Since its formation in 2003, English trio Sarandon has consisted of singer/guitarist Crayola and a rotating cast of bassists and drummers. After recording a whopping five EPs, Crayola finally found a stable rhythm section to craft a proper full-length with. It’s a good one, too: bassist Alan Brown used to play in Big Flame, whose jumpy, jangly indie-pop is a major template for Sarandon’s sound, and drummer Tom Greenhalgh navigates the songs’ relentless stop-start syncopations with heretofore unmatched speed and dexterity. Kill Twee Pop! starts on a bad note with the atonal title track (talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy!), but the other 11 songs definitely compensate. These caffeinated, catchy tunes tell terse tales of loneliness, jealousy and embarrassment. There’s the man whose ex-girlfriend’s life improves after she leaves him, much to his chagrin (“Remember Mavis?”), the woman who covertly hits on her son’s friends (“Very Flexible”), the man who finds a film of himself getting beaten up by skinheads on YouTube (“Good Working Practice”), etc. Fans of aggressive yet distortion-free punk-pop (Minutemen, Fire Engines, Futureheads) just might have a new favorite band!
// Notes from the Road
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