At Streetlamp we don't just celebrate the twee and the sweet, we also love the rough and the raw, and that's exactly where The Humms debut CD EP fits in.
You may recall that the Brill Building songwriters(Goffin & King, Neil Sedaka, Lesley Gore etc) had the motto 'Don't bore us, get to the chorus!' suggesting that songs really shouldn't faff around before getting their hooks in.....well, 'Are You Dead?' took a mere one second to hook and reel me in!! The fevered WHOOP that precedes the rattling garage groove won me over immediately. If you're aware of the Pebbles collections of Sixties garage tracks then this track would fit on there easily. One of my most treasured possessions is The Pebbles Box, a box set of the first 5 volumes of Pebbles all on splattery psychedelic coloured vinyl, with revamped tracklistings and remastered sound. And rather than having it lying around like some ornament, I have played it to death. 'Are You Dead?' simply would not sound out of place on such a hallowed release. It sounds like it should be soundtracking the next Tarantino movie it's such an exciting piece of music. The chorus even skirts close to early 80s synthpoppers B-Movie and their classic 'Nowhere Girl', which I hope doesn't offend Zeke, Tyler and Bleech who comprise The Humms, but it's a favourite of mine anyway.
Second track 'Do The Graverobber' is, perhaps, for me, the weakest of the four songs here. It's still miles ahead of most stuff that's out there at the moment, it just lacks the hooks that make the other tracks so special.
No complaints with track three though, 'LSD Is EVIL' not only shakes a lysergic groove, but becomes totally deranged, almost threatening to collapse in on it's self. After a couple of fairly composed verses about taking acid the driving out into the country, Zeke loses his marbles and begins jabbering some complete hat-stand gibberish that, again, recalls those magic Pebbles records, especially Vol 3 'The Acid Gallery'(on luminous electric green vinyl!!) which was a collection of those REALLY deranged sixties recordings. Zeke's hilarious wibbling conjures up 'The Diamond Mine' by Dave Diamond & The Higher Elevation, or 'The Reality Of (Air) Fried Borsk' by The Driving Stupid, or 'Like A Dribbling Fram' by Race Marbles, or 'A Pindaric Ode' by The Sunday Funnies....and if you don't know any of these tracks, re-educate yourselves for goodness sake!! 'LSD Is EVIL' is pretty wonderful and worthy of fellow Southerner Gibby Hayes at his most demented.
Final track 'No-one Want To Be Alone On Valentines Day' sounds like The Seeds indulging in some campfire country sing-a-long and is a perfect comedown for all the madness that has gone before.
A fantastic release, and if any song is going to top 'Are You Dead?' for our favourite song of recent times it's going to have to be pretty special.
The Humms CD is available from Oddbox Records, who also have a Myspace page
And the band have their own Myspace