Having already engaged our curiosity with their previous release ‘Jessica 6’, Girl One & The Grease Guns have returned with a new single release entitled ‘(Here Come) The Catastrophe Machines’.
Making good on their manifesto for “causing confusion with a mixture of pure synth pop and more experimental electronic sounds”, the latest offering delivers a chaotic wall of noise, painting a chilling vision of dystopia, further illustrated by a rapid-fire video of sequences culled from a variety of arresting visual images from nuclear tests and slasher films to Dr Who.
However, secreted away on the B-Side is a surprising gem of pure pop goodness titled ‘Hitting The Brick Wall’, which continues Girl One & The Grease Guns’ talent for crafting compelling electronic tunes.
‘Hitting The Brick Wall’ pulls together a percussive rhythm, driving bass and captivating organ melody, while the lyrics deal with themes of frustration and despair. It’s a combination that suggests everything from early era OMD to 60s girl groups with the layered harmonics of the vocals (delivered by the cryptically named Sissy Space Echo) also recalling more recent outfits such as The Pipettes. It’s no surprise that the band have claimed they’re drawing inspiration from the classic synthpop era of the 70s/80s, but their material appears to swerve neatly around the nostalgia porn that lesser electronic acts tend to fall into.
The video accompanying ‘Hitting The Brick Wall’ is a wonderful slice of 60s exploitation cinema featuring Mimsy Farmer dancing away under the influence of acid, adding an intriguing visual counterpoint to the song’s pop sensibilities.
As an electronic band, Girl One & The Grease Guns remain an enigmatic outfit with no concrete details on the real brains behind the tunes. But that cryptic element only adds to the appeal and they’re clearly going to be both puzzling and delighting audiences for some time to come.
‘(Here Come) The Catastrophe Machines’/’Hitting The Brick Wall’ is released on by Squirrel Records as 7 inch vinyl single and download 13th November 2013.
Text by Paul Browne
15th October 2013