What if The Fall, Pere Ubu and the Swell Maps got fed up with all that searing rock’n’roll business and decided to strip things back to the simple electronic beat of a knackered old Casio keyboard? What if they figured they may as well mumble some bon mots over the top, and smother it in nagging, lo-fi repetition, whether composed of discordant keyboard stabs or undulating guitar chords?
That’s right, you’d probably end up somewhere in the vicinity of The Cool Greenhouse's batshit take on pop-mangling nonsense. If the above doesn’t sound worlds away from all your weirdo post-punk favourites, served up the likes of Rough Trade, Ron Johnson et al, you’re right – it’s all in the same wheelhouse. OK, here the rage and the noise seem more subtle but, but none of it is any less caustic or pointed than the sounds you already know and love to be baffled by.
What’s more, The Cool Greenhouse is piss-funny. On this two-track window into the skewed mindset behind the project, we open with Landlords – a searing take on the perils of renting that devolves into Kafka-esque levels of preposterousness while also remaining frighteningly recognisable. It goes from personalised number plates to chimpanzee-staffed call centres in just under three minutes, all to the strains of what The Desperate Bicycles might have sounded like while trying to rip off Hex Enduction Hour – in summary, fucking brilliant.
On the flip is 4Chan, a diary entry of sorts for a regular poster on the Internet’s most infamous troll caves. “Today I photoshopped 14 photographs of Tyler Durden and good old Patrick Bateman / And now my Steam account has two new followers and I’ve spammed some feminists with troll faces,” it goes, while two unsympathetic guitar chords crash rudely into each other ad infinitum. A hilariously bleak summary of life in certain quarters of the Internet, and an addictively excellent slice of horribly nervy pop music.
It might not sound like rock music as you know and love it, but it’s way punker than you. Stick it on – play once, twice, a thousand times. The Cool Greenhouse is your new 80s awkward hero, right here in 2019.
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