Secret Motorbikes - Rum Punch (4 stars)

A fine selection of garage DIY punk that transcends the cynical nostalgia of the scene

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Secret Motorbikes - Rum Punch,Secret Motorbikes - Rum Punch

Glasgow boys Secret Motorbikes release their first full length album Rum Punch in what appears to be an attempt to give the Spanish archer to an often homogenised guitar pop scene. Their previous 2012 EP 'I Get Up' was a raucous ride through a post-punk trajectory, the kind which first engaged disaffected adolescents, the ones gallusly welcoming any opportunity to noise up the decidedly well-meaning yet ultimately dull values of their over-zealous parents.

Like a bolt out the proverbial, the album opens with the spitfire scuzz of 'All Over Again' which documents the painstaking discomfort of being 'friend zoned' albeit with enough nods and winks to develop a nervous tick. First world problems of the disenfranchised twentysomething male are never far from the band's heart, it would appear. Littered with 21st century rite-of-passage sentiments that recall the eccentricities of a world weary Jonathan Richman, the Motorbros (as they're affectionately nom de plumed) unabashedly pursue a love for jangly pop hooks and abrasive guitar freak-out moments alike, with an almost blasé sense of self awareness. That's clearly evident in the breezy yet unhinged 'Top Five' featuring the distinct vocals of Stina from Honeyblood, a lush yet brazen arrangement that appears to channel the more direct parlance of a fiery Kirsty MacColl.

Unashamedly pastiche and delightfully derivative in places, tracks such as the pogo-inducing 'Eating and Sleeping' should be enough to remind bluff old traditionalists on such trivial matters that ‘it ain’t where you're from, it’s where you're at’, to quote the sage wisdom of Eric B & Rakim. On what would normally seem like a formulaic pursuit to capture the wistful nostalgia of indie’s fallen heroes, Rum Punch is instead able to reinvigorate an otherwise dwindling gene pool by harnessing a bold array of musical artillery to its advantage. Lead singer and vivacious frontman Tino has a familiar yet raspy drawl that’s as ragged as a proletarian carpet, while drummer Iain Stewart of ape-shit apologists Bronto Skylift runs rings around the barrage of guitar flutters which oscillate wildly over a vast melodic soundscape. Very much cut from the same cloth as contemporaries such as Glasgow noiseniks PAWS, it would appear that Rum Punch is a fine selection of garage DIY punk that transcends the cynical nostalgia that seeps through much of this scene, that might just look right at home amongst the canon of great indie-punk bands.

Out now, via secretmotorbikes.bandcamp.com

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