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Single/Download Review

Dark Captain, Light Captain/ The Troubadours/ Omo/ The Chap/ NoBunny/ Francis Harold and the Holograms/ The Cave Weddings
Singles round-up

Article written by Ged M - Aug 12, 2009

The remixers behind Dark Captain Light Captain’s ‘Remix EP’ (LOAF Recordings) clearly have them pegged as a drug band, judging by Hatchback’s opiated pop mix of ‘Questions’ or the Chicken Feed remix of ‘Remote View’ that could soundtrack an Ibiza nightclub at dawn: rhythmic but not banging enough to shatter that warm drugbuzz. ‘Miracle Kicker’ (Here Be Monsters remix) is a bit too ambient, with an unsettling anesthetic effect, but the Can-grooves of ‘Summer’ (remixed by Vernal Equinox) show a pop intelligence at work. Myspace

The Troubadours are unmistakeably a Liverpool band (technically they’re half-Scouse, half-Wigan but there are no traces of pie-eating here). Their single ‘Surrender’ (Guerrilla Records) is the distillation of a good record collection, mixing the Wild Swans with the Zutons, the Coral and the Dead 60s. While it’s catchy pop with a little ska twist, it doesn’t have much musical stickability though. Myspace

If you want odd dance-influenced pop, the split single from Omo and The Chap (LOAF Recordings 7”) delivers in abundance. ‘Oversized’ by Omo is cool, weird electropop seemingly inspired by Laurie Anderson and the Flying Lizards while ‘Well Done You’ by The Chap could be David Byrne conducting a job appraisal interview while Talking Heads get funky in the background. It’s a mildly funny concept though I’d always opt for seeing them live over hearing their records to get the full effect. Myspace

Wise old Trev of Oddbox/ Lostmusic etc hinted at the treasures nestled within the catalogue of Hozac Records of Chicago so I delved into them via Rough Trade. ‘Give It To Me’ by NoBunny (Hozac Records 7”, snot green vinyl) comes in a sleeve that would warm the cockles of Robert Crumb’s heart (or the heart of his cock). It’s trash bubblegum no-fi rock’n’roll from a Californian insaniac whose use of a Hasil Adkins image on his Myspace page can’t just be coincidence. The A-side is good but ‘Motorhead with Me’ on the other side is much better, a barrage of punk-pop rhythms (no thinking, just playing) firmly in the School of Childish. Fun and inspirational. Myspace

Francis Harold and the Holograms have a deeply disturbing cover (redneck ritual sacrifice maybe) for their ‘Mirror of Fear’ single (Hozak Records 7”). If you’re susceptible to neurological damage don’t go here because the brutal garage guitar riffs and agonised screams of the singer will climb into your head, rip your brain in two and shit into the synapses. This noise-punk is more fucked up than Fucked Up. The b-side is pretty insane too, switching between thrashy blitzkrieg riffs and exhausted silence, for nine cycles. They’re from Bisbee, Arizona and, if those mutants in the original Hills Have Eyes movie made music, it would sound like this single. Mummy, I’m scared. Myspace

The Cave Weddings have a more peaceful cover and the songs aren’t trying to kill you. ‘Bring Your Love’ (Hozak Records 7”) blazes with the simplicity of early Flying Nun records underscored by an elemental Buddy Holly beat. It’s a record where what you see/ hear is exactly what you get; at its core, it has a naïve and unadorned pop heart that makes it utterly charming. Myspace


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