I've accepted a challenge from Georgia Tazda to post over ten days ten reviews I have written: no explanation, no comment, no explanation, just the review. I nominate The Beatles.
GREEN HANDS/ SEEDS OF DOUBT/ RODENTS/ JEFF, Divine Schism, The Library, 9/7/18
Jeff are a new duo making an unhoned punk clatter, a clarion for anyone who’s ever wanted to stick on a Buffy T-shirt and sing a noisy song about “not wanting to grow up”. Are they any good? Not really. Does it matter? Not a jot.
Rodents pull off the trick of sounding taut and honed, whilst being as loose as twenty year old Y-fronts. They sometimes sound as though someone’s melting Tom Tom Club under a magnifying glass, and sometimes like a bunch of woozy, late September wasps doing the Blue Orchids on Stars In Their Eyes. There are moments of fizzing, Gedge-a-tronic guitar, but the high point in a set of pleasures comes with a slow, rubbery groove, as if Fat White Family had swapped all the sleaze for jobs at an owl sanctuary.
Their vocalist exchanges his laconic, Country Teasers sneer to take the drum stool for Seeds Of Doubt. Their name sounds like the most disappointing Dr Who story of the 1970s, and lyrically they tend to paddle in the shallows of the underachiever, telling drab stories of someone living on Hula Hoops, for whom the cafes at Harrods and Sainsbury’s are equally out of his social reach. The music is all mid-paced chiming guitar and mumbled vocals, a desiccated R.E.M. swapping southern gothic flourishes for a prosaic drift of gold-buyers’ leaflets at a bus stop. It’s good, but better appreciated on record, rather than in a sweat-drenched cellar.
It’s nearly eleven when Green Hands go onstage, and we’ve lost about a quart of sweat. What we need now is something uplifting and energy-spiked; what we don’t need is something that moves from a slow, late 70s Dylan groove to the clunky horn-rimmed pop of a slipshod Lloyd Cole. There’s lots to like in their set, from a Neil Young spaciousness to melodically mournful vocal, but we’re not convinced. Then again, when people with such varied T-shirts as The Doors, Sleater-Kinney and Belgian techno pioneers R&S Records – not to mention our Buffy-clad friend – are clearly loving it, does it matter? Not a jot, we expect.