Sunday 1 November 2015

He's A..../She's A... or The Dahlmanns/Baby Shakes

Not many groups are as effervescent or as multi-coloured as Shonen Knife.  Baby Shakes, however, are one of the few.  Their recent "She's A Star" (Surfin' Ki) single is wholesome cartoon glam stomp of the highest order. It really ought to have come with a Hanna Barbera animated video.  7 years ago (zoinks!) a post on the precursor to Did Not Chart had me scrabbling about trying to find a UK distributor able to sort me out with a copy of their first lp.  This autumn I had to look to mainland Europe (thanks!) to snag a copy of their second lp, "Starry Eyes" (Lil' Chewy).  On first listen it's slightly chunkier sonically but still has the tunes to prompt spontaneous outbursts of kitchen dancing which has proved useful for keeping the late autumn chills at bay!

The first thing I noticed when the latest 7" by The Dahlmanns (Ghost Highway) arrived was the Next Big Thing t-shirt.  Any group with the smarts to advertise their love of Lindsay Hutton's seminal N.B.T. fanzine is alright by me!  It's a classic tale of a dud boyfriend set to an insanely catchy  Rock'n'Roll High School tune that's had me repeating "Yeah, yeah, he's no fun!"  till I needed a slap for a few days now.  "He's A Drag" was written by Kurt Baker.  He sure sounds lie a chap who knows how to wrangle a pop melody into shape.  And so another avenue of YouTube investigation (and, possibly, wallet emptying) opens up...  

I'll be giving these 7"s a fair few spins over the coming week to get my dose of top drawer contemporary power pop as, unfortunately, I'll be missing Mary Timony's Ex Hex who roll into Glasgow for a show at Stereo on Friday night that's sure to be a riot of glitter, harmony and riffs.

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