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- (Here Come The) Catastrophe Machines by Girl One And The Grease Guns
9/10 Brian Staff review, 08 November 2013
'(Here Come The) Catastrophe Machines' is the first record I've played today. I've got a headache and I didn't sleep very well last night so a rumbling and repetitive slab of nihilistic electronic indie punk possibly isn't the best remedy yet I'm totally loving it. There's enough analogue synth distortion and energy in this tune to flatten you against a wall - the guy from Squirrel Records, um....Mr. Squirrel? - gleefully informed us this had been mastered real loud for maximum eardrum-fraying violent impact. The JAMC comparison stands up quite well as far as bloody-minded shards of feedback go although this is more like Suicide on PCP with an Atari Teenage Riot codpiece but with a mardy English lass coming right at yer over the melee instead of an NY cabaret sleazebag. The vocals consist of a fairly legible and urgent female-voiced mantra repeating the title ad infinitum before a well placed apocalyptic voiceover blurts out of the fading tinitus-inducing squall.
The flip really alarms me as it's formed around the nucleus of a beautiful olde-worlde synth pop tune, the drum machine hitting hard, the bass propulsive but by no means detracting from the simple, swirling melodic delight of those vintage keys. The lass on the mic adjusts herself to suit the radical shift in dynamics and delivers a lovely nonchalant girl-next-door performance. If you like Flock of Seagulls and early OMD you'll adore 'Hitting The Brick Wall', it's a charming contrast to the sucker-punch of the supposed 'A' side and wraps up one of the most honest, enjoyable and authentic trad-indie singles I've heard in an age. Wrapped in a PVC bag with varying colours of xerox-style insert, just like the good ol' days. Thanks Mr. Squirrel, under those shades I'm sure your eyes dance with a constant mischief.
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