‘Helicopter Party Trick' EP by Stegosaurus Sex PartyReview
As promised earlier this week, Stegosaurus Sex Party are unveiling their new EP ‘Helicopter Party Trick' on Friday, following the trailer of single "Ugotowned" which we told you about.
Joining that song are "Snazzy Mollusc", "Beanz", "Wanking To Natural Disasters" and "King of Twats" (I did warn you last time to expect titles like this, so hopefully you were prepared & not reaching for the smelling salts). As also mentioned, the band consider it a better record than their debut.
As noted before, humour is important in music, even if serious messages are also some part of the mix & perhaps even more importantly it's good to get a sense that the artists are actually enjoying themselves. Though perhaps not at the top of the list which guides what I review & what I pass on, I'd say that it is definitely a common factor in what I end up telling you about.
For example, bass player Sick Dick is given the chance to indulge himself on "Beanz" and duly does so, though the other members, having given him a few moments of his own, promptly pile a heap of discordant noise over the rest of the track, presumably to stop him from getting too big headed. In fact the Stegosaurus Sex Party style is a strange blend of moments when the three seem briefly to be working in unison to others when they all appear to be playing different songs which somehow react off each other to create something inherently new & more than the sum of the parts. This is either very carefully constructed or the opposite & the line between skill & luck appears often wilfully blurred.
There are few (if any) formal vocal harmonies in this approach: what you get are combinations of one, two or all three singing at any time, possibly complementing what each is doing but also apparently trying to drown each other out. Almost as if someone feels they have a good lyric & then someone else thinks they can better it.
As I say, the targets of their indignation can be perfectly reasonable, regardless of the mode in which they express themselves: smug suburbia as mentioned in the review of the single for example. I share their disgust with those who get their vicarious kicks through witnessing the suffering of others via the safety of their screen & camouflage their excitement with bogus compassion. A very valid & topical point (disaster porn on the media is all over the place these days) but naming your response "Wanking To Natural Disasters" , while a valid & graphic expression of your feelings is still going to limit how widely your point is going to get shared on the same media. It's a delightfully scuzzy surf-punk mutant track though with the clarity of the vocals probably reflecting the importance of the message.
"King of Twats" gives drummer Clean Cut Butch a few moments of "me time" before the cacophony really kicks in: once again we have what (to me) is a sound targeting of a pet peeve: social media "experts" whose knowledge is restricted to online posts of such little validity that their impact comes only from the weight of repeated sharing by similarly credulous individuals. I can't argue with the term "Twats" (these are people whose words undermine those of people trying to actually help society) though once again, the airplay it deserves will only be coming through niche stations…
"Snazzy Mollusc" evades the issue of whether playlisters will quail at the title alone, and again sets its sights tightly on someone who deserves it for what seems like sleazy behaviour which invites their ridicule & disdain ("…everyone's a winner but probably not you…") over a backing which almost defies description: at moments sounding like the three are about to hurtle off into three different free jazz directions & the next swinging back into tight formation & sounding almost pop. This lurching around from almost chaos into focus was I suppose the sort of thing The Fall perfected (or didn't on certain gigs). It certainly concentrates the attention.
Returning finally to "Beanz", such is the blitz of pure noise courtesy of A.Wankstain's guitar (after the bass prelude) that figuring out the lyrical content is the trickiest on the EP. Let's just say that they are clearly angry about something: I'll leave precisely what to your listening skills.
Angry, dissonant, focussed, playful: there are plenty of words one might use about Stegosaurus Sex Party and hopefully I've got a few of them in before any other reviewers….