One-minute reviews – 13: Hum, Christy & Emily, Death To Trad Rock, Knight School
It’s nearly Christmas. Of course that has no relevance to anything I’m about to write whatsoever. Just thought I’d lay a little context on you. I have four minutes to spare, so I thought I’d write you four reviews.
Hum – Are You Dead?
Hum clatter like Swell Maps, and tell tall tales like Joe-Bob Briggs. They gleefully and raucously borrow Kinks tunes. They revel in unrequited love like Pete & The Pirates’ spoiled younger brothers. They’re quite shameless. You think I don’t love this? You’re mental.
Christy & Emily – Superstition
Quiet riot, I wanna riot, I wanna quiet riot of my own! Like a gentler Kings Of Convenience: only female, and American, and suffused with a slightly surreal, psychedelic glow. One song is called ‘Nightingale’, and I was there the night they made it up (‘wrote it’) and… well. Just, well.
Various – Death To Trad Rock
“Faster! Louder!” comes the war-cry from the front rows. FASTER! LOUDER! MORE MISTAKES! MORE MISTAKES! Turn it up! Some of the greatest underground music of the UK 80s – back when there was an underground, it’s all bits and bytes round here these days, you understand – is contained herein. The Cravats, The Membranes, June Brides, Age Of Chance, the Wedding Present, The Wolfhounds, Big Flame, The Nightingales, Dog-Faced Hermans… and that’s without looking at the sleeve. Perfect accompaniment to the mighty John Robb tome of the same name. BUY THE FUCKER!!!
Knight School – The Poor And Needy Need To Party
So glad to hear someone hasn’t forgotten McTells. Or Cannanes. Or the TVPs. Or indeed Bi-Joopiter Recordings. Short brief wicked abrasions that remind me of stripped-down and hurting early Mary Chain, Blank Realm, mid-80s lo-fi experiments in pop sound and…well. Beat Happening of course. Once, these people – and these people alone – were my friends. If they called themselves The Vivian Boys, Pitchfork would be all over them. Possibly.