Litterbug – Abstract Melodies Saying Terrible Things
Is this balls-to-the-wall punk record from Blackpool’s Litterbug in your face, fast-paced, abrasive, and cacophonous? Yes. Review over? No, and in all honesty, there’s something about AMSTT that doesn’t sit right with me. It just doesn’t feel as though there’s enough diversity on this full-length LP for me to really form a connection with it; simply put, there’s just not enough meat on the bones for me to take a big enough bite to fully enjoy what I’m eating.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully knew what I’d signed up for coming into this review, and seeing 2017’s ‘Your Perception is not My Reality’ topping the 30-song mark, I was somewhat relieved to see their new album only tip the scales at 16 songs (20 if you get yourself a CD). Initially, it made me think, perhaps there will be a refinement of their sound, more of a purposeful direction than before, yet this time around I’m still left grasping at the same straws.
Tracks like ‘Push it Away’, ‘Confused’, and ‘Time Machine’ do little to engage me from the get-go, and I don’t find myself fully engrossed until tracks 8-10. These offerings, ‘Alienated’, ‘Midnight Dream’, and ‘Too Late’ perhaps would’ve kick-started AMSTT in a more dynamic, evolved, and thought-provoking way, with perhaps subtle nods to psychobilly, post-punk and slam poetry. There are moments on this project that do catch me, that do have an effect on me, and that make me stand up and take notice.
Yet, I feel that on balance there’s a little too much filler and not enough killer tracks. Half the length of this project again, and you could’ve been left with a fiery, furious, well-guided punk release. Instead, I feel on this occasion, there’s too much sameness, too much of what I expected, and little to differentiate Litterbug from any other band in the wave of Americanised machine gun punk. In recent memory, it has been bands like The Chats, for example, who have taken these core ingredients and been playful with them. There’s an end goal in mind, and a direction to their release, but The Chats managed to make it engaging via comedy, wit and self-deprecation. I never expected Litterbug to reinvent the wheel, don’t get me wrong, but in this instance, I don’t feel their new album has caught me off-guard and made me feel exhilarated.