Label: Alcopop! Records
As Home Counties bounce in to the first track on their latest EP ‘In A Middle English Town’, the energy is immediate and their quirkiness a joy. Although the influences of Gang Of Four, Devo and Talking Heads are there to be heard, Home Counties have still created a sound that feels fresh.
Taking on the weighty topic of economic policy on opener ‘Back To The 70’s’, synth player Bam reads a spoken word piece over the band’s off kilter guitar, space age synth and a rhythm section that sets a solid foundation. Home Counties carries on the sideways poppy art punk on their track ‘The Home Counties’, a track about the mundanity of middle class white family life. The odd whistling synth noises crashing together with the quirky guitar create a noise that is anything but mundane.
If Home Counties were just left of pop before, ‘Ad Gammon’ sees them take it even further. Angular synth and electronic drums create a borderline uncomfortable backing that builds over the track to create a wall of digital noise.
‘Village Spirit’ brings ‘In A Middle English Town’ to a close with a dose of alt pop that wouldn’t be out of place on a Talking Heads record. Lyrically based on a story of a nobleman being murdered by a mob based on the power rumours can have on a collective, it’s not the most traditional of choices and yet still fits as a commentary on modern life. Set to a backing with an almost reggae beat and angular, sporadic guitars, it brings things back to as close to normal as you can get with a band such as Home Counties.
‘In A Middle English Town’ is about as left field as an indie pop record can get. With one foot in pop and one in post punk, Home Counties create a sound that feels like freedom of genre restrictions and it will be interesting to see where they go next.