Super Adventure Club search for a feel good hit of the summer
On a day off from recording, Bruce Wallace and Mandy Clarke of Super Adventure Club battle hangovers and heatwaves to debate the summer’s singles. “The horse will be here in 5 minutes,” Bruce casually explains, “but we can get started…”
Superchunk – Me & You & Jackie Mittoo (from I Hate Music, out 19 Aug, Merge)
Mandy: This sounds like American film music – it makes me think of teenagers in the back of a car, and everyone’s dead happy. It’s making my hangover a bit worse… Are they a new band?
The Skinny: Not at all – they’ve been doing this kind of thing since at least the early 90s…
Bruce: That maybe explains it then. It sounds like 90s music – it gives me the same feeling as Semisonic and The Supernaturals and stuff like that. It’s not really my cup of tea – it’s just really squeaky clean. The vocals put me off quite a lot as well. I’m quite particular about vocals.
M: The more I hear this the worse it gets…
B: 4 out of 10.
Washed Out – Don’t Give Up (12 Aug, Weird World Records)
B: It sounds like lo-fi Lemon Jelly or something.
M: I loved this when it first came on, but it’s a bit, eh, wishy-washy...
B: It’s quite middle of the road… 5?
The Horse, who arrived just as the song began: 7?
B: Nah, I like the overall sound of it, but it isnae doing much. Stick with 6.
TRACK OF THE MONTH: Ghostpoet – Cold Win (26 Aug, Play It Again, Sam)
B: I’ve heard things by Ghostpoet before, I quite like it… [has a wee listen]. Garage is coming back as well, in quite a big way.
M: Is it definitely?
B: It is – gonna do that cover of Sweet like Chocolate aye? [sings said hit’s title]
M: I love that song! I like this too, this is cool.
B: Yeah, it’s good, I like that quite a lot actually. 8.
MONEY – Hold Me Forever (12 Aug, Bella Union)
B: The production’s really cool but I’m not really enjoying the tune. There’s something a wee bit Bono about the vocal as well, that’s putting me off.
M: I quite like the way his vocals over-do it a wee bit. Are those steel drums?
Horse: Or marimba?
B: It could just be an effect on the guitar…
M: I think they’d be really good live, with the steel drums.
B: Well it depends if that’s what it is….
M: True – 6, but if there are steel drums, 7.
Deer Tick – The Rock (12 Aug, Partisan Records)
M: I think this would sound good at a festival.
B: I’d be intrigued to hear more by them – there are a few surprises, a few bar changes I didn’t expect. It sort of reminds me of Supergrass. 7?
Horse: If that gets a 7, Ghostpoet should get a 9…
B: You’re going to have to change the Horse’s Ghostpoet score now…
Blondes – Elise [from Swisher, out 5 Aug, RVNG Intl.)
M: This isn’t the sort of music I really listen to, so it’s hard to really rate it.
B: Yeah, it’s alright, but just a 6. [skipping ahead] That’s quite a nice breakdown… This would be nice in a club. Or maybe as the soundtrack to some movie with Ryan Gosling driving around looking moody, where nothing happens. [sighs] I was so disappointed by that film…
Eels – Kinda Fuzzy (2 Sep, E Works/V2)
We try streaming the track from YouTube, but initially get a Kopparberg advert instead.
B: 3 out of 10!
M: I’d love a Kopparberg right now…
The song starts; in the video, E wanders around dressed as a miserable clown.
B: Is that one of Adam and Joe? Wow, he looks different… Well obviously, he does, he’s in clown makeup… I like this. Eels kind of just do the same thing, but it’s something I like. Though actually there’s a bit more going on here than in a lot of their stuff. There’s something a bit more lush about this, with a bit more range as well.
M: That’s definitely an 8. His autobiography is amazing – I cried.
B: This makes me want to listen to more Eels.
Nothankyou – Know Yourself (5 Aug, Moshi Moshi)
The Skinny: This is a collaboration between Tom Vek and Olga Bell.
B: I kind of like some of Tom Vek’s ideas, but I don’t really like him overall. Who’s the other person?
The Skinny: Olga Bell – she plays keyboards in Dirty Projectors.
B: Ah, right. There’s one Dirty Projectors song that I really love – I can’t remember its name, but it prompted me to check out their other stuff and I was disappointed. This is alright though. I’d be interested to hear more. But I’m going to go for 6, just because I reckon that if I did check their other stuff out it might not be very good. Dunno why, I’m just being utterly biased.
M: But you should be judging just this one song! I like her voice, it’s cool.
B: Let’s go with 7 for that song then, and 6 for my expectations of what their other stuff will sound like.
Texas – Detroit City (12 Aug, [PIAS] Recordings)
M: I hoped they’d stopped. Everyone’s going for that real 80s vibe at the minute eh?
B: Yeah, it kind of sounds like they’re reaching for something current and not really getting it. I quite like early Texas stuff – I think it’s well-crafted pop music. It’s kind of bland but it’s well-put together. But this? This is just… bad. 2.
The Skinny: As someone who used to listen to Superchunk a lot, I’m glad they’re no longer the lowest scorers…
M: You like them? Ah but you were young then, you didn’t know any better. I used to like Pitchshifter, you know what I mean?
Horse: My worst crime was buying a Linkin Park album…
M: If I could go far enough away, I would probably listen to that quite loudly just now. [sings] ‘Craaaaaaawling in my skiiiiiiiin’!
Lovechilde – Sweat Lodge (22 Aug, Rough Trade)
M: It sounds like it’s not finished.
B: I don’t even know what to compare this to. There’s kind of an industrial thing going on, but it’s almost too watery to say that. I don’t have anything to say about this: I just don’t like it.
M: It’s like they’re not all playing the same song.
B: It kind of sounds like music you would get in the club scene in The Crow or something like that. It’s bad.
The Skinny: Texas-level bad?
M: Nah, they definitely feel it, whatever it is…
B: Give it a 3 then.
Bleach Blood – H.O.P.E (12 Aug, Transmission Recordings)
B: This is minging. Ab-so-lutely minging.
The Skinny: Apparently it’s about being hungover…
B: It sounds like a hangover – turn it off, it’s really bad.
M: This might tip me over the edge…
B: That gets zero. It starts out like Lightning Seeds and then turns into, I don’t know… a Chumbawamba meets Jennifer Lopez anthem.
The Skinny: That makes it sound kind of awesome…
B: It’s absolutely disgusting.
Disclosure – F For You (19 Aug, PMR Records)
B: It sounded like it was maybe going to get interesting for a wee moment there. But nah.
M: That wee techno sound in it is annoying me. Who is this?
The Skinny: Disclosure – they had a number 1 earlier this year with AlunaGeorge.
M: Really? Wow – how does that one go?
We cue up White Noise and get instant, unimpressed recognition.
M: Ah shit, that? Man… I hate this tune.
The Skinny: Actually Wikipedia’s just informed me I’m mistaken – it was a number 2, not a number 1.
B: It’s a number 2 alright. Their new song can have 4 though.