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- Split by The Wharves / The Rosy Crucifixion
9/10 Brian Staff review, 28 November 2013
I’ve seen that snake picture on the RC side somewhere before I swear. Maybe I’ve just watched lots of weird old films or something. Or I just like images of brave females tackling these slippery pests from the pages of magic and myth. Or your local reptile shop? I once had to look after my friend’s pet snake. Watching it devour a defrosted mouse was an awful experience indeed. It wasn’t ever gonna be my closest buddy after that which is a shame as I loved Whizzer and Chips when I was a kid only to realise that Sid was obviously completely deranged and thought a bloody toy cuddly draught excluder was his best friend. Weirdo.
The Wharves contributed side is actually the first face to hit the deck and by track three I’m surprised at how smitten I am with them. With their bright, gutsy, dual-vocal harmonies they sound a little like Stealing Sheep with a tinge of Jefferson Airplane but with a more traditional gothic-tinged indie rock backing betraying some fine subtle classic folk-rock elements. Earthy, raw and melodic music that impresses merely through its unpretentious grooves and a workmanlike yet vibrant spirit. Like I say, cracking voices on these girls, seriously. Voice of the Beehive spring to mind too which is no bad thing.
They’re well twinned with the excellent twangy voodoo rockabilly of The Rosy Crucifixion who are also, in turn, blessed with their own cracking female singer. She’s a little more “wasted urchin” in her vocal style and I can kinda see why they’ve supported The Fall for sure. They have this kinda spectral aura, dirty, scratchy propulsion and sensual rhythm and rumble about them....a hint of menace, a sprinkling of sleaze....a raw, sexy and faintly sinister sounding bunch indeed! Every song on their side seems alive with a discreet tension and their slot even concludes with a brooding instrumental death-surf number.
Glasgow seemingly specialises in nurturing bands who genuinely have something unnerving and slightly intense about them. I’m unsure if The Wharves are from the same high climes but this is one of the best matches on a split album I’ve heard in years - both bands - especially TRC - have something very tangible, organic, feral and exciting about their music, although they’re neither treading new ground or really getting too in your face.
This record just sorta.....welcomes you in with a lascivious crooked smile and gradually hypnotises you and I cannot quite work out how?
But I bloody love it.
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