On a day off from recording their forthcoming third album, Bruce Wallace and Mandy Clarke of Super Adventure Club battle hangovers and heatwaves to debate the summer’s singles. “The horse will be here in 5 minutes” Bruce casually explains, “but we can get started…”
Superchunk – Me & You & Jackie Mittoo [from I Hate Music, out 19th August, Merge]
Mandy: This sounds like American film music – it makes me think of teenagers in the back of a car, and everyone’s dead happy. It’s making my hangover a bit worse… Are they a new band?
The Skinny: Not at all – they’ve been doing this kind of thing since at least the early 90s…
Bruce: That maybe explains it then. It sounds like 90s music – it gives me the same feeling as Semisonic and The Supernaturals and stuff like that. It’s not really my cup of tea – it’s just really squeaky clean. The vocals put me off quite a lot as well. I’m quite particular about vocals.
M: The more I hear this the worse it gets…
B: 4 out of 10.
Washed Out – Don’t Give Up [August 12th, Weird World Records)
B: It sounds like lo-fi Lemon Jelly or something.
M: I loved this when it first came on, [but] it’s a bit, eh, wishy-washy...
B: It’s quite middle of the road… 5?
The Horse, who arrived as the song began: 7?
B: Nah, I like the overall sound of it, but it isane doing much. Stick with 6.
TRACK OF THE MONTH: Ghostpoet – Cold Win (26th August, Play It Again, Sam)
B: I’ve heard things by Ghostpoet before, I quite like it… [has a wee listen]. Garage is coming back as well, in quite a big way.
M: Is it definitely?
B: It is – gonna do that cover of Sweet like Chocolate aye? [sings said hit’s title]
M: I love that song! I like this too, this is cool.
B: Yeah, it’s good, I like that quite a lot actually. 8.
MONEY – Hold Me Forever (August 12th, Bella Union)
B: The production’s really cool but I’m not really enjoying the tune. There’s something a wee bit Bono about the vocal as well, that’s putting me off.
M: I quite like the way his vocals over-do it a wee bit. Are those steel drums?
Horse: Or marimba?
B: It could just be an effect on the guitar…
M: I think they’d be really good live, with the steel drums.
B: Well it depends if that’s what it is….
M: True – 6, but if there are steel drums, 7.
Deer Tick – The Rock (August 12th, Partisan Records)
M: I think this would sound good at a festival.
B: I’d be intrigued to hear more by them – there are a few surprises, a few bar changes I didn’t expect. It sort of reminds me of Supergrass. 7?
Horse: If that gets a 7, Ghostpoet should get a 9…
B: You’re going to have to change the Horse’s Ghostpoet score now…
Blondes – Elise [from Swisher, out August 6th, RVNG Intl.)
M: This isn’t the sort of music I really listen to, so it’s hard to really rate it.
B: Yeah, it’s alright, but just a 6. [skipping ahead] That’s quite a nice breakdown… This would be nice in a club. Or maybe as the soundtrack to some movie with Ryan Gosling driving around looking moody, where nothing happens. [sighs] I was so disappointed by that film…
Eels – Kinda Fuzzy (September 2nd, E Works/V2)
We try streaming the track from YouTube, but initially get a Kopparberg advert instead.
B: 3 out of 10!
M: I’d love a Kopparberg right now…
The song starts; in the video, E wanders around dressed as a miserable clown.
B: Is that one of Adam and Joe? Wow, he looks different… Well obviously, he does, he’s in clown makeup eh… I like this. Eels kind of just do the same thing, but it’s something I like. Though actually there’s a bit more going on here than in a lot of their stuff. There’s something a bit more lush about this, with a bit more range as well.
M: That’s definitely an 8. His autobiography is amazing – I cried.
B: This makes me want to listen to more Eels.
Nothankyou – Know Yourself (August 5th, Moshi Moshi)
The Skinny: This is a collaboration between Tom Vek and Olga Bell.
B: I kind of like some of Tom Vek’s ideas, but I don’t really like him overall. Who’s the other person?
The Skinny: Olga Bell – she plays keyboards in Dirty Projectors.
B: Ah, right. There’s one Dirty Projectors song that I really love – I can’t remember its name, but it prompted me to check out their other stuff and I was disappointed. This is alright though. I’d be interested to hear more. But I’m going to go for 6, just because I reckon that if I did check their other stuff out it might not be very good. Dunno why, I’m just being utterly biased.
M: But you should be judging just this one song though! I like her voice, it’s cool.
B: Let’s go with 7 for that song then, and 6 for my expectations of what their other stuff will sound like.
Texas – Detroit City (August 12th, [PIAS] Recordings)
M: I hoped they’d stopped. Everyone’s going for that real 80s vibe at the minute eh?
B: Yeah, it kind of sounds like they’re reaching for something current and not really getting it. I quite like early Texas stuff – I think it’s well-crafted pop music. It’s kind of bland but it’s well-put together. But this? This is just… bad. 2.
The Skinny: As someone who used to listen to Superchunk a lot, I’m just glad they’re no longer the lowest scorers…
M: You like them? Ah but you were young then, you didn’t know any better. I used to like Pitchshifter, you know what I mean?
Horse: My worst crime was buying a Linkin Park album…
M: If I could go far enough away, I would probably listen to that quite loudly just now. [sings] ‘craaaaaaawling in my skiiiiiiiin’!
Lovechilde – Sweat Lodge (August 22nd, Rough Trade)
M: It sounds like it’s not finished.
B: I don’t even know what to compare this to. There’s kind of an industrial thing going on, but it’s almost too watery to say that. I don’t have anything to say about this: I just don’t like it.
M: It’s like they’re not all playing the same song.
B: It kind of sounds like music you would get in the club scene in The Crow or something like that. It’s bad.
The Skinny: Texas-level bad?
M: Nah, they definitely feel it, whatever it is…
B: Give it a 3 then.
Bleach Blood – H.O.P.E (August 10th, Transmission Recordings)
B: This is minging. Ab-sol-utely minging.
The Skinny: Apparently it’s about being hungover…
B: It sounds like a hangover – turn it off, it’s really bad.
M: This might tip me over the edge…
B: That gets zero. It starts out like Lightning Seeds and then turns into, I don’t know… a Chumbawumba meets Jennifer Lopez anthem.
The Skinny: That makes it sound kind of awesome…
B: It’s absolutely disgusting.
Disclosure – F For You (August 18th, PMR Records)
B: It sounded like it was maybe going to get interesting for a wee moment there, like Millionaire or someone like that. But nah.
M: That wee techno sound in it is annoying me. Who is this?
The Skinny: Disclosure – they had a number 1 earlier this year with AlunaGeorge.
M: Really? Wow – how does that one go?
We cue up White Noise and get instant, unimpressed recognition.
M: Ah shit, that? Man… I hate this tune.
The Skinny: Actually Wikipedia’s just informed me that I’m mistaken – it was a number 2, not a number 1.
B: It’s a number 2 alright. Their new song can have 4 though.
[written for the August issue of The Skinny]