Loose Articles have arrived out of nowhere with intimate exhilarating live shows of three minute songs that have ripped up the traditional rules of songwriting. Their debut EP Orchid Lounge features four songs that’ll be familar to anyone who’s witnessed those sets - but can they recapture that in the studio?
The answer is an unequivocal yes and the magic in these songs is in their imperfections. The four songs each have their own personality screaming out from dead centre as Natalie and Tre’s contrasting vocals interact over Erin’s guitars and Louise’s primal drums that direct these songs to their destination.
Lead single Money For Booze deals in the desire to escape the humdrum and escaping to the pub as the final haven where you can avoid “Boris, Brexit and austerity.” It sticks two fingers up at the notion that the working class should have nothing good in life spread by Conservatives and the older generations who had cheap houses and prosperity. Natalie’s kiss off line “maybe you can let us off if we want a fucking pint” is a brilliant yet simple two fingered retort. Musically the hook burrows its way into your brain, repetitive, loose and a little bit languid.
Snake starts with venom aimed at the “slippery slippery reptile” who’s done them wrong. It stops and starts three times, has a call and response between guitars and Natalie lets fly with a volley of angry bile at whoever’s done her wrong. The production lets that anger breathe, vocals aren’t done and redone until they’re perfect because it would kill the song stone dead.
Orchid Lounge adopts a similar approach, and there’s so much space in the music, yet once again the hook line is ridiculously repetitively an earworm whilst Natalie berates a guy called Joe for hogging the karaoke in their local boozer telling him to “get off the stage Joe” whilst performing all kinds of vocal gymnastics.
While the first three songs might leave you wondering what drives them, Lethal Weapon answers that question in spades. It’s the most direct unanswerable response to the misogyny they’ve faced in music and real life. Aimed square at the “misogynistic clown” who tells Natalie to “act more feminine, it’ll make you less threatening” to which her reply of “tell them to shut it” leads into the unambigous threat of “I am equal, I am lethal if you mess with this human in a dress” and the sharp dagger pointed rhyme of “get off your high horse, we’re not only here for intercourse.”
The Orchid Lounge EP is a polaroid shot of where Loose Articles are as a band - capturing everything that makes them such an intriguing, exciting and fresh band. Full of attitude, not giving a fuck about things until you wrong them at which point you’re dead meat, they’re an antidote to the increasingly lad-dominated music scene. Their refreshing approach to leaving the song’s birthmarks on show for everyone to hear makes their imperfections sound even more perfect.
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The EP can be purchased on CD here.