stores is the self-titled EP release from this Liverpool band made up of Sam Warren and Hannah Brown and features Zack Smith on drums and percussion. The tracks were built over time on demos and jams and tested out during a UNESCO cultural exchange trip to Russia. Not many people can say they have performed in Ulyanovsk on the banks of the Volga, in Cherdakly, and on the back of a truck, at a village fete performing in front of massive Putin propaganda poster whilst getting shocks from dodgy wiring. Now back in Liverpool their ‘let’s-play-music-and-see-what-happens-oh-we’ve-started-a-band’ project brings us four tracks to delight in.

Previous single ‘blue Sunday’ is the opening track and as I said in my Joyzine review it’s like a lazy river that, within one guitar stab, turns into a tumble of white-water. And that’s one of the great USPs of these tracks; rumination and eruption. ‘bones’ is riveted together with a double-tap guitar part and fleshed out with a small but perfectly formed chorus, and builds to a gloriously swirling, messy crescendo. ‘mud season’, like the title, slides along at a languid pace set by some wonderfully restrained drums and Warren’s voice slinks along while Brown’s flies above free from the mud. It has a gloop of bass, a clink of piano and whistling, something you just don’t get enough of in songs nowadays. Final track ‘the pulp’ is a gunslinger riding into town with rumbling bass and drums and a twanging guitar riff underpinning the tune.

You can hear their friendship shining through on the tracks which bristle with what Tom Tom Club called “Fun, natural fun” and all the songs celebrate the amazing resonant quality the two voices have when singing together, like a post-punk Sonny and Cher. Voices double-up and harmonise, and guitar chords are often in lockstep with bass and drums. The dry quality of the production (I couldn’t detect reverb on anything) shows how well constructed the songs are as there is nowhere for mistakes to hide. For two people from coastal towns they seem to have captured the mood (deliberate or accidental) of a wild west landscape and if they came into my saloon for a whisky it would be on the house.

stores socials: Instagram | Bandcamp

Review by Paul F Cook

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