Although some of the products of recent Nudybronque studio sessions have hinted at a denser, more experimental sound being part of their make up from now on, Allsorts is as much attached to the bands older persona as it is the new. Slower and more considered than their trademark frantic pop drives, it does share the same clean-limbed, straight-lined qualities that make their music so accessible and live this bittersweet tale makes for a nice breather when book ended by their usual joyous pop onslaught. Here, instead of coming at you with a fully formed and well rounded slab of music, they step up through layers of slow burning dynamic builds to reach a plateau of screaming conclusion.
It seems like having spent the last two or so years writing songs according to their own defined set of rules, the (il)logical thing to do now was to break them and move on. This is as it should be and it’s a trait shared by most of my favourite music makers. In the past I have cited bands such as Buzzcocks as an (probably unintentional) influence (exhibit A – Fond of You) due to that same pop goes punk soundclash, here though something else is at work. They have ignored the proto-punk-abrasive pop-white ska stylings of some of their previous songs (exhibit B – Movement, Bottled Blonde, Talking Pretty) and instead hardwire a Velvets paced meander on to an intelligent, underground post punk sucker punch. In an age of chart fixation and the industry’s fashionable homage to what ever skinny jeaned indie princes are flavour of the week, releasing something that in days gone by would have been a hidden gem B-side (exhibit C – Groove is in The Heart, The Model, Peggy Sue etc. etc.) or a gloriously out of character album swansong, is not only very brave but as an act of individuality is a stroke of genius.
It’s the same spirit that caused punk to rise as the antithesis of well rehearsed pub rock and euro-dross disco, merged 80’s dance and Indie to form a whole new baggy scene and heralded the anti-prog movement… refusenik, garage bands of the early seventies who wouldn’t take Yes for an answer. It’s what made rock and roll happen in the first place and when you are actually rebelling against yourself, so much the better. It’s growth, it’s evolution, it’s both forward thinking and backward looking and what’s more, it’s a bit of a tune!