Itchy BuggerLow Company
Released: 4th April 2018
“The freak's flyin solo.” The first release on the new label from great London record shop Low Company.
Basically Josh from DIÄT and Heavy Metal wrote some songs and then recorded them on 4-track over a few loooong nights last summer with the help of a wheezing drum-machine and fellow HM mensch Robert. He made a tape of it and passed it to mates as a sort of leaving gift as he prepared to head back to Oz after a blurry half-decade’s stint in Europe. Musically, it's a wry, whimsical, oddly poignant DIY/jangle/part-time-punk micro-odyssey that feels like the introspective, acid-bleary yin to Heavy Metal’s cranked-up hooligan yang. If you’re familiar with Josh’s other bands then you’ll already know what an effortlessly gifted songwriter and guitarist he is, but this set is a world away from DIÄT and HM, actually, although it shares a world-weariness with both, his bittersweet lyrics - and half-sung, half-spoken vocals - perfectly evoking the beauty and banality of life on the lamb, Hearts in Exile, and a sense of reality/normality every day deferred if not defeated. Instead these brittle, self-deprecating but incorrigibly romantic songs put us in mind of Dan Treacy/TVPs, Swell Maps and of course classic fractured Oz/NZ pop from The Clean, Cannanes ++. The whole thing has a diaristic, unaffected, please-itself quality, as if it was made entirely for its own sake with no real audience in mind - which, essentially, it was. Tunes like ‘Baker Man’, 'Next Time I Fall In Love, Man' and ‘Good For Nothing Man’ have quickly become cast-iron anthems round here. Edition of not very many, with self-portrait picture sleeve and hand-stamped inner.