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Slumb Party: Happy Now 12"

Slumb Party: Happy Now 12"

Tags: · 10s · post-punk · punk · recommended · spo-default · spo-disabled · UK
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Debut LP from the Nottingham, funked up post punkers after their debut 7" on Erste Theke Tontrager.

Keep an ear tuned to the underground and it’s odds on you’ll hear some pretty fearsome rumblings. Point your ears in the direction of Nottingham and you’ll find the righteous blast of Slumb Party – a post-punk-skronk party of such hip-gyrating magnitude they’ll make you wanna take a bulldozer to your nearest nightclub and pull shapes on the ruins.

Their debut 7” dropped earlier this year via German label Erste Theke Tontraeger, and with this debut LP following so shortly afterwards, you should have a good idea of their natural pace. Fittingly, songs are concise and snappy, with flashes of everything from the rhythms of 80s Athens, GA (Pylon, early B-52s), the soul/punk hybrid of both The Nation of Ulysses and The Make-Up, the hyper-whacked sax rush of the Contortions… plus yer Minutemen, yer Gang Of Fours, yer Shoppings, yer favourite bands with attitude and heads so full of ideas you’ll find yourself wondering why most bands fail to make a sassy combination of arts and smarts sound this fkn essential.

Happy Now is the title of the album, as the band ponder everything from day jobs to the passing of time with an existential fury that’s too clever to be anything other than caustic. It’s not a case of ‘how are this band so good’ as ‘who knew anything could be this good?’ One of the best records you’ll hear this year, but you already figured that out. BRB, just quitting my job to follow ‘em round on the road forever.
Will Fitzpatrick.

Our take: After an earlier 7” on Erste Theke Tonträger, here’s the debut LP from this UK band. It’s an ambitious record that resists classification, evidenced by both the all-over-the-place label description and the string of off-the-wall comparisons I’m about to throw at you. Since I can’t sum up Slumb Party’s music, I’ll list some of the things that I was reminded of while listening to Happy Now: Sauna Youth’s snappy punk; Downtown Boys’ ecstatic, sax-fueled punk; the skronk-punk and mutant funk of no wave groups like the Contortions; Andy Partridge from XTC’s plaintive, melodic vocals; Voodoo Glow Skulls’ jittery, manic ska-punk; Madness’s inventive and very British horn melodies and arrangements. Another listener may hear none of those things, but the point I’m trying to make is that Slumb Party’s music feels free of rules and boundaries. They aren’t a band who has honed their sound and focused all of their attention on doing one thing perfectly, but rather they’re an orgiastic musical free-for-all that darts around like a startled rabbit. I’ve listened to this record four or five times and I still don’t feel like I have a handle on it, but it keeps pulling me in. Obviously not everyone will have the patience to engage with a record that demands so much from you as a listener, but those of you willing to invest your attention will love this utterly singular record.