The Tubs - Dead Meat
Following up from their Names EP with a rollicking debut LP.
“Dead Meat” is resplendent in hi-fidelity strum & thrum, incorporating fleeting elements of post-punk and indie jangle, but the group’s penchant for trad British folk & Canterbury folk-rock takes a noticeable, caffeinated step forward. Echoes of Fairport Convention’s decidedly English chime cross swords with singer Owen Williams’ lyrics directing Bryan Ferry’s “thinking man’s libertine” persona into a more dolorous outlook. Many songs (like “Round The Bend” and “Duped”) soar with an urgent strum under Williams’ acerbic lyrics, recalling a younger fiery Richard Thompson. They languish in an aching, bitter resignation (of both the situations described & the protagonist’s place in it), particularly near the album’s second half. Others like the previously released “I Don’t Know How It Works”, “Two Person Love” and “Illusion” (re-presented here as “Illusion Pt. II” and all rerecorded from their original 7-inch versions) up the urgency, implying that the journey for the person described in each tune is not over & may be even more desperate than before. The band has never been tighter & more dynamic, often imperceptibly ratcheting up the tension, an extra guitar strum overdubbed, a barely audible organ/synth cranking under a chorus or bridge, or unexpected backups from current Ex-Vöid (and ex-Joanna Gruesome) vocalist Lan McArdle. The Tubs are poised to take over your stereo - there’s no point in resisting.
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