Bad Pop + SuperGlu – 14/09/17 – The Cellar
Sounding a little like a very brief list of things ingested by children which have led to intestinal maladies, Bad Pop and SuperGlu are two bands currently attempting to climb the well oiled and seductive pole of rock ’n’ roll recognition like overweight teenagers in a tasteless Japanese gameshow. And both, it must be said, are having a certain amount of success; Bad Pop appearing keen to be the new New Pornographers and SuperGlu having a charming Pixies meets that-band-you-were-in-when-you-were-seventeen-and-listening-to-way-too-much-ash-1977 vibe.
First up Bad Pop and what with them being Canadian and all, you instinctively expect a certain level of musical competency. Yes, the gut churning Brian Adams and Celine Dion’s have made way for the more conceptual Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Viet Cong and nowadays if you’re from the Lumberjacking capital of the world, you automatically make the honorary playlist for the worlds speciality coffee houses. With impressive energy and an unashamed propensity for big choruses, Bad Pop’s set is as infectious as it is engaging, the three piece finding big hooks and chunky melodies in amongst a slightly haphazard barrage of furry, distorted chord progressions. It’s chirpy but never cloying and has enough bravado to carry itself well over the line.
SuperGlu take to the stage with a little confusion, arriving late to the party like an embarrassed brother-in-law with lukewarm quiche and overcooked vol-au-vent, but quickly plug in guitars and with no soundcheck, play a quite phenomenal forty minutes of shambolic but captivating compositions. Their ability to invigorate a slightly flagging crowd is quite astounding as is their seemingly chaotic but wholly precise work. SuperGlu’s lead guitarist Ben Brown seems to be directly channeling Frank Black as the abrasive four piece smash through thrashy pop inflected three minute wonders in an unrelenting set where every track seems twice the speed of the radio edit. You’ll struggle to find a more ballsy, aggressive group of musicians currently working the circuit.
Even though this doesn’t create an overly accurate picture of events, there feels a necessity to tie this all up in a tiresome but pithy soundbite. So… Bad Pop were just about bubbly enough to give a sparkling performance whereas SuperGlu never came unstuck and kept our attention fastened, if perhaps a little sloppy in places. God I hate myself.