Boomkat Product Review:
Weird and brilliant angular fuzz from South London CURL member Alpha Maid - highly recommended if you’re into Mica Levi’s Ruff Dog shapeshifter, Yves Tumor’s early lo fi pop, PJ Harvey’s raw shockout ‘Rid Of Me’ or Klein’s observational art.
The second release from Leisha Thomas under the Alpha Maid moniker, "CHUCKLE" is nowhere near as upbeat as the title might suggest. Grey and overcast, it ties together a sort of submerged/ Slint-adjacent post-rawk-via-jazz technicality with the DIY grit of '90s Seattle, but roots everything in contemporary London. Thomas's vocals lash out with range: sometimes a disquieting snarl, sometimes a pleasing, echoing hum, but always entrancing.
There's an eccentric spirit that recalls both Dean Blunt and This Heat in its disregard for stasis or formality. She pieces the record together like a sketchbook, cutting-and-pasting samples and editing her instrumentation with gleeful anarchy. It's pop music, just about, but charged with South London's hybrid energy and a distinctly British sense of socio-political unease.
Opener 'MILD WEATHER’ sounds like an inebriated brass band dipped in fuzz, 'NEWLY WOKE & THOUGHT PROVOKED’ could have been lifted straight off Yves Tumor’s PAN debut, all lowercase hooks and bursts of disruption, same with ‘SUM1’ but here skewed into a kind of insular pop reminiscent of La Timpa’s bruised avant-soul. ‘WOWOWOW’, features Diane Abbott being skewered by Today Programme numpties to grinding riffs, while ‘DOGGY' ends the set with a sort of beautiful art-rock coda that’s one part Virginia Astley to a slug of Micachu’s chopped & screwed London Sinfonietta headwreck.
Aye, our kinda mess.