Jack Cooper is slowly becoming a name worth knowing. He runs Suffering Jukebox (a record label), and plays in one of the most inspired and interesting bands currently around; Mazes. Both Former Bullies and Milk Maid are signed to Suffering Jukebox, and the fact that the label focuses on regional Manchester bands is charming in a throwback kind of way. As a vocalist, Jack Cooper has a style that is kind of like if Steve Mariott and Roger McGuinn had a child. Their newest track, “Go-Betweens” starts out as an almost jangly garage-pop tune. The verse is really easy on the ears, and listening to it is an extremely pleasant experience. For some reason I can’t help but smile when I hear it. This is contrasted by the song’s second part, which is louder. While I personally don’t enjoy this part as much, it compliments the softer verse by highlighting how calming it is. Overall, “Go-Betweens” is like a good snack. It’s hard to explain why it’s so good, but once you are eating it, it’s hard to stop (Wheat Thins).
I’m turning into is an example of when simple, unassuming parts come together to become something noteworthy. “I’m going” a love song, but it isn’t convoluted in the slightest. The simplicity of the guitar tone accents the subtleties of the part. The energy in the pre-chorus builds to a fuller sounding chorus. The guitar solo is un-obnoxious and fits in the song perfectly and the vocals sit naturally on top the instrumentation. Their E.P, theep, is palatable all the way through, and the earnest nature of I’m turning into is refreshing and exciting.
Not comparing TRMRS to the Black Lips would just be weird, so I am getting that out of the way early. They are both rowdy bands who play music that is sort of punk but also sort of powerpoppy. Where this comparison ends is what makes TRMRS worth listening to. Their sound isn’t anything new and in terms of creativity there isn’t much going on, but TRMRS utilizes the fact that the group has two guitarists in a really interesting way. Their song, “Hello Self”, perfectly exemplifies this. As opposed there being a lead part and a rhythm part, the guitar parts intertwine in a captivating dialogue that forms the backbone of the song. TRMRS one of the most fun groups I’ve listened to in a while, and I appreciate how straightforward and simple their sound is.
UPDATE: The Hello Self music video is out now. Check it out!
Duos often sound like they are lacking some necessary element of their sound, but this isn’t a problem at all for Washington’s dimples. The simplicity accents their dry songs perfectly. Ian Judd’s vocals are calming but also indifferent. The group’s usage of harmonies is very rudimentary, but this just further adds to the unadorned vibe that dimples produce. “Top Ten” is a very simple two minute track that is extremely fun. The drum tone, while being parched, is extremely powerful and acts as a backbone for the track. The mundane vocal melody manages to be absorbing, and the guitar track sits perfectly in the middle of the mix. “Top Ten” has a striking resemblance to Times New Viking, but this is in no way a bad thing. Everything about dimples is charming and enjoyable, and hopefully more from them will become available soon.