"Never judge a book by its cover" somebody somewhere once said sometime. If I were to ignore that crucial advice with Earth The Californian Love Dream (ECLD), I'd be all set to lump this Nottingam quartet into the same retro west-coast jingle-jangle pot as master exponents The Thrills. But by the time the eponymous B-Side has screamed past with an electrifying riff the size of Russia and more expletives than a prime-time Johnny Rotten, I had my reversing lights firmly switched on. The target of these profanities is, amongst others, our beloved monarch - making the aforementioned Rotten's famous Queen-savaging seem like a veritable love-in. Breathtaking stuff.
The main event here - In The Garden - is also liable to cause your heart to skip several beats. A refreshing antidote to the tendency of British bands to strive for lighters-in-the-air stadium blandness (I'm looking at you, Snow Patrol), the Boss pedals are set to 11 throughout. They remembered to write a tune too, crucially, and with vocal harmonies swirling behind that would impress Brian Wilson, the result is three minutes that floats like a butterfly and stings like a whole swarm of angry bees.
With the passionate patronage of the evergreen John Peel, and a debut album in the barrel all set to be blasted out, it seems inevitable that 2004 will make this lot's dream a firm reality.
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