Out on Innovative Leisure (BadBadNotGood, Nosaj Thing, Holy Fuck), this release pushes the envelope rather less than the aforementioned, sticking as it does to Jonathan Richman-style proto-punk and skittering skiffle. America’s Velvet Glory (indeed, indeed) is in the same school as early Parquet Courts or Ultimate Painting - not looking to reinvent the wheel, simply looking to write good songs good. Single ‘You and Me’ sounds like a track called ‘You and Me’ and is dead pleasant.
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Their album art is like Sleaford Mods with the lights off and one of them looks kinda like the owner of my local pub -- shoutout Nath Brudenell -- but they’re just happy to go lucky as a throwback garage band. It’s no bad thing that they’re just making the most simple sounding of all rock music, with most songs thrown together over a breezy chord sequence, a simple rhythmic pulse and the odd bit of supplementing synth.
I like it when they go super trad, I think: “No Control” has a bass line walking all over acoustic strums and a smirking riff, the whole thing sounding like a softer, less punchy version of yer punks. The vocal, in particular, will churn around in your mind as you strain to compare it to someone of yore -- is it Lou Reed? Johnny Thunders? The guy from Reagan Youth? Is it just ubiquitous with all of that stuff? The answer to all of those questions is, well, maybe, I think so.
The brevity and casual nature of these tunes makes them that lil’ bit more valuable -- a twinkling acoustic ditty like “That’s the Trouble With You”, twanging and groaning, fits nicely next to two typical rock ‘n’ roll groovers, giving the record a bit of the versatility bands that sound like this desperately need. In the main, though, it’s in the Molochs’ favour to just make a decent piece of garage rock classical: the melodies, when matched with old-school bass lines and super ‘60s guitar kissoffs (as on “No More Cryin’”) are as fun as you’d expect. Fine expected fun.
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