Much messier but equally beautiful in its own careering way is The Garbage and The Flowers' "Catnip". These New Zealanders made one of my favourite lps of 2011 (it was, in fact, a reissue of a cassette sold at gigs) which was subtle and intimate. It in no way prepared me for the driving, squealing, extended grind of their 1992 single "Catnip". The idea of a riot grrrl (Helen Johnstone - I don't know if she aligned herself with the Riot Grrrls but she sure screamed like yr Huggy Bear and Bikini Kill used to) fronting an out of control The Stooges isn't something I would've dreamed up but this single makes the case for it being a good one. Luckily, there was a fairly cheap unplayed copy of the 7" (on Twisted Village of Cambridge, Massachussets, U.S.A.) on discogs which I bought so I can now blast it on repeat to the detriment of my hearing but to the benefit of my heart.
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
2 from Down Under
Lately, Not Unloved has been obsessing over a couple of 20 year old tracks from the southern hemisphere that have very little in common sonically. "Into Your Arms" by Australia's Love Positions (from "Billiepeebup" on Damien Hirst's favourite label Half A Cow) is the beguiling, if brief, original of a song made famous by The Lemonheads in the early 90s. I always liked their version, always admired its simplicity and the unembarrassed sentimentality of its lyrics but Love Positions' version is so much sparser and so much prettier. Mind you, former The Hummingbirds bassist Robyn St. Clare's voice possesses a rare sweetness that Evan Dando was never gonna quite match. Just how my ears have managed to dodge such a gorgeous voice in two decades of pop digging is a source of consternation round these parts. Time to start excavating The Hummingbirds' back catalogue, I reckon. Hopefully, Robyn handled lots of the vocal duties...