"Ugotowned" by Stegosaurus Sex PartyReview
Do you like dinosaurs? Do you like sex parties? Then you may be interested in Stegosaurus Sex Party whose latest single "Ugotowned" is now out, ahead of its parent EP ‘Helicopter Party Trick' on the 21st of July. In fact unless you own a home with very big rooms, the record is your best chance to enjoy such a party.
Obviously the name alone attracts attention & demanded further exploration but the fact that they are hard to categorise is another incentive.
I'm going to settle with simply recording them as coming from a DIY background: and that's sufficient I think. I respect anyone who does that & the descriptor is wide enough to encompass everyone from the The Rising to Stegosaurus Sex Party within these pages: the emphasis being on approach, attitude, commitment etc rather than any particular restriction of expectation of sound.
They themselves are wary of boxing themselves in: their suggestion that "genres are as stupid as they are useful" is a pithy quote that I may borrow from them for future use.
As you might already have guessed, others have called them punk & they seem to have been labelled "PartyGrunge" too.
Like several groups keener on having the music the focus rather than their own personalities (though as far as I know they don't hide within giant papier-mâché heads as others have), they'd prefer that I refer to them by their stage names which are: A.Wankstain (guitar & vocals), Sick Dick (bass & vocals) and Clean Cut Butch (drums and vocals). So it's hardly surprising when they get called punk… In true DIY philosophy, none of the members originally played those instruments either.
I'll respect their desire for privacy, but can reveal that the band was formed in Tile Hill in 2018 & by the following year were playing nationally off the back of their first EP, (whose track "Small Town Massive" addresses the issue of growing up just outside the city).
So what is the party like? Well gigs apparently get "..a bit chaotic and messy. We encourage that as best we can… If you come see us live, there's a very real chance you will catch a giant pink balloon to the face at some point during the gig. We bring them out somewhere in the set and invite people to kick them at us. Watch out for your drinks!"
As for the record (which is what I'm actually reviewing rather than gigs I've yet to attend), my sticking point is a new one for me: that around humour in music. I may (I think) have mentioned my absolute preference for this: I don't really trust artists without it & especially those unable to laugh at themselves when necessary (though there are plenty of other obsessions of mine I've banged on about more often). It would be tempting, given much of what I've said before and the fact that they were booked to support The Dickies (COVID19 prevented that alas), to pigeonhole them towards comedy. That's doing them an injustice though. Plenty of great bands have used humour brilliantly to express serious themes (Madness, Ian Dury etc) and others have often had their humour missed (e.g. The Clash) by the more dour, humourless in the media.
The band were not sure how well they "fitted" The Dickies, but I can't think of a better comparison. Amongst British bands I suppose The Toy Dolls or Pork Dukes spring vaguely to mind (especially as the latter guarded their true identities too) but no really DIY outfit is going to totally equate to another.
There is plenty of (good) humour in their work, plus profanity, but I'd say the material aimed to being provocative via these routes & that more overtly "serious" in how it attacks its targets is reasonably balanced. "Ugotowned" to me sounds much more of the latter and they clearly mean what they say. In fact despite the shouty vocals (of which there are several working off each other like a bunch of like minded friends trying to have a conversation on a matter which they are all exercised about yet in agreement, in a very noisy pub) you can hear the words: so hats off to them for their production too.
It's noisy, urgent & expressing their feelings & if their attack on bourgeois dormitory town culture isn't the first, there are only so many subjects for a song: all the matters is if you do it with a degree of freshness & obvious belief in what you're saying.
The band reckon that the forthcoming EP is better than their debut. I've seen the track listing (plus rejected track names) so expect some adult content language when I come to review that.