouncing off those basement walls and getting louder and louder, changing the main melody, and the drums still pounding out that snare fill every verse. Real swirly overwhelming manic ending.
"SWMD (She Wants Me Dead)" kicks off with a big jangly guitar in the three chord punk tradition until this warm organ kicks in and backup oooooo's putting the loud grit right into that '60s garage place where you just need to hit on a solid melody like this, plain and simple to let the rest of this shine. Building up to this big chorus, a breathy angels-from-heaven backup vocal just coming in over the street level low distorted delivery swinging into play. Going for that repeated riff and big organ jabs, Gareth wavers between the cool detached and enthusiastic yell delivery exactly like something like this should. He's had just enough liquid courage to get up there, beyond that, who cares!
B-Side's "Alice the Goon" has those guitars coming at you with a heavy bouncy sinister reverb, the drums are blown out this time, one minute in a slight echo or just riding the edge of the red, Gareth here has a deep talking, slight Cramps feel, getting louder and louder as he heads toward the chorus which takes a turn, the rest of the band comes in for backup vocal support as those trebly ear splitting guitars ping around hard surfaces. Drop down to the drums and here comes that solo in the form of dense, huge psych sounds. They're combining the great moments from both of those genres into this stompy pop garage. Perfect alongside Slug Guts or Radar Eyes...and of course anything on the Polyvinyl podcast. Nice work everyone. Maniac superhero face printed on foldover heavy cardstock sleeve and thick black vinyl.
Check out SWMD below, and yes, they have been known to wear lamps on their heads during performances: