Water Machine Raw Liquid Power EP
Last year’s four-song demo from Glasgow’s WATER MACHINE alternated so evenly and sharply between threadbare minimal pop songs and shouty primitive post-punk numbers, it was almost like the work of two completely separate bands, a push/pull of influence between late ’80s K Records and the mid-’90s Slampt scene (vocalist Hando Morice is actually in the most recent iteration of LUNG LEG, while drummer Goda Ilgauskaitė also plays with neo-Slampt upstarts SOURSOB). This new EP digs deeper into the shouty, PUSSYCAT TRASH-ed side of that split affinity, as the warbling, decayed synth squeal that starts “Water Machine Pt. II” gives way to raw-throated sloganeering somewhere on the HUGGY BEAR spectrum and a deceptively melodic chorus counterpart, and the barely minute-long “Bussy” goes even harder, with stomping drums, frenetic bare-bones guitar strum, and gang vocals bluntly railing against the unreliability of public transport (“That’s why I’m not on time!”). Sandwiched right in between, “Stilettos” and “At the Drive In” nudge back in more of a UK DIY/early Rough Trade direction, with minor ELASTICA undertones in the cool vocal detachment of the former juxtaposed against a disjointed, almost COUNTRY TEASERS-esque cowbell-spiked rhythm—the sort of thing that I eat right up. Viva la punka.