Punk Online

SELF LOVE – ‘No’ Album Review


Self LoveThe debut album from elusive Cambridgeshire-based, teenage punx Self Love stems from their need to create a “coping mechanism to deal with isolation, both geographic and mental.”

There are 17 tracks on the album although some are sub-one minute. The opening track is the excellently titled, I Have A Mouth And I Must Complain. The band introduce some static/feedback for almost one minute before simply exploding into a wall of manic punk rock sound driven by some dirty bass and drums. The song, contradicting its title, features no vocals or lyrics!

The fuzzed out bass remains prominent on I Am Your Girlfriend where the raw sound is joined by some brief spoken words and this approach continues onto the 50 seconds of I Don’t Care where the powerful noise is interspersed with the spoken words of the title.

This voice turns up again on No Friends, No Future, where the calamitous rhythms are held together by the drums/cymbals and the whole package is massively intriguing like Welsh band Future of the Left. The voice is almost BBC announcer in style and that adds to the eclectic package. Self Love vary the tempos from the slower Chair to the 150 mph of Faith-Bliss but the dirty fuzzed bass and up-front drums remain the signature sound throughout.

The second longest track on the entire album is the four-minute plus. Kiss Me, Cop with its spoken words and churning guitars all propelled by a slower rhythm. The band up the tempo again with Going Outside and, by now, it is clear that these post-punk noise merchants have released a very clever and challenging package of songs. With I’m Gonna Kill You As Soon As I Get Out Of Prison we are treated to a sludge-fest whilst the 38 seconds of Bubblegum is unrelenting in pace.

I Hate Living (Pts 1-4) clocks in at a jaw-dropping eight minutes starting with a slow guitar and vocal and developing into funkier sections with some nihilistic lyrics – it’s the magnum opus on the album and it’s bloody good! Both Flat Earth and Hi Honey I’m Hi are just over 30 seconds in length and pound along at a pace before I’m Leaving seems to be the child of both of its predecessors with jerky lyrics accompanying the noises.

The 15 seconds of Love Yrself is quirky as hell and leads into the title track, the five minute plus No. This is about as chaotic a song I have ever heard full of drum rolls, spoken word vocals, fuzzed out bass and a wall of sound that just does not retreat. The track develops into a relatively melodic bluesy section before closing as it started!

The album ends with I’ll Be Around where the optimistic tone is complemented by the more accessible riff. Self Love are different with some nods to Idles and the aforementioned Future of The Left – it’s a post punk extravaganza and you can grab yourself a copy of No at towedbytheghost.bandcamp.com/album/no