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Local Girls - Deluxe Kicks

Local Girls - Deluxe Kicks

by , 13 September 2012

Local Girls sound like the Kills if Jamie Hince had rented a flat above Joanna Lumley rather than Alison Mosshart. Deluxe Kicks sounds like the opening salvo of the fight back against dynamic range compression; or, maybe it champions it. Local Girls have a similar set-up to fondly-remembered (by those who actually remember them) Meanwhile, back in Communist Russia..., matching up a plummy, cut-glass, upper-class English rose of a singer with, in this instance, garage- rather than post-rock. So: the songs of Delux Kicks are sung by Patsy Stone, yet the words are of a type an uncharitable sort would call bratty, and a charitable sort would compare to the sarky wit of Art Brut's Eddie Argos, backed by music that's heavy on the distortion and less enthusiastic when it comes to chord progressions.

I'm pretty sure only one of them's a girl, too (Googling "local girls" in the cesspool we've polluted the Internet into is not recommended, might I add).

With their own influences clearly - and correctly - labelled by the band themselves (they're already pretty well telegraphed within the music itself), I can reliably inform you that Local Girls have something of the B52's slightly sleazy pop, a good degree of the Ramones' inability to break from a set song template - and liking it that way - as well as a bit of Adam & the Ants' self-conscious kookiness (it's still okay to call it that, isn't it?) They've supported Future of the Left, and they could (apparently) "be their annoying younger sister who you secretly love" - although if you already find Future of the Left annoying, might be best to give this a miss.

The ease at which you can pick out these influences really speaks to just how much of a "first album" this is. Y'know, of the sort debut albums used to be - a dress rehearsal, a run-through, an exploration and exhibition of potential without it necessarily being fulfilled, unlike the sink-or-swim Gong Show that makes up the contemporary music listening experience.

There's no doubting that Deluxe Kicks is fun, as creep-bashing 'Yeah Roy' ("Why don't you take it outside / Or put it away / Would you talk to your mother like that?...You have so little chance / Monkey boy") and nice-guy myth-busting 'East London Dance Party' ("He asked me kindly if I want to dance / And I said no...No means no!") exemplify. There's just too much throwaway material, especially on stuff like the wince-inducing 'Jesus Complex Man', which might have Yuck's 'Suicide Policeman' beat for terrible, stupid songs that evoke sub-Tarantino white-collar gangster flicks and aren't even that catchy, besides.

The band aren't stupid - they wouldn't stand out so much if the admittedly, occasionally sharp-tongued lyrics were being mangled through the strained vocal chords of a Dan Auerbach impersonator. Still, the novelty wears off across a whole album's worth of songs that follow the same tack, and one that wasn't that shiny to begin with.

Rating: 5/10

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