Saturday, May 14, 2005

At least there's no Ping Pong Bitches

So Poptones releases its first compilation on Monday, accompanied by the sort of laughably breathless McGee communique it wouldn't seem right without. "Sometimes you doubt whether people even care, then you hear The Paddingtons or The Others and you realise none of that matters." That's handy, Alan.

See, my problem with modern Poptones is how McGee's forgotten what being in charge of an actual properly distributed independent record label is all about. Creation may well have started as amateur jangle central and ended up standing in the shadows on the shoulders of giants, but along the way at least you could guarantee their roster would be varied and of largely high quality, your MBVs, Fannies and Furries down to assorted Pete Astor and Edward Ball projects. Fast foward to And The Cassette Played Poptones (yes, we see), which seems to have developed a similar 'buy one, buy the lot' fanbase but here is represented by the lame post-Libertines schmindie of Special Needs, the lame post-Libertines schmindie of The Paddingtons, the lame post-Libertines schmindie of Thee Unstrung... you get the idea, bar the lame post-Pink Floyd schmindie of Pure Reason Revolution (their first single's 12 minutes long! It's truly like punk never happened!) Ooh, some of them have electronics, you say? There's a song on here about the fun Dominic Masters had smoking crack with Pete Doherty, something those 16 year olds in Northumberland will really be able to relate to. And it wasn't even always thus. Let us instead celebrate four years of the Queen's own label with possibly the actual five greatest records on Poptones and definitely five ignored by McGee now:

Beachbuggy - Sport Fury: surf-Pixies meets nascent Cramps punk with an Americanised Mark E Smith singing. Odd, that, as they're from Doncaster. Steve Albini was listening. So exuberant they even survived later support by Tim Lovejoy, who used their Killer Bee for the title music of his Sky One series.

The Hives - Your New Favourite Band: Oh, come on. Still sounds last-gasp rock'n'roll thrilling today, and a salutory lesson to those who would style New Found Glory and the like as punk. How many were issued in cardboard sleeves with the accompanying videos actually as QuickTime files like the copy I have, then?

Montgolfier Brothers - Seventeen Stars: one of the first album releases on the label, and a hugely affecting thing, somewhere between the Tindersticks and what would become the New Acoustic Movement. Wouldn't fit in at all now, obviously.

Sing-Sing - The Joy Of Sing-Sing: Emma Anderson off of Lush and friend go Garbage meets the Cardigans, but less affected than either. Attempting to finance themselves, last I heard.

Ken Stringfellow - Touched: REM's fifth (fourth?) man's been all over the place since the Posies, and most of his delicately constructed power-pop is worth the effort. Curious hair, as I recall.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

That beachbuggy album is ace. I remember when they used to turn up to gigs with a flatbed truck, release a banner and then play a short set in the street before being carted off by the police.

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