The only two music magazines I make sure I never miss an issue of are Bananas (from Brooklyn) and Shindig! So it was a real treat today to find that Shindig!'s hip little sister magazine Happening had reviewed the Wobbly Lamps EP.
WOBBLY LAMPS - Neon Teepee EP - Polyvinyl Craftsmen 7”
The first release from this DIY label is from Southend garage punks Wobbly Lamps. The twenty-and-thirty-something fivesome are at the more deranged end of that particular world - think Lux Interior vocals, Thee Oh Sees style guitar mangling, and judging by their Youtube clips a healthy disdain for the audience. The Fall are hard to ignore in their DNA, as the title track of this EP ably demonstrates. Billy Childish may have trademarked that muddy lo-fi garage sound, but they are no mere imitators here. The riffs and drumming are hard not to instantly love on all the songs.
‘SWMD’ though is more of a sludgy, incomprehensible rant - and I’m getting pretty sick of bands purposely making their vocals unintelligible as an aesthetic. You may as well be an instrumental act if you have nothing to say, surely? The third and final blast here, ‘Alice The Goon’, is a murky, hypnotic repetitive beat from the depths, and is twisted enough to let it’s dark heart show. The tremelo guitar that rattles along is a beautiful sound to hear against its satanic surroundings. It must be pretty brutal when played live!
If you like your minimalist, outsider distortion rock then you need to get this seven. The single is limited to 250 copies, with each record hand-stamped and wrapped in a sleeve designed by Wobbly Lamps member Paul Lagden.
The spirit of ‘66 meets ‘77 lives on here. Amen.