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Monday 5 February 2024

Teenage Waitress "Your Cuckoo" a Review...

Back in 2020 I reviewed the debut record, "Love and Chemicals" by Teenage Waitress and I was really pleased to see that last June they released their second effort named "Your Cuckoo". Both have been released on Crofty's label 'Colorama Records' and are essential listening for the sussed among us.  Now you may be thinking, "Why are you only just reviewing it now?" the reason being, I feel every record needs a "bedding in" period and 6 months is usually the perfect amount of time. This allows many sets of ears to hear it and constructive discussion (over a few beers) to be formed. Every record no matter how good it is needs that all important few spins on the turntable and it's safe to say "Your Cuckoo" has had many... 

Dan Ash has always been a man of impeccable taste, and once again this is prevalent throughout this record. His influences are intertwined, yet they're not overtly obvious, a little bit like that essential cocktail ingredient. The opening track, "Baby Blue" is a dreamy, cathartic beauty which will have you humming its melodies for the foreseeable future. It kicks off the record sublimely and makes you sit up and pay attention from the first bar... I'd go as far as saying it's my favourite tune on the record and that was from its very first spin on the turntable. "Baby Blue" makes it apparent just how good the production on the record is, with every beat popping and progressing each tune along at a lovely pace, it makes for fine listening. The second track, "Maggie" is a quick-as-you-like tribute to those minute and a half punk 7 inches of yesteryear whilst slowly building your curiosity up of what the album's actual "sound" is! Dan's vocal is boss on this album, he hits every note and showcases just how good a voice he has in every tune, his versatility as a musician is outstanding to say the least. "Grey Sky" is a great example of this and again highlights the fucking mega production on this record...

"Your Cuckoo" has such a plethora of sounds on its ingredients list it would be a perfect advert of how to incorporate a Bowie range of sound into just one record. I'm sure the man himself would dig this album and that's saying something. The record is as equally joyful as it is melancholy in places which once again shows Dan's versatility as a musician. "Bedroom Waltz" is a great example of this with it's lyrics of wanting to break out teamed with its Shack/Mick Head/Love esque guitar which has you wanting to get up, grab a beer and start the weekend early, fucking boss! Teenage Waitress have came such a long way from their debut and it's so refreshing to hear when you've got nearly every "Indie" band from the 2010's reuniting to play the "hits" again some 15 years later, listen to new music yeahhh!? 

Melodies are a big weapon in Dan's armoury and will have other musician's green with envy that's for sure. He's got a knack of chucking stuff together that sounds magnificent to all who hear it. These songs are meant to be played loud and for many to hear them. "I Like The Way You Fall In Love" could be thrown smack bang into a Rom-com and wouldn't feel out of place and would surely make the montage used feel much less cringe, well played Dan, not many musicians can do that! "Your Cuckoo" is a record that puts a devilish grin on the listener's face, no matter the mood. It drags you through the mundane 9-5 and into the weekend in a much better mood. There are small pockets of orchestral brilliance here which are really evident at the beginning of "Big Smoke" an observational narrative which many can relate to. "Just get me out the big smoke, just put me on the first flight" I'm sure everyone's felt like that, I know I have! "Back Seat" is an ASMR car lovers dream, with its snippets of vehicle related sounds which then move into a snyth-pop ballad, class! "Too Much Of A Good Thing" is the modern day Squueze song Glen Tilbrook wishes he'd written. 

"Your Cuckoo" is a forward-thinking, modernist, record that showcases just some of the brilliance this countries' musicians have to offer, that deserve all the airplay in the world, if only the main radio stations could look beyond that Taylor Swift eh!? Buy it here!


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In loving memory of Denise Pottinger