The best singles come from fans that are obsessed with records so much that they end up being compelled to press their own. The Polyvinyl Craftsmen began as a great podcast playing Pavement next to Pere Ubu or The Modern Lovers right after Deerhoof while generally having a drunken good time (highly recommended). It didn’t take long before this group of UK hooligans came across The Wobbly Lamps and put together a second single with the label, Drella. Not much factual information about the Lamps out there, other than being from Sarfend, which I can’t find on any google map and I have a hunch that the Wobbly Lamps may in fact be the guys behind the podcast…and that gentlemen is a CHECKMATE.
A-Side " Never Ever Bloody Anything Ever" finds the Lamps getting extra heavy here, the mellower psych has gone sinister, I don't remember them having such a deep streak of thundery garage on their last one. This double kick throbbing beat has some serious low end under the jangle and snare snap. The bass and rhythm section is plowing away back there, almost feeling early heavy metal inspired…or the slogging long hair grooves of Hot Lunch. A tom beat drops in with far off distortion and the track gets optimistic, showing their expansive side. They have huge dreams of pop drums and indie aspirations with guitars dueling in either channel. That vocal is blowing out the infinity delay while a repeated riff slowly grows, getting bigger with cymbal crashes and fluttery picking. Inevitably going hypnotic in a combination of English shoegaze and Happy Mondays, rom a San Francisco perspective. Drawing out the repeated pop riff, faster, slower, strip out the beats and lay the attitude back in
Switching up the rpm to 33 on the B-Side (thanks, giant red numbers) they jam in "Haxan" with rumbling, rattly reverb and clean drums adding up to a full bassline rhythm again, another freight train flying along the tracks. Beating the hell out of the tom. When that fantastic melody finally rolls in they've committed to their dark ways. “If the money’s good!!! / my hands are tied!!!” They’re compelled to do something bad, synthy low end chorus yelling underneath in a wavery raspy distortion like some kind of werewolf pop. The full moon shining on the hood of the hotrod and that guitar blasts in with serious underworld blues. Almost in line with the great Deadbolt or the Mummies, they've taken these riffs and attached them to a solid low end. It's not enough to be overdriving this into the red if you can't back it up.
"Gretchen Fetchin" has a three chord surf style but they have to break the verse chorus structure with a Sonics scratchy dance party sound and a menacing reverb that starts to border on dangerous. Reverb from the Chuck Berry decade. The Dirtbombs or Bassholes...those proimal garage blues players come to mind with this similar feedback and rattling cones, which might as well become an instrument to these guys. Ear splitting shrieks are dropped like melodies. The cymbal crash is just an appetizer; you want hissed out “sssssss”? Do you? Another drop out to a quieted tom and muted barred chords. We all know this is all going to blow again, why are they torturing you? At 33 the speed only improves this, jam the grooves as close together as you want mastering guy it’s only going to get better
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This will not be repressed.