The Bug Club - Pure Particles LP (highlighter yellow vinyl)
The Bug Club - Pure Particles LP (We are Busy Bodies/Canada)
Listening Notes (Turntable Report Essential pick 2021)
The joke is that if there was a DNA test that all guitar/bass/drum bands could take, The Velvet Underground would likely appear to be baked into the genetic makings of all of them to some degree. For this Welsh trio, I would put that VU influence as high as 75%, yet even for me who is not an obsessive to this general sound, there is so much to admire here. As we head into the holiday season and stress pulses through parts of ourselves that we didn't know could even feel stress, one listen to Pure Particles will have you feeling like you have dove headfirst down the world's largest loop de loop slide; offering 20 minutes of authentic joy, cracking humor, buttery riffage, and male/female harmonies that stimulate the brain like a playful tickle. Fans of Sauna Youth, Slow Coaches, Ramones, and The Vaselines should not waste another moment. Prepare for pure joy; best of 2021.
The Bug Club’s name does a good job of introducing the band & their music: a tight-knit, collaborative effort focused on telling tales of the everyday that we often take for granted, shot through with humour & riffs-a-plenty.
Imagine Jonathan Richman bought a really big amp & a time machine & found himself somewhere on the Nuggets compilation. Or perhaps Ray Davis palled up with Sterling Morrison, got really into The Minutemen & agreed that songs need not be longer than two minutes. Then, maybe, you’re almost where the Welsh three-piece are coming from.
The creative trio of Sam Willmett (guitar/vocals), Tilly Harris (bass/vocals) and Dan Matthew (drums) formed The Bug Club in 2016 in the little-known rock n' roll hotbed that is Caldicot, Monmouthshire. Following relentless gigging in their local area, The Bug Club were picked up by Bingo Records & released their first proper single - ‘We Don’t Need Room For Lovin’ - in February 2021. It garnered immediate acclaim, with BBC 6 Music’s resident tastemaker Marc Riley playing it a few times a week ever since & booking them in for a post-lockdown live session right off the bat. The announcement of the EP ‘Launching Moondream One’ followed - as did the release of second single ‘Checkmate’, with which came a similar level of radio airplay. And then the same again for the EP's title track.
First and foremost a live band, the band record as a group quickly, capturing the energy & sound of the gigs that make them such a popular fixture on the live circuit. Watch out for them at a gig near you soon, as bookings are coming thick and fast.
RIYL: The Modern Lovers, The Wave Pictures, The Vaselines, The Velvet Underground, The Kinks.