Somehow, between fretting over the UK's political situation, going to amazing gigs (The Pastels and Saint Etienne on one bill!, CC Dust and the Current Affairs etc. etc.) and cramming in as much football watching as possible, there's been some time left over to listen in awe to the creativity of others. More than any other single of late spring 2016, Carla dal Forno's "Fast Moving Cars" (Blackest Ever Black) has nagged away at me the most. Carla's detached, slightly robotic delivery suits a song about choosing fast machines having grown bored of nature. If only she'd recorded it before "High Rise" needed a soundtrack.
Primetime's second single (La Vida Es Un Mus) is a real gem, the group's sound located in the overlap of the Medway bands' primitive thump and the strident punk of the Swiss Rough Trade groups of the late 70s. "If I'm a pervert then you're a stain on my dirty mind" is surely the best first line of 2016 so far.
Primetime contribute a suitably snotty take on "Dumbhead" to "Typical Girls", Emotional Response's thrilling overview of female-voiced pop circa 2016, which bursts outta the blocks with Earth Girls' succinct, fizzing "OLand" which had me reaching for Parasites lps afterwards in a bid to keep the momentum up. The two singles I have by them are tremendous, too. Grave Mistake recently put their "Wanderlust" lp up for pre-order. Get on it!
Maybe recklessly, I've been going to gigs for two and a half decades without wearing earplugs. After being brutalised by Anxiety's exhilarating hardcore onslaught four times in a fortnight at the turn of 2016, however, I hastily purchased a set. La Vida Es Un Mus have done the smart thing and had 9 Anxiety songs seared onto vinyl. "Trapped Shut" always slays live so I approached the recorded version with a hint of trepidation but I needn't have worried as it's as ferociously disconsolate as ever.
I first saw The Flexibles tear up the much-missed Volcanic Tongue shop a couple of years back. They were like The Dead C played at child-friendly volume. In those days Sorley (Youngs, son of Richard) must have been only 7 or 8 and sang through an effects mic/unit that lent his voice the characteristics of a young Darth Vader. On "Pink Everything" (Night School), Sorley has ditched the vocal effect but the music stills scorches. There's a fair chance that this lp will prove to be Not Unloved's sound of early summer 2016.