Post War Glamour Girls - Pink Fur (2014)

"Who would have thought that an art-rock/post-punk outfit comprising born'n'bred drummers would be so ruddy loud? It's not like hitting things really hard is integral to the job description. It does seem like Post War Glamour Girls have utilised this unique trait to full effect, and every cut on long-awaited debut LP "Pink Fur" is a rhythmic tour de force - sometimes as belligerent as swaggering hip-hop crunches, sometimes more sultry than 'Voodoo' by Godsmack. The Leeds foursome outdo themselves on this premiere foray; while their previous outputs have been gosh-darned impressive, this is another level of quality entirely. Attention please: those with a nervous disposition are not permitted to ride the PWGG-ercoaster. All others, buckle in, strap on and brace yourselves. Things are going to get bloody intense.

The opening gambit to Pink Fur, 'Sestra' (which means 'sister' in Russian), was inspired by polar bear attacks in Siberia. The band are clear fans of John Cooper Clarke (just look at their nom de guerre), so it's natural that some of his style would rub off. Such is the case for avante-garde cipersmith James Smith, whose poetry and scathing morality analysis often form the basis of each track - instead of carting the outfit down a dreary road of love and lust, Smith hoists them towards social discussions. Though some of the narratives underpinning the abrasive brooding backdrop may be a tad obtuse at times, it's a pleasant change of pace to hear a voice preach with conviction about something other than failed relationships. It's a fresh(er) territory that PWGG have expanded into - and, if you're not quite certain you 'get' what Smith is raging against, that's fine and dandy: "I like the audience to have to think about what the lyrics might possibly be about, and the meanings behind them, because I think it gives you a greater personal connection with the song."

When it comes to the music itself, they've orchestrated an unstable concoction of lurching axes, tooth-shaking bass and quasi-metal percussion that spearheads each track's campaign towards your ears. The band share fellow Northerners MONEY and Nadine Shah's penchant for symphonic, experimental post-punk: they conjure vast bellicose soundscapes sodden with pugnacious vitriol, and refer to their gargantuan list of inspirations. Pixies, Joy Division and Tom Waits, as well as the obvious Nick Cave/Grinderman nods, all crop up in various forms, be it in Smith's fragile baritone, the gravelly '80s post-punk noises or the sweet aggression. That's not to say they're derivative, however, because despite any familiar threads you may glimpse, it feels like a whole new world. Yes, that was an Aladdin quote.

'Stolen Flowers Rust' skulks and tantrums like a jilted bull in a china shop - they throw down thuggish metal licks and classic cock-rock swagger with a devil-may-care nonchalance. The way Smith spits the chorus, studded with his Yorkshire twang, is fabulous to boot: "When dead-eyes stare upon the rows of empty houses stolen flowers rust..." Funk-speckled 'Jazz Funerals' ramps up swiftly into a panting wolf of a track, and macabre finalé 'Brat' is the most villainous anthem you'll hear - it swells like classic post-rock (Godspeed, for example), avec choirs and drum solos, but it's pinpricked with Frank Black hoarse howls and the wall-o'-noise six-stringers of any good speed-metal. In the twilight moments of the record, Smith utters his bitterest words in a kiss-of for the ages: "You strike me as the kind of person who has never made love before. Therefore, you are easily satisfied in general, and with everything."

But it's not just hell-for-leather aggro or a pissing contest between the bandmates trying to see who can be louder - there's a pensive dimension to leer over. 'Lightbulb', replete with reverb-heavy whirs, glinting '80s pop chords and pompous beats, slinks through the undergrowth - it's not as in-your-face as some other cuts, and its power comes from darkly manipulating your emotions like a malevolent marionette master. 'Powdered Milk Asylum' is considerably more poppy than much of Pink Fur's wares, and it sounds far more like Franz Ferdinand than the oft-paralleled Birthday Party. 'Black Dolphin' is downright subdued: there's nary a serrated hook nor a chest-pumping oil-black spiel. Bassist and second vocalist Alice Scott shines here, with her flyaway vox line dominating the sparse proggy wilderness.

Ultimately, this is a rollicking anthology of aural delights. They ascend to the zenith of noise with godlike melodrama, and plummet to emotional nadirs as you gradually become more aware of how catastrophic Earth's problems are. Although they drag you around a fair bit, and you'll count yourself lucky if you escape with only minor bruising, PWGG have sculpted not just a great record, but a incredibly important one."

Rating: 7.5/10 - thefourohfive.com

Artist: 
Post War Glamour Girls
Album: 
Pink Fur
Album art: 
Post War Glamour Girls - Pink Fur (2014)
Release date: 
17.02.2014
Quality: 
VBR V0
Buy on Amazon: 
Tracklist: 

1. Sestra
2. Little Land
3. Red Terror
4. Stolen Flowers Rust
5. Service Station Blues
6. Lightbulb
7. Powdered Milk Asylum
8. Black Dolphin
9. Jazz Funerals
10. Brat

Music label: 
Hide and Seek Records
Country: 
United Kingdom
3.5
Average: 3.5 (8 votes)
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