This year just gets better and better. Let’s Wrestle debut with the magnificent Song For Abba Tribute Band, which takes the desperate thrash of those early Wedding Present Reception releases and filters it through Guided By Voices’ off-kilter masterpiece, Bee Thousand, gifting us a truly great anti-love song with some great barbed lyrics delivered in an attractively louche fashion (try "can you get that knife right out of my back now please"; and "if the book of love says 'right on' I say 'fuck off'" for starters).
The b-side, I Want To Be In Husker Du, is just as strong, in which singer WPG voices his development from knock-kneed indiepop fan to worshipper of the overlords of American underground rock:
“I wish that I could play like Thurston Moore,
I spent too many years listening to Lamchop…
This is the death of an indiepop fan,
I wish that I was in Husker Du.”
I fancy that I can hear some Pavement in there too – no bad thing, let me assure you.
You can just hear John Peel now, saying, “Well, that is simply terrific. We must get WPG – not the name his mother gave him at birth, I’m sure – and the boys down to Maida Vale for a session. And if you’re listening, Let’s Wrestle, it’s a very good thing you don’t sound like Led Zeppelin, almost a prerequisite for being played on this programme, in fact. That and not having any jazz influence. Right. Here’s Bastard Kestrel.”
But I digress, because there’s more great music from The Young Republic, whose Blue Skies 7” is their first UK release and what a treat it is. Infused with the sweeping style and grandiose lustre that only an octet boasting pedal steel, violin, cello, piano, flute and much, much more in its arsenal can manage, you can hear among the classicism much of the classic indie they obviously hold dear to their hearts.
Formed at music school in Boston, you’ll be forgiven for making a Belle and Sebastian comparison, because they do occupy similar territory as those early B+S discs. Given the strength of Blue Skies and its fine b-side, Small Town In A World War, it’s a fine place to be, although seeing at it’s retailing at – ouch! – a fiver, maybe you won’t rush out to buy one. I’m glad I did, though. There are not many better ways to be relieved of a fiver, I must say.
My Sad Captains' debut single, Bad Decisions, is out and what a corker that is, too. Made with the American highway, your elbows in the breeze and the car stereo blasting all in mind, this song has a GIANT hook that captures both the pop sensibilities of radio rock and the skewed vision of Pavement.
Much more of this kind of greatness and surely the Camden Town home they share (kinda like The Monkees, only with CCTV I like to think) will soon be decorated with gold records. Only a tone deaf idiot with a subscription to Carnal Flange magazine could disagree.
You can watch them (MSC, not the tone deaf idiots) having “larks” and “japes” in this video with inflatable toys (they really are The Monkees after all...).