Indie Rock Post Punk

Pool Sharks – Do You Wash Your Legs In The Shower? b/w Sexyman

“We don’t overtly reference politics in the songs, but the themes we
use are critical of religion, traditional hierarchies, the cynicism
of capitalism,” explains Pool Sharks frontman Joey Whitehead. I wonder, in this context, of the title for this song is in fact inspired by a fierce debate on Twitter earlier this year based on whether or not white people wash their legs. The debate spiralled out of control & became a frank, if heated, discussion, over whether or not you should wash your legs. This kind of absurdity is emblematic of the breakdown of society which the collapse of late capitalism brings with it. This conversation is a surreal microcosm of greater, further reaching questions around race, class, community & social mobility.

Do You Wash Your Legs In The Shower? is a mournful lament to the soul crushing daily grind of the dreaded 9-5 world & the feeling of being controlled or owned by your job. This is particularly timely in a UK at the end of decades of rolling back worker rights & protections while facing the greatest “bonfire of workers rights” we’ve ever faced as a society. It’s a song about what Karl Marx referred to as alienation. Pool Sharks explain in their press release how the central character in the song is being “disconnected from his own identity and the parts of his life that matter.” This parable of late capitalist existence is set to pounding, Post Punk rhythms with distorted guitars & vocals. The press release mentions bands like Parquet Courts, Gang Of Four & The Cribs &, while this is accurate, the biggest sonic similarity I feel for this song is early ’00’s Post Punk revivalists Bloc Party & their biggest influence, The Cure.

B-side Sexyman seems to compare more, sonically, to the bands own list of influences, particularly Gang Of Four. Angular stop-start rhythms, stabbing guitars & a spacious arrangement underpin this tale of Jesus Christ as “a salesman, selling the concept of a saviour to people’s chaotic and unhealthy lifestyles, which they willingly accept.” this is a fierce satirisation of the “predatory nature of organised religion.”

On the subject of the high concepts of the lyrics, Joe Whitehead chuckles, “People usually just end up liking the chord sequence.”

Do You Wash Your Legs In The Shower? is out on the 9th October as part of Safe Suburban Home’s current run of limited edition cassettes. You can preorder it here.

Pre-save to Spotify here

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Indie Rock

Cowgirl – Only Lasts A Moment b/w Hold Me

Another great new single from my local boutique cassette label, Safe Suburban Home. This time it’s the York band Cowgirl. Fuzzy, exciting Indie Rock with Noise Rock & Britpop undertones.

On Only Lasts A Moment, Cowgirl seem to excel at painting a lush sound world of loping melodicism & swirling fuzziness. Simple & pretty lead guitar patterns weave in & out of lazy, midtempo rhythms. I feel that they’ve taken a bubblegum Pop approach to the kind of ethereal shimmer of early Ride, particularly the way they apply the sonic conventions of Shoegaze to the melodic swagger of Britpop.

B-Side Hold Me turns up the tempo & the intensity somewhat, & there’s a definite Shine compilation vibe to the floaty, reverb soaked vocals over the rock solid rhythms. There’s also a Grungy, Alt Rock edge to this too. It’s somewhere in the sonic vicinity of The Bluetones maybe.

Only Lasts A Moment b/w Hold Me is released on 11th September 2020 on Safe Suburban Home. You can pre-order the Cassette or digital versions here.

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Indie Rock Synth Pop

Superlove – Jarvis Put The Record On

Maltese originating, Berlin based Synth-Indie band Superlove are about to release a beautiful limited edition single with boutique cassette label Safe Suburban Home.

The single, Jarvis Put The Record On is fuzzy, synthetic, energetic Pop. Masterfully programmed drum machine patterns (we know from the b-side that frontman Daniel Borg owns a 909, so it’s a safe assumption that he’s using it here) underpins beautifully textured synth bass parts & spectral, swirling pads. The song was built around parts which were written on a cheap Casio keyboard which sadly didn’t survive the session.

The song was inspired by a chance encounter with Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker & is inspired by the lack of new music from the esteemed Britpop singer. Jarvis Put The Record On was written “in the vague hope that one day he will hear it and crack out another album,” recalls Borg. Cocker has since released new music under his Jarv Is moniker. “Maybe we managed to convince him, who knows?” says Borgs bandmate, Alexandra Aquilina.

B-side Me & My 909 is a more subdued affair. Sombre guitar lines, a murky, synthy soundscape & beautifully simple drum machine pattern. In tribute to his 909, Borg says he wanted to build the song around “the most basic beat to enhance the beauty of this machine.” The downtempo rhythm, noisy soundscape & male/female vocal harmonies almost take it into Shoegaze territory.

Jarvis Put The Record On is available on limited Cassette through Safe Suburban Home on 7th August.The Cassette is available to pre-order here. The songs can be pre-saved to Spotify here.

Check out the excellent video for Jarvis Put The Record On.