Current Affairs Off the Tongue LP

Day-glo new wave sheen meets darkly shrouded goth gloom—blacklight post-punk? CURRENT AFFAIRS’ 2017 demo cassette primarily lurked in SIOUXSIE-shaped shadows, followed by a pair of 7” singles that leaned a little harder into jangly, tambourine-bashing C86 pop energy for a big-hair-and-eyeliner vibe that was closer to WE’VE GOT A FUZZBOX AND WE’RE GONNA USE IT than anything else. Off the Tongue is the Glasgow-centered group’s first proper long-player, and the deliberately-paced drama of these ten tracks mirrors the considerable length of time (a relative eon in punk years) that it took for this record to materialize. Joan Sweeney’s vocals are still belted out with a hyper-expressive urgency, but with songs like “No Fuss” and “Get Wrecked” running at over four minutes each, CURRENT AFFAIRS give themselves space to take more wandering, circuitous paths from point A to point B than what was afforded by the band’s earlier jumpy, wired-up anthems. “Right Time” is drenched in chorus pedal shimmer so thick that you can almost feel the fog machine kick in, while the stern, asymmetrical rhythms of “Cahoots” cut through any lingering haze like a fishnet-clad PYLON—I’d happily take a whole album of the latter over the former, but then again, I’ve never owned a can of hairspray in my life.