Screenwives exist in a particular group of Dischord-influenced, DIY rooted bands that have made up vibrant scenes dotted around the UK for years now. Often confined to criminally short-run CDr releases and playing shows to 20 people, some bands do indeed creep out of obscurity, and this London outfit are deservedly making those waves now.
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This record of tremble rock is the perfect nervy counterpart to Phil’s ramblings about who among us he’d most enjoy firing. Screen Wives do the equations and come up with one that goes something like grungy noise rock plus math equals high energy tunes. Their music is so gnarled around the corners it sounds like it is actually being recorded in your ears, the band climbing their instruments in an attempt to find the exit point.
For anyone who likes discordant indie rock: please disregard and buy now. Weirdly, their frantic movements have as much place in the leagues of Shellac as they do a band like Hot Hot Heat, their furiously dissonant guitars, jumped-out basslines and sardonic vocal pointings coupled with the kind of smarminess that waster oughties Brit indie bands once littered the world with. Their instrumentals manoeuver between uppity chaos and absolutely blindsiding melody -- the record’s title track is both at once. “Well Groomed” has the windy guitars of a crusty Blacklisters album, but our band’s singer/shouter, known as Corey, speaks in a disaffected yelp not dissimilar to Kele Okereke.
Relentlessly unkind and consistently feedbacking, this is an angular and tense-shouldered LP that will do a lot for those stuck at the traffic lights between noise rock and hardcore -- their blast of math makes me pine for the days of Plaids and their slightly indie rock deliverance takes me way the fuck back. An impressive mess.
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