Here’s another indie supergroup that has spent time in lockdown very well. We’ve heard songwriter Rob Pursey (bass, guitars), Ian Button (drums), and Amelia Fletcher and Hue Williams (shared lead vocals) previously in cool bands like Heavenly, The Pooh Sticks, Talulah Gosh, The Catenary Wires, Tender Trap, etc, but together – under the moniker of Swansea Sound, named after (and a requiem for) a lost radio station – they have created some incredibly catchy new songs. The UK four-piece stand certainly in the C86 tradition with its discordant, jangly, and jittery guitar rock, but that statement actually falls short. The 13 tracks on their full-length debut album Live at the Rum Puncheon – the title is somewhat misleading as this isn’t a concert registration – are completely present-time, with clever references in the lyrics where rebellion and fun alternate, well-found hooks and vocals that complement each other in a great way.
I can’t get the opening track Rock n Roll Void out of my head for days, what a hit it is (when a record starts with words like this, you know it’s meant for you: “Went to the Ramones // When I was thirteen // They’re the coolest thing // I had ever seen”). The criticism in I Sold My Soul on Ebay is obvious (“I sold my soul on Spotify // Get a doctor, someone get a doctor // I’m earning 0.000000000000001p // But several thousands follow me”) – a sign of the time that a one-off 7″ lathe cut single of this song was auctioned on Ebay (with a £400 winning bid). The Pooh Sticks is a heartfelt tribute to the band that Hue and Amelia were in. And so we could go on and on to indicate how many appealing and smart things have been incorporated into this album (that also applies to the videos). The Swansea Sound can grow into a genre in itself.
Live At The Rum Puncheon is out now digitally, on cassette (via Lavender Sweep Records (UK, Europe), Austin Town Hall Records (North America), and Shiny Happy Records (Indonesia)), and on CD and vinyl LP (via Skep Wax Records (UK, Europe), and HHBTM Records (North America)). The album doesn’t stream on Spotify, Apple Music, or other corporates.