I first thought of Trouble in Mind Records when I heard Paul Messis' insanely perfect psych releases, they both had a special affinity for the late '60s garage/psych sounds. Then I found out that Paul started his own label, Market Square like Bill and Lisa and this morning I just noticed that Paul is credited as writing the songs on this scuzzy late '70s punk 45 from the Suburban Homes. I thought it was impressive to have absorbed the great parts of the '60s the way he did but hearing the equal amount of attention to the trashy raw sounds on this is mind blowing. This guy has an incredible ear and now there's literally nothing he can't do.
A-Side's "Suburban Home" has the shittiest guitar sound blasted out of a 4 watt amp, a contact mic taped to the busted plastic grille. The vocals are close - too close run through the mixer after the fact, if they even used one, let's face it they sound era appropriately like they sang into a tape deck with the rest playing just outside the bathroom. Talking about shopping filled with disgust and keeping the whole sound as thin and loose as possible. Rehearsal and production would completely ruin this. These guys would either make a drunken mess out of the live set or if you caught them before that beer that pushed them over the line it would be the best thing you ever saw.
B-side's "Pseudo-intellectuals" has a completely different guitar crunch on this one and the blown out vocal crammed through the all tweeter PA like they took a page out of Sing Sing or Almost Ready reissues, also reminding me of Home Blitz in sheer dirty pop energy. Burying the vocals with a bass back there somewhere but it's all in this delivery, close to the mic and then walking back hard like you don't care, we wanted to get this track down but really just because we're bored. The way that Gang of Four did it with a cool detachmeent these guys are going for hot, sweaty and loose, nothing controlled or post punk about it. That scuzzy distortion is fantastic with that energy of every frantic moment of fighting boredom. You can hear that battle, that bit of the suburbs, the tract houses outside the city limits that are always trying to push things down. The fill comes a little too quick because they couldn't hear the vocal and they're pressed for time.
Hanging around the art gallery / pseudo-intellectual
On "D.I.Y." the tom drives this jangle and a better track doesn't exist about DIY. The way he runs out of breath at the end of the first verse, like the Johnny Ill band if they just broke up with only their cassette demo behind. The perfect anthem to the idea of cobbling unlikely things together with whatever is lying around. The snare is second hand, the vocals don't land on the beat and the guitar strums get lost in their own rhythm. It's about energy and the passion to make something. "D - I - Y!" becomes a battle cry, fuck they nailed this thing, laughing right at the end of this with the tape rolling.
Just to put the icing on this shit cake, there's a square of medicated toilet tissue inside. Of course I had to smell it, what a creep.
Market Square says:
The Suburban Homes, is the fifth 7" release on West Sussex, UK based Market Square Recordings. The Suburban Homes are a DIY punk band from Crawley West Sussex and during a weekend recorded this their first EP, influenced by DIY bands of the 70s and early 80s, The Suburban Homes takes influences from such groups as The Desperate Bicycles, Swell Maps and The Mekons.
The record is limited to 300 copies and comes in three different coloured sleeves (white, blue & yellow) the record also contains inserts and 70s toilet paper.
Get it imported direct from the band.