It’s unlikely that you will come across a more idiosyncratic coupling than the new split 12” from those mystical music magicians at Palmist. Pairing the other worldly alt punk of Meghan Remy’s US Girls with the other worldly alt everything of Max Turnbull’s Slim Twig is either a touch of genius or the first signs of madness. Although superficially different the two acts do share a playful approach to the music of the past, taking the legacy of their forefathers and foremothers and twisting and distorting it with a knowing 21st century wink. They also work well together with Meghan contributing backing vocals to Twig’s Priscilla and Max co-producing the U.S Girls contribution to the 12 inch.

On their side the US Girls put the girl groups of the sixties and the punk blasts of the late 70s through the mincer forging a sound that is simultaneously nihilistic and sugary. It’s a sweet and sour blend that works perfectly. ‘If These Walls Could Talk’ sounds like The Crystals if they’d come of age in 1977 and hung around with the Bromley Contingent. ‘I Won’t Tell (Your Papa, No) Excerpts’ and ‘Untie Me’ are in a similar vein, all pure pop splendour and girl group harmonies. However it’s not all Spector aping retro pop. ‘Pamela + GG’ is a dose of finest vintage dark electro punk that doffs it’s cap to the early years of PJ Harvey. Even more different is ‘Morgan Bolger Lahr Haley’ with it’s sci fi swirls and feedback it feels out of place, like it’s stumbled into the wrong room and decided to stick around. The US Girls side is brought to a close by the frankly odd, and thankfully short, ‘Carr Laugh’ which sounds like the Breeders messing around after a heavy drinking session.

For the shape shifting, song sculptor Slim Twig it’s the crooners of the late fifties and the dark gothic stylings of Nick Cave that are thrown into the mixer along with found sounds and the faintest wisp of mid 60s psychedelia.Opener ‘Paisley Skin’ could be the Velvet Underground gone all medieval on us while on ‘Priscilla’ Slim sounds like the result of a mad scientist’s attempt to cross breed Howard Devoto and Jello Biafra. The disturbing ‘Notorious Bride (A Veil & A Vice)’ sounds like the sound from under Nick Cave’s floorboards where he’s buried the songs too scary to release to the public. Slim brings the party to an end with ‘I’ll Always Be A Child’, the missing link between Magazine at their perkiest and the Stranglers at their most accessible.

I love this album, love the contrast between two intriguing, exciting and strange bands, love the sheer idiosyncrasy of two bands that defy the rules and do their own thing with style, panache and spirit.

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