The Victorian English Gentlemen's Club
This is the debut album from the Cardiff based trio and although terms like art-pop or art punk are being banded around (like having met at art school makes this album a sure thing), don't be fooled. I was sceptical at first as they had all the makings of a big disappointment - lots of media hype, quirky name and heavy styling - but after the first listen you start to see that these early signs are very misleading. With Adam Taylor on vocals and guitar, Emma Daman on drums, Louise Mason on bass and all contributing to backing vocals the result is a rich yet stripped down noise that assaults and delights at the same time.
The first highlight comes early on with Stupid As Wood. It's dark rolling guitars tell you that it means business. Adam Taylor's vocals stab at you with erratic energy putting your nerves on full alert. Impossible Sightings Over Shelton could be the Pixies in their heyday while Such A Chore clatters around almost unrecognisably until a gloriously catchy chorus blasts in out of nowhere. A Hundred Years Of This Street is a minor masterpiece, changing pace at an unrelenting rate while Ban The Gin is pure, precocious noise. The finest moment has to be Under The Yews. Just as you've summed them up as angular punk who's power comes from it's simplified, raw sound you get this multi layered, slow burning ground assault that confidently creeps up and kicks your arse.
The great thing here is that, while very conscious of their roots and not ashamed to show their influences, this trio seems to bash around like they aren't even aware of a music scene and this honesty is displayed with cocky ease and the result is thrilling.