To my mind much of the post punk revival in England has driven confidently to a dead end. Choosing uniformity, simple rhythms inflated in the production process and a serious tone of voice, things are fast becoming humourless.
Enter Furrowed Brow and their new single ‘Punctual Punk’. Descending down the scales to life, a stock-root-note-riff churns speedily along. Overhead swirling synthesisers illuminate, sporadically projecting paranoid, psychedelic casts on the ground swell of the verse. Front man Richey Ostrowski’s conversational vocals anchor the extraterrestrial sirens to the anecdotal happenings of the every-man’s day. Trying to justify his tardiness, the track is a series of whimsical punk interruptions. Guitar, bass and Ostrowski’s mock soprano vocals all spend moments caught alone in the headlights.
Structurally and spiritually the track is evocative of Nigel Blackwell’s Half Man Half Biscuit. Only the keys – much like Candida Doyle did for Pulp – ennoble the caper; from Ramones to thrones.
The band’s professed raison d’être is to “ridicule the hypocrisy and self-righteousness pervasive in today’s society.” Thank the heavens for this punctual intervention! The tartuffery of our age is rife and the purveyors of such are only too keen to spread their seed.
This Mancunian five piece are punk not solely in a sonically retro fashion, theirs is a punk mantra, that naturally swims upstream, against the constraints of preconceived genres. It is both comical and melodic, utilising self deprecation and the humdrum. Musically it jars the audio fog ascending, the fog that sees bands imitate the discipline of the manufacturing line. This is a band who disregard stylistic loyalty as the death knell for innovative and free spirited music.
‘Punctual Punk’ is out now on the usual streaming platforms and as a digital download via Bandcamp.
Review by Patrick Malone