On Summer Slummin’, FUZZKILL Records bring together three of the UK’s finest garage rock misfits to soundtrack what remains of your sweaty solstice.
London trio Abjects link up with longtime label faves Fruit Tones (Manchester) and local boys Halfrican (Glasgow), with each band shouldering two tunes apiece.
Nobody’s beating about the bush – average song length on this split is a whiff over two minutes.
Fruit Tones bring the curtain up with cracking opener, ‘Night Bus Going Nowhere’.
Its chirpy, practice-room bounce recalls The Yummy Fur’s dorkier work from the mid-90s, but Fruit Tones marry this to a sunnier refrain than John McKeown’s outfit were ever wont to do.
After this entrée, Abjects serve up meatier fare on ‘Double Bind’ and ‘Messed Up’.
Of the three acts, Abjects sound the most confident and self-possessed on record – they know fine well they’re punching all your buns with a mere three chords and a shedload of fuzz.
Singer Noemi’s narcotic vocals, delivered primarily in Spanish, are the band’s USP; oddly hypnotic where the rest of the instrumentation is chaotic.
If you need some heavy similitude, listening to them feels like sleepwalking through a burning house.
But it’s Halfrican who prove themselves to be the poppiest amongst their peers, the “Angela-la-la” refrain of the eponymous track being the split’s catchiest hook by a Finnieston mile.
Each repetition is an instant hit of sugary bliss which – like a 10p mix on a hot summer evening – leaves you instantly craving another round.
Curation of this quality continues to cement FUZZKILL’s reputation as the premier purveyors of the UK’s punk rock underground.
Needless to say, their future releases – and those of the three bands on this split – thoroughly deserve your ongoing attention.
Words: Graham Neil Gillespie