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Sunday, 25 September 2022

Neutrals - Bus Stop Nights EP


Neutrals are a trio based in Oakland California, so imagine my surprise on first play to hear something that had much more in common with the UK DIY New Wave of the 1978 - 1979 UK New Wave. The Scottish tones of Allan McNaughton were confirmed and the explanation is clear.

The EP is wonderfully DIY, but so were a lot of those years and it is lovely to hear it done in 2022. The stand out is the title track with its Jangle and call and response. It is not a million miles away from The Vapors, particularly with the great Bass Run.

Gary Borthwick Says is hilarious. McLaughlin's delivery is really spoken word, but lyrically it is ace. Incidentally we had a mate around that time who was on a similar Barry level. We used to make up band names who of course he loved and had seen them live. It is a belting song.

Pressures Of Life could be a Sham 69 song in sentiment and New Town Dream even gets a little Dury-esque. The EP is incredibly charming without a hint of pretension and at times I'm reminded of Television Personalities, even a hint of Buzzcocks without the love angle.

There is a bite in the lyrics and while they are certainly not Andy Partridge like, they are not from Rick, the people's poet and certainly heart felt and well meant. The band connect brilliantly music wise with a fine Rhythm section. There is so much to like here.

You can listen to and buy the EP here.


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