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Pleasure Heads - 'Excuse The Filth' EP Review


1. Slurrin'

2. Down & Out

3. Same Old Song

4. Eight Or Wait

5. Swedgehammer

Hailing from Falkirk, but now based in Glasgow, Pleasure Heads have released their debut EP “Excuse The Filth”. The EP builds on the promise of previous singles “Concrete Lips” and “Middle Man” and further cements their place as a band to watch.

The EP opens with “Slurrin’” which feels like a stream of consciousness retelling of a night out in Glasgow – it’s fast, it’s scuzzy and at the end of it you’re not quite sure what happened but you know you enjoyed it. For me, this is the weakest of the five tracks but it’s still full of quality and sets the scene for the tone of the EP, which is to ‘…explore urban living as a young person in 21st century Scotland’.

Singles “Down & Out” and “Same Old Song” come next – both reflective in tone, both lamenting the mundane every day routines we all have to go through in order to do the things we really want to do. I know that description makes them sound like some sort of introspective moaning sessions, but there are some great lines in them – ‘Guess I have to thank the regime for sending buses on time’ (“Down & Out”) and ‘Now we’re older and our ears are full of bad idea’ (“Same Old Song”). Both these songs are similar in feel to the excellent “Middle Man”, with Euan Purves’ vocals striking just the right note between resignation and defiance.

“Eight Or Wait” is a little gem – full of Punk guitars it, tells the tale of a mistake-laden holiday underpinned by a fixation on the breakdown of a relationship. It mixes tales of kebabs for breakfast and noxious shots with claims that ‘It wasn’t just me at fault’ and ends with a stark ‘This didn’t go according to plan’ – 3 and a half minutes of great music and brilliant lyrics.

Last track is “Swedgehammer” which the press release doesn’t appear to mention…interesting! I’ll freely admit I had no clue what this meant (it’s only been two and a half years in Scotland!) so I had to ask my go-to translator Macca for some help on this and we think it’s a reference to sweeties…which, given the lyrics, makes sense. It’s a raw song, opening with Euan singing over guitars with real raspy emotion. This is absolutely my favourite of the EP…it’s only 2 minutes and 40 seconds but it really captures the maturity of the band and their song writing.

I have praised this band before (“Middle Man” review) and nothing I have heard here has made me regret that early praise – you can tell the influences from Punk and even 60’s Soul are there, but they’ve used those influences in the right way. They’ve not taken a formula and imposed it on their sound, they’ve embraced the soul of their influences and used them to inform their own music, not overwhelm it. They recently played at Glasgow’s Tenement Trail and Stag and Dagger and I am absolutely gutted that I missed those shows…seeing them live is one of my New Year Resolutions. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – check them out via your preferred music provider and regret that you don’t live in Scotland.

Review - Chris Watson

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