Their The Gun Club/Thee Oh Sees informed garage rock has a pleasing bounce to it. It's hard not to curl your top lip as you nod along to "Lose Yourself" (a live favourite) or strut around all sassy to "Sinners". There's not a whisper of a weak track and their side ends with the skewed, leopard skin jacket stomp of "Night of the Wailers", a song that in a fair world would be hastening brothel-creepered feet to limbo lounge dance-floors up and down the land:
The Wharves are from London and I've only seen them once (the night Andy Murray won Wimbledon so I was in decidedly good cheer!) and they were exceptional. I admired their ability to meld influences as mutually exclusive as, say, Pentangle, Black Sabbath and classic harmony-driven girl-group pop into a sort of pagan post-punk that, well, worked. It felt brave and, much as I love straight-up, empty-headed garage rock or winsome, jangling pop, it was encouraging to hear a group forging a new sound. If it alienates the hispters all well and good. Who needs those duds anyway? While they're sucking their cheeks in I'll have pupils the size of saucers from the sheer wired-ness of "Unhand Me" and the groovy, metallic sway of "Woodchip". I can't think of any other group past or present who sound like The Wharves. All credit to Soft Power for backing them.
Stream the whole record at the Soft Power Records bandcamp page then wait excitedly for it to be released on vinyl on 25th November!
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