The Humms: Lemonland LP
— Price: 149 SEK

The title song of their ‘Are You Dead?’ EP was one of the finest singles of 2009 and, possibly, the preceding decade. While nothing could touch the turbocharged indiepop brilliance of that song, The Humms come close to it at points on their debut album. The Georgia band’s record is a riot of sound, plunging from psychobilly to punk, surf-pop to dirty blues, tipping a wink to the Pixies and the Cramps as well as countless shaggy-haired garage bands. That shape-shifting will leave you breathless by the end, as the 18 tracks mix speeds and styles, from the unrestrained psychobilly of ‘Blood Sucking Vampire’ (track 1) to the folky mellowness of ‘When I Wake’ (track 18).

Between those two points, Zeke Sayer’s band zig and zag: ‘Brown Haired Devil’ is deranged rock’n’roll, ‘Don’t Think About Death’ is ominous, shuffling psych-pop and ‘Leave That Boy Alone’ is Headcoats-stylee garage-rock. There’s time for sarcastic antiwar anthems (‘Uncle Sam Took My Baby Away’) and mournful 50s pop, although the confessional spoken word section of ‘Sleepy, Sleepy’ is nuthouse-worthy: “I know I went after you with a knife and said a lot of crazy things…but I’m a changed man!”

I could go on; the amphetamined ‘Buttermilk’ layers on dirty rock’n’roll riffs and ‘Oh My Lawd’ has a chorus faster than a Japanese bullet train but you get the picture. It’s a crazy smorgasbord, the work of fertile minds and hyperactive imaginations, ending up like they’d consumed all the volumes of Nuggets, Pebbles and Songs the Cramps Taught Us and then vomiting out this cavalcade of crazy music. It’s exciting, exhausting, and mad as a box of snakes.

-Ged M,

(bachelor records)

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November 23, 2010
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