The Tumbledryer Babies - Wheat

Owain Paciuszko 27/10/2010

Rating: 3/5

It's Hefner meets Squeeze on opening track Tell Me What To Do on this five-track EP from this Southend duo, it has a handclap infused shoop-shoop rhythm and a kazoo driven comedown, and is a minimalistic quirky treat that doesn't prepare you for the scuzzy maudlin-pop of WWF, with its grumpy Depeche Mode guitar lines and synthesised drum-beats as Andrew Moore pines; 'My love life was like WWF, tricky moments and awkward approaches to sex.'

Beautiful Mental Patient feels like a The Jam song played at half speed, woozily sedated and enlivened by Emma Moore on theremin duties. It reminds of the early, lo-fi works of Aidan Smith as does the piano-led Marty Feldman Eyes, a sweet love song about being boss-eyed, which has Voluntary Butler Scheme-esque backing vocals and a buzzy stylophone melody from Paul Leary; it gets a little too repetitive as Moore sings the line 'Instead of having those Marty Feldman eyes' over and over. It vanishes into a peculiar quagmire of squelchy and unsettling noises, like a radio mis-tuned and flickering between stations.

'If she were a guy I'd shove glass in her eye,' sings Moore on the 30 second If You See Her, Give Her Hell which is an equally maudlin and silly bitter grumble, akin to a throwaway Misty's Big Adventure track, with similar (pleasingly) playschool production values.

This is a brief if eccentrically entertaining little record, that has a certain ramshackle charm if not enough meat on the bones. The Tumbledryer Babies have a knack for oddball pop, but the ideas here seem a little too flippant to really linger beyond a couple of listens and wry smirks.