TROUBLE IN MIND 27th Jan 2023
The great thing about this band is the voice. A rich and authoritative voice, it reminds me strongly of Richard Thompson. Allied with strong, simple jangle indie, it makes for an involving sound. Riffs chop and charge atop an insistent bass on the opener: “Illusion pt. II”, with more jangle elsewhere. It’s kind of indie / post-punk / folk singer-songwriter. Think also of bands like Any Trouble / Clive Gregson from the eighties but with only the uptempo songs. Or the songs from under the floorboards that Magazine peddled at a similar time. Or the acerbic words of Maximo Park’s Paul Smith.
Owen Williams and George Nicholls, the primary songwriters from the group Joanna Gruesome, formed the band in 2018. The Tubs are also 3/4s of Sniffany & The Nits. Songs cover subjects like rashes in the crotch, bad smells, love addiction, psychosis, demeaning yourself to ingratiate yourself with the object of infatuation. Songs are more like first-person illustrations than anything with a message or solution and that’s a healthy, albeit twisted, way to be. The delightful title track is a rebuttal of accusations that Owen has turned someone into a filthy recluse. Other songs like ‘Sniveller’ are no more gentle, however lyrical the delivery, recounting disgust at a love-sick crawler.
Refreshingly concise, the nine songs flash by athletically in half an hour without an inch of excess weight on them and I’m hopping back to the start to try and catch a few more lyrics.