Since their formation by Crayola in 2003, Sarandon have marked themselves as a potent group of post-punk tacticians on a mission to save indie from wetness, knee-jerk twee posturing and careless cardigan wearing. Taking their cues from the rough angularity beloved by bands on labels like Ron Johnson and Slampt, Sarandon are the proud parents of a string of five 7″ EPs (and one compilation thereof) fairly bursting with short, sharp tunes, wiry riff-mad guitars, spastic drumming and terse-yet-clever lyrics. Trimming all musical and lyrical fat, Sarandon cram more ideas and passion into 1:30 than many bands do across a whole record.
Some points of comparison that spring to mind include Big Flame, The Minutemen, Boghsed, Fire Engines and The Fall, and though Sarandon share some musical DNA with those groups they’ve also forged their own path and unique sound. Crayola has a notable (and widely-noted) talent for somehow managing to marry naggingly catchy tunes to corruscating blasts of guitar mayhem, combining the punchy, driving tunes with surprisingly memorable melodies and smart lyrics. It’s pop, but possibly the angriest and most aggressive pop you’ve heard.
As we enter 2008,
From the chugging “Welcome” to the blues-by-way-of-The Birthday Party “The Completist’s Library” to the insanely catchy “Mike’s Dollar” and the croon-tastic “The Discotheque Is My Lover”, this album is packed with great tunes, recalling the best of 80s post-punk and bringing it bang up-to-date with passion, humor and wit. Kill Twee Pop! is a call to arms for those tired of paint-by-the-numbers indie, a ration of passion in these cynical times, an antidote to your massive haircut, a soundtrack for your next dance party, an updated cubist pop manifesto. Sarandon have settled on a line-up consisting of Crayola, Tom Greenhalgh on drums and ex-Big Flame/Great Leap Forward legend Alan Brown on bass. Kill Twee Pop! is the first fruit of this new line-up and a mighty record it is indeed. Alan and Tom are an incredibly tight and powerful rhythm section, providing Crayola with such a sure foundation that he’s now letting the songs stretch out a bit, one tune even breaking the unheard of (for Sarandon) three minute barrier. Which is fitting as this is the first proper Sarandon album, and it shows them at their itchy, spiky, angular, aggressive, enthuiastic best.
Tracklist: Kill Twee Pop! / Welcome / Lippy / Remember Mavis? / The Completist’s Library / Joe’s Record / Very Flexible / Good Working Practice / Mike’s Dollar / The Discotheque Is My Lover / Mark / Massive Haircut
Slumberland Records SLR77