Peter O'Neasden reviews
Season two: Filthy Little Angels club singles
Some three years ago, the Filthy Little Angels label
first assailed a certain sector of the listening public with a series
of coloured vinyl 7inch EPs, Each split aside apiece between a selection
of prospects and pariahs. Among those with nostrils raised above the
poisonous algae of indie pond life were the Long Blondes, The Violets
and some other bands that I am either unwilling or unable to give the
compliment of recollection to. Now in a bid to (re)claim your attention,
here are five more pieces of non-black plastic. I've only got a CDR,
so we'll both have to imagine the colours.
EP1 - ShiSho/Hyperbubble ("Baby Pink")
Hyperbubble are purveyors of ultra-kitschy Ye Olde Synthe Poppe ditties
in praise of technology and consumerism. If I saw a picture of this
allegedly photogenic boy-being/girldroid duo, I'd expect that he would
have a thought (hyper) bubble saying "Hmm
..", and hers
would say "ooh!" Insular and almost archaic, but there's an
affectionate attention to detail in their meticulous pastiches, "Pop
Star" most particularly which is kind charming. Some may find Hyperbubble
cute to the point of toxicity, though.
ShiSho are described as "kid-core". If The Lord exists, he
knows how wrong this would be, and it is that wrong. But "Rocks
and Penalties" is, simply, genius. More fully, it is a work of
deeply wrong genius, and you owe it to yourself, to lil sis Midge, to
big sis Vivian, to their mentor Professor PeuSheu- you probably aren't
a made-up person but I'm not sure about the other three - to hear it.
You get to find out how Morrissey saved the Unicorns.
The Vichy Government/Gay Against You ("Lime Green")
You don't wait for songs about unicorns and then two come along at once.
"Gay Unicorn", their contribution to the mytho-rock canon,
is but one of four examples here of Gay Against You's whimsical tourettes
tetris pop. Maybe it's because mythology can be dangerously close to
history, but I think they'd make a very good accompaniment to Morris
dancing, albeit very fast and pixelated Morris dancing.
The Vichy Government is a thoroughly misguided enterprise, about which
little could, should or will be said. One of their tracks is a Nirvana
cover. See Wikipedia, under "Casio Nihilist".
Captain Polaroid/ Beacons ("Purple")
It's difficult to escape the notion that Captain Polaroid, no relation
to either Beefheart or Sensible, is reluctant to get over not being
Bright Eyes. A bit odd, as being burdened with perception of the terrible
magnificence of the existingness of all things existing never really
seems to do Conor Oberst much good. Still, a reasonable degree of craft
and verve indicate possibilities, should Mr Polaroid become inclined
to diagnose his own fevers without looking in someone else's mirrors.
Beacons go in for overly earnest folksy strumming and listless vocals.
Their ambitions may be pointed towards insightful introspection, but
the utter inertia of the execution results in a bland emptiness. Undue
kindness says touches like the backwards noises at the end of "What
Great Relief" imply that Beacons may learn to conceal innate dolefulness
with sonic mischief. Stranger thing have happened, three at the last
count. Don't ask me to name any of them.
The Fairies Band/The Peeptoes ("White")
Along with The Vichy Government, The Fairies Band are survivors of /
refugees from FLA's first singles club in 2004. They really do wear
fairy wings at all times, which is kind of impressive. "Random
Boys" is a tribute to some obscure and thoroughly dead philosophers,
while "Groupies" is about herds of migrating animals in Africa
or somewhere. The screeching and simpering of The Fairies themselves
are set against their Bands unexceptional scuzz-indie, partially submerged
in '80's poodle-metal guitar incontinence.
It is a little-known rule of pop music criticism that any band who
rip off "Louie Louie" can be said, at the very least, to have
their hearts in the right place. The Peeptoes are an all-girl German
foursome - I've no idea if there are four of them but it kind of sounds
right - who make a garagey racket with added synthy squiggles, and their
hearts are in the right place. "Eat This" wins extra points
for actually seeming to be about food and not oral sex for a change,
and "Loverbot" is the best of the three songs here. "Parasite"
is the one that displays their awareness of Richard Berry's gift to
humanity, and in no way does it sully that gift. I liked The Peeptoes,
and I hope they get louder.
The Art Goblins/Billy Ruffian ("Yellow")
Strange effects can ensue if expectations are lowered far enough. Two-thirds
of Billy Rufian's - a they, not a him - designated vinyl is clogged
with attempted music "scene" in-jokes. "My Secret Life"
is an insult to The Kinks "All of My Friends Were There",
and even worse, "Music Versus Money" seems keen to pay homage
to Little Man Tate. After those, everything short of the dying screams
of torture victims would be relief but even in isolation, "Whipping
Boy" musters quantities of energy and spite. It's either a hint
of implausible promise or proof again that the truest evil has the ability
to conceal itself.
After nine sides of varying degrees of obscurity, we end on a slight
brush with quasi-fame. Eddie Argos's other band, or one of them anyway,
Art Brut have something of a reputation in countries where English is
not natively spoken, such as the United States and much of mainland
Europe. "Fuck The M.S.P" is an acoustic tirade that doesn't
actually advocate intercourse with members of the Scottish parliament.
"My Conscience Died With Those Prostitutes" turns out to be
a light-hearted look at recreational drug use, and sounds like Art Brut
trying to practice. Argos had always resembled the hapless student that
thought people were laughing with him and not at him; seldom more so
If you want a rare and alarmingly detailed look at what sort of exotic
creatures are presently scurrying the floor of the unmapped regions
of the pop music rain forest, go to www.filthyangels.com,
. I'm sure they'll be happy to say how much money they want from you.
Explorations such as this one that Filthy Little Angels now present
the fruits of can be hazardous, and they do it so that you don't have
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