Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I went to see Refused play last night. The big take away was that there is no point making time-machine type wishes based on going back to 1997 unless you too are able to regress. No doubt my twenty something self would have been launching himself from the top balcony in a style not dissimilar to that of Phil Daniels in Quadrophenia, angry at at non specific corporate enemy intent on classifying me in some untoward way. Sadly, 2012 saw me tired, overheated and battling to glimpse a view through the forest of iphones and cameras all held aloft to capture and post the moment for posterity.

I am sure it was a great gig and I am truly pleased that our Swedish friends have finally got the recognition they deserve for 'Shape of Punk to Come', I just don't think I needed to witness it first hand at the expense of a quiet night in with a nice glass of red.

It has been a very long time since I managed to get my shit together enough to put proverbial pen to paper but a quiet moment at work seems like as good as time as any to sing the praises of the above.

I always gave this album a wide berth for two reasons: The cover makes it look like overly faye El Records fayre and they have another album called 'Fuck Pussy Galore and All of Her Friends' that I accidentally bought from Relay Records in Bristol back in 1995 thinking it was a 'Pussy Galore' album (FYI it was rubbish) I blame them in no small part for the misunderstanding and consequently boycotted their output for the next 18 or so years.

We have now kissed and made up.

I bought the CD after noticing the albums appearance in about four different 'Super Hot Best US Indie Albums Ever' lists when I was going through one of my phases - One that saw little 5" parcels arrive in clusters of eight to ten every day for about a month. 'Perfect Teeth' stood out as one of the highlights of this exercise in retrospective cultural vacuuming.

As a record, it's is a very well tempered exercise in borderline commercial US Indie rock. It is in no way exceptional but delivers on a level that few other records from around that era of 'above the counter' hype managed. It got me thinking back to a time when I would buy literally any old shit because it was on the right label (Sub Pop) trying to convince myself that it was anything other than guitar led dross launched in the hope of catching that ever growing Indie Rock wave.

From the first time I played it there was something very familiar about the sound of 'Perfect Teeth', almost as if the album had been played to me in it's entirety as I slept. It's catchy, surprisingly well produced and serves as solid reminder of a more innocent time,

If you like a bit of fast paced jangly guitar accompanied by a nice bit of off-key male/female singing give it a shot. If you don't or you have an aversion to Cath Caroll's admittedly annoying face (especially not quite but nearly closed mouth) I would avoid.

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