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The Retro Spankees – My Sonic Driver (Kooky Disc)

These four tracks arrive accompanied by a charming letter written on a frantically torn off piece of strawberry-patterned wrapping paper. Alice In Wonderland-like, it says ‘Read Me…’ This fits in well with the Retro Spankees’ music - cutesy, yet disturbed.

If you’re the kind of dullard who found Bis’s clatter-pop shrieky shtick irritating then this may be one for you to avoid. If however, you’re invigorated by the frantic sound of young Northampton mixin’ it up ‘n’ bringin’ the noize, then pull up your stripy socks, ‘cos here be bounty.

Retro Spankees make the sound of the beatifically deranged. It’s like they’ve gathered together all of Bearsuit’s yelpingest moments for a heaping helping of sugar-crazed bouncing. ‘My Sonic Driver’ kicks off as an off-kilter knees-up before the vocals become progressively more demented. It scritches and tumbles, apparently featuring the sound of a giant poodle being thrown into a chicken coop, although this may just be their ‘creative’ use of vocals.

‘Out Like One’ jabbers and jangles merrily, it’s a Lord of the Flies playground singsong, it’s Kaito caught up in a Wizard of Oz whirlwind, the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle (whatever a caboodle is) whipping round in a frenzy. Hark! Here’s some interpretative squealing and weesht! Here come the multi-layered harmonic squawks, like some big old shouty, but delicious, cake.

‘Pickin’ Flies’ is an epic itching mass of screeching coupled with careening Bogshed guitars rubbing up against the soothing balm of bewildered boy-singing and wibbly vocoding. (Interestingly, ‘vocoding’ doesn’t prompt the spellcheck, is it a proper word then?) Finally ‘Saladman’ lets us off with a caution, burning briefly but brightly with frenetic splendour and top kazoo action.

The Retro Spankees are to be congratulated for having a few sparks of imagination and creativity (which is to say several thousand more than some of the lumpen numpties currently clogging the airwaves).
For thinking in big squiggling loops and twists rather than in pin-striped lines that lead directly back to the eighties. And for having a splendid section of ‘fan art’ on their web site.

R.R.R.G: Frustrating Swerving Texture

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