Way out west things have time to ferment and fester. Down the years Bristol
has proved to be a fertile breeding ground for outré musical ideas and heady pop
theorising. Bristolians Termites have fashioned an EP that refuses to be pigeonholed and
mashes up genres in a car crash style. I have witnessed the band play live on a
few occasions, and although the EP doesn't completely capture their full frontal
pop mania, it's a good introduction.
Lead track Set Yourself On Fire starts like a Maximo Park> sound
check inside a speed riddled beehive: This is suburban angular pop - literal, arty
and intelligent. Think Supergrass's shiny pop structures kneecapped by
Mark E Smith. The organ nags and the bass wrestles the belligerent guitar
before they collapse in on themselves and have to rush to A & E. Wrong explodes in a frenzy of descending guitar chords, chopped and blurred.
It's The Buzzcocks pistol whipped by The Jesus And Mary Chain, the
guitars ripping out shards of glass melody before shattering them against the
dirty rhythm and letting them fizzle.
The pace and sound shifts with the closing track Amusement (Lorry Crash). The
gentle melody is played on a funky organ, the vocals are loaded with a weary careworn
tone. It could be a lost Kinks B-side; strangely English patterned
melancholia. The guitars arrive about three minutes in and sound like they are
weeping. They dissolve and the songs starts again, the organ riff building
and then a brief silence before they launch into a prolonged coda that welds
chainsaw guitars with a bruising drum attack. Beware: The Termites are coming.