The Machismo’s were never too serious now, let’s make that clear (in case this record’s title, Brit Pop Fucked My Wife, didn’t give you a hint). These recordings date from the mid-90s, and showcase an indie-guitar sound not in thrall to the Oasis school. No, this is a scragglier, messier thing, and all the better for it. LP self-released by the band.
Limited self-released LP. Edition of 300 copies with stamped labels + 'Bury Underground' poster.
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- Brit Pop Fucked My Wife by The Machismo's
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Ah, the Machismo’s. Silly, lazy, barely writing songs, this married duo plus extra friend create what is best described as flimsy jangle pop. Their tunes are snappy and suffer happily from lo-fi production; often they struggle to keep up with tempo requirements. If you listen to ‘Brit Pop Fucked My Wife’ and wonder why it sounds cut out of another time, it’s because these recordings have been dug up from the ‘90s themselves. Here’s another band being nostalgic that we can get nostalgic about; inspired by Beatles ripoff rock, they sound trapped in the early days of indie.
‘Brit Pop Fucked My Wife’ is a nice messy sprawl of half-baked pop tunes, exchanging forceful bits of distorted muk for tunes that integrate acoustic strums, Pixies-esque riffs and loose cannon drumming. Though they never took themselves seriously, it’s the sombre Machismo’s that I’m drawn to, the one writing dejected lyrics around minor keys: on “Death of a Friend”, a languishing chord sequence plays out as Sam Marsh hums like a less collected Fran Healey. “Jilt” sounds like Elliott Smith trying out for Guided by Voices; it’s brief and fleeting and takes on some interesting guitar figures, but ultimately the song moans and drones around its sorrow. Straight after that the band remind us of their Tough Shit mantra: they kill the vibe with an instrumental of shredding, thrashing garage punk.
I have a thing for these indie rock bands who didn’t know how to keep a song going after the two minute mark, but the Machismo’s can make a proper song too -- they just don’t often feel like trying. Hearing “Good Things About To Happen”, though, is an example of a band who can shine when they put the effort in. Around an indelible vocal melody that’s barely harmonized on, they roll through a well told story that still practices what they preach: nimble acoustic riffing and ramshackle drums and the spirit of a rock band who aren’t quite a rock band.
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