review archive

The Tamborines / Polar Remote – Water Rats 17th February 2006

So I got sent The Tamborines’ single last week (see review) and it’s great, cute, woozy, Byrdsy fizzing pop stuff, just the kind of thing I’m a sucker for. It’s good enough to make me come out in the cold with a sore foot and limp my way to Kings Cross to see just what these Tamborines johnnies are all about. They’re playing at an AC30 night , which is a sort of shoey/post-rocky drifty fuzz-songs club. Fair enough.

First we see Polar Report who are mostly like Puressence. Only, with Puressence you get the thrill of witnessing an extraordinary spine-shivering voice effortlessly curling out of a Manc yob, whereas with Polar Report you get some functionally ferocious effects pedal guitar fuzzdrones and a pretty good voice. They do an instrumental thingy with some nice drifty summer jazz chords in and then a somewhat distracting growly roary dark mid-song bit of noisy nonsense. Their final song gets quite good when they chuck in some nasty atonal sub-Mogwai guitar horror.

Puressence - only not.

Pure, sonic rush, yesterday

But cheer up! Now it’s time for The Tamborines and they turn out to be just perfect. That record of theirs is an engaging little fella, but live they’re a wonderous proposition, three of them making delicious buzzed up pop. All it takes is a boy with a drifting teenage-ennui filled voice and a fuzzing cherry-red semi-acoustic, a bob-head leather-clad girl on spacey cranky Korg blips and dizzy organ wooglings, and a skinny girl bashing out booming drumbeats. Pure sonic rush. They name-check Joel Gion, Wim Wenders, Vox, Super 8, Love, Younger Than Yesterday, Danelectro, Sonic Flower Groove. They look great, they sound divine and they’re called Lulu, Veronique and Henrz. I’m hooked. My first thought is that they remind me of The Primitives when the Prims was good and when Cool Paul Court sang, like on ‘Laughing Up My Sleeve’ - simple, fizzing tunes that make you go, ’Oh yeah!

When they play single ‘What Took You So Long’ they manage to out-Love The Loves, with a fuzzpop blast of fringe-shaking sonic gorgeousness. B-side ‘The Great Division’ sounds sky high and wide eyed, spaced out wonderful. They play the utterly pop-perfect ‘Sally O’Gannon’ with enormous thumping drums, speed-fuzz guitar and korg seagull noises as bob-girl kicks into Zea McCabe mode, lazily shaking a tambourine with nonchalant disinterest. Their final song offers a cute nod to wooshing Stereolab dronery with plinking organ and an almighty spazz out of guitar, ending with it thrown buzzing to the ground. This is POP!



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