In hindsight, it seems a little peculiar that a music press with its eyes and ears drawn to New York by The Strokes – an enticing sum of fairly conservative New Wave parts, let’s admit it – should lump them into a ‘scene’ with a scuzzily twee no-fi duo that looked like characters from a Jeffrey Lewis comic strip dressed for a street pantomime (and claimed to drink each other’s urine). But before Hollywood focussed on the band as the epitome of love-drunk cutesy indie-cred sometime after the event, Moldy Peaches were known just as well for their combination of brash punk chanting with well-aimed playground obscenity (I doubt Ellen Page and Michael Cera would seem as doe-eyed and charismatic if they ended Juno screaming Downloading Porn With Davo). They reached their filthy, forthright best with Who’s Got The Crack, a sing-along that sounds like it was recorded in an alleyway let alone a bedroom, swaying as it does from syrupy nursery-rhyme (“I am a goat, in a moat, with a boat”) to a riotous terrace-worthy chorus. The climax, where the group seem to shed their last inhibition and augment to a whirlwind of ruffled harmonies before collapsing entirely, demonstrates ably their enduring appeal; like potty-mouthed alchemists they seemed to create something bracing without even trying. Considering their stage show is said to have regularly seen most of the audience onstage with them, the effect of this song alone could have been not only joyous but also devastating. If anti-folk continues to endure then this forever be its Cumberland Gap.
[Album: The Moldy Peaches]