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Table Scraps – Autonomy

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Birmingham garage punks find their feet on either side of the Millennium.

Image of Table Scraps – Autonomy

Whether it is the Elvira pinball machine in the background of the Autonomy LP cover, or the Beavis and Butthead video remake for I’m A Failure, there is a discernible 90s influence emitting from Birmingham commotion-pedlars, Table Scraps.

Sonically this record is akin to the garage rock fostered by post-Millennium bands such as The Hives, Black Lips and The Datsuns. It slips into the expected cursory bass-lines and contorted electric guitars becoming of any authentic, rock n’ roll platoon.

Modest titles such as Sick Of Me and Treat Me Like Shit belie a strutting belief and rhythm pulsing through the sticks of drummer Poppy Twist. But the equitable distribution of musical duties mean no Table Scraps members’ role is any less important than the other. Even when Scott Vincent Abbot’s lush, penetrating guitar hypes the amps on More Than You Need Me, the remaining components of the group gnash and grate with the seething frustration underlying in each song. Mid-album track Frankenstein is the only number failing to fall in line with the record’s groove, with reduced guitar input and the foot seemingly being taken off the gas.

On the jaw-jutting, pick of the bunch Takin’ Out The Trash, the band emulate the spacey Hawkwind prog-rock effect. It is raw, teeth-bearing, swollen honesty and fury. Bassist TJ demands and commands attention on the thundering My Obsession – an ominous testimonial to soured love and infatuation. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to infer that the equally bitter Lyin’ Thru Your Teeth, Always Right and the afore-mentioned I’m A Failure (“I hate everything I do / and it’s all because of you”) are all directed at the same perpetrator.

Album-closer Do It All Over Again is a welcome repose from the anger, a hiatus from the venom which runs through the record’s arteries. Even playful lyrics such as “we don’t take sweets from strangers” barely alleviate the severity of the record, though they hint the band is more than just a one-trick pony. Ultimately, the band’s self-determination will decide whether they are the real deal or mere imitators.

/ @StephenwattSpit


Dumbarton FC Poet-in-residence, author of 'Spit' (2012 - Bonacia) and 'Optograms' (2016 - Wild Word Press), one half of gothic spoken word/music project Neon Poltergeist, reviewer for Louder Than War, Rave Child and The Wee Review.

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