PORKY WAS DELIGHTED TO recently receive a copy of The Primitives’ first album of new songs in humpteen years.
Until then he had almost given up hope of hearing pure pop again, then The Fireworks’ Switch Me On (Shelflife records) was dropped in the mailbox by a hard-working postie due to become redundant any day now. Damn you technology. And corporate greed.
They clearly have a record collection devoted to jangly guitar bands stretching from The Byrds through to the Bobby McGee’s, and like all the best shambling bands take the best of garage punk and the very worst of The Osmonds.
They know how to hit the guitar strings hard, and do with some oomph on the opening two tracks, With My Heart and Runaround. I fret at the pace of this album, as I’ll be out of breathe by track six if this continues. But on Let You Know, the Fireworks become a sparkler; it’s a fantastically melodic, short track that, like the Prims, is a belter with its heartfelt, plaintive vocals and tidy drumming. It’s full of summer, and a summer spent on the beach getting a tan and watching the love of your life waltz by.
A great aspect of this London four-piece is the alternating girl-boy vocal interchange. Matthew Rimell takes charge of the mic on Let You Know, and Which Way To Go, which with its chainsaw fuzz-drenched feedback and distortion pedals is somewhat reminiscent of early Jesus and Mary Chain. Elsewhere Emma Hall takes charge. This egalitarian method works perfectly with both having different attitudes toward singing.
Switch Me On is my end-of-winter upper, a fantastically unpretentious, superfast with slower bits, dreamy pop supersized album. Play loud. Anyone remember the Shop Assistants?