Guessband: To Heart

To Heart

CD, self-released, 2013

Formed out of the remnants of alternative/postpunk band Creepypop, Guessband take the energetic rush of clattering disco drum beats, growling bass and enthusiastically out-of-tune vocals that characterised the previous band and strip out all the darker, more deliberately paced elements to create something that’s rough and uproarious as well as furiously uncompromising party music. The arrangements take in off-kilter new wave, drawing in cheesy yet undeniably catchy hooks and a mischievous tendency to leap in unexpected directions mid-song, but Guessband have no time for the self-conscious refinement of a lot of new wave and postpunk, preferring instead the raucous, ramshackle, crowd-pleasing exuberance of Japanese festival music. That the disc takes its title from an erotic dating simulator computer game from the 1990s (although the sanitised Playstation and TV anime adaptations are perhaps better known) is revealing of the mischievous and, let’s face it, pretty base, instincts underpinning the music, although it also pitches the band in the position they want to be: that of sexually frustrated, terminally unattractive geeks trying to make the best of the poor hand life has dealt them. For that at least, it’s hard not to be sympathetic towards this good humoured and really thoroughly enjoyable album.

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