Every single week I have to deal with something new and indie/talky positioning itself in my sweet spot and saying “Steve, we’re not really singing, but you love us for that don’t you? Don’t you Steve?” I have to come to terms with the fact that The Hold Steady are not the only band I like without a real singer. It all started with A-House back in the dawn of time. The Pursuit Of Happiness didn’t help. Nor sunscreen salesman Baz Luhrmann. Art Brut were the first time I went all in… Or was it ParkLife?
This week I’m no longer having to imagine what would happen if the guys in Arab Strap had raised a sassy redhead after finding themselves in the family way post that fateful First Big Weekend Of The Summer. If they’d have sent her into the world to battle fake punk & steal Wolf Alice’s support slots from other talky indie bands. Hailing from Dublin (not Falkrik Scotland, so perhaps Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton are not the parents after all) this band have a punchy in your face punkish indie sound and a lot to say.
After Self Esteem, Dry Cleaning, Wet Leg, audiobooks, Yard Act and Sports Team all putting out superior spoken word angular indie in recent weeks it’s more running marathons than Sprints (oof) just joining in with the words these days.
A mixtape in 2021 can be like memorising the text from a play. Maybe my early obsession with Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds is the root cause of all this non-sung song love.
Any hoot. Sprints and their observational rants have my ear. The opening talk of cliched openings and the closing plea to be allowed to go home all sounding like the realest of real things. There’s less clever/clever wordplay, more recognisable unsettled discomfort. A bit different to all the other bands trying to get you to come out and marvel at their supposed originality.