Family Mammal

I find something wonderfully funny about the fact that while I write this review of Gaffa Tape Sandy’s brand new EP/LP Family Mammal my own family mammal Chop is sat behind me licking the back of my head. He’s been doing it for like five minutes now and I don’t know why. Just thought I’d let you folks know that. Anyway, I’m supposed to be doing a review here. So. Family Mammal. What a record. Now they’ve marketed as an EP however it’s definitely album length with an assortment of charming yet angry tracks to choose from, including four new never before heard tracks, along with four songs released as singles in the past. Beehive however has a slight edit with a new intro of a man and a little boy, Isaac, discussing Gaffa and their banging tunes, which is a funny and charismatic start to Family Mammal. I bought the vinyl for this the moment I could and I heartily recommend my readers do the same as it’s a brilliant record and there’s only a few left. Instead of going over the tracks we’ve heard before (though they are definitely worth talking about) I’m going to discuss the four new banging tunes on offer from our favourite garage punks.

The first of the new songs, My Desperate House starts almost jazz like with a clean guitar intro and walking bass line, but fear not punkheads after a few seconds it hits you in the face with a massive distorted punk pop power chord sequence before the guitar dies down, giving rise to a mighty bassline from one of my personal bass heroes Catherine Lindley-Neilson. The hook of this song for me comes with guitarist/singer Kim Jarvis’s repeated lyrics “I was choking, I was choking out”. It’s not even in the chorus but for some reason it’s been stuck in my head since I first heard the song and that’s a serious thing to say because the entire vocal track is brilliantly catchy. A banging tune and my favourite off of this stand out record.

The second of the new tracks Dinner Jacket slows things down with a slower steady drum beat from the wonderful Robin Francis and Catherine’s beautiful vocals complement Kim’s expert rhythm playing perfectly. The drums are so tribal and is an unusual choice of beats for a song such as this. Dinner Jacket kicks in with force just after the two minute mark to finish out the song and the build up before hand makes it definitely worth the wait. Another banging tune for sure.

Turnstile is up next and while it’s my least favourite of the new tunes it’s still wonderfully catchy and powerful. The lyrics here are arguably the strongest the Gaffa crew have ever put out, definitely for me the most emotional. “I’m Apathetic, happy, passionate and sad at the same time” is such a powerful lyric for anyone who struggles with mental health to hear. The backing instruments support the vocals excellently. I only say Turnstile is my least favourite on Family Mammal as the other tracks are so astonishingly awesome. This is still a banging tune. What else can you expect from Gaffa Tape Sandy?

Kill The Chord is the last of the new songs and the final track on Family Mammal. And what a finale it is. That opening riff my god. The little bass and guitar runs aswell, so awesome. This song hits with such impact in the chorus and yet has such atmosphere in the build up to it, Catherine continually singing “I’m getting sick” over and over before that equally sick guitar riff kicks you in the teeth for the chorus. Don’t underestimate the drums either, Robin is easily one of the best drummers I know and should not be overlooked. Yet another banging tune.

So, four new banging tunes on a banging record from a banging band. We haven’t even discussed the other other tracks which are also, banging tunes. Family Mammal has my vote for EP of the year and Gaffa Tape Sandy have cemented themselves as my favourite band. As little Isaac says. Banging tunes.

Peace, Love and Cowbells,

Oscar

PS: Chop is still licking the back of my head. I think he means to eat me. Slowly. Send help.

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