Artist of the week: The Groundnuts & Independents
Some bands are timeless, others burn out, creatively, like a flash in the pan. It takes something truly special to stand the test of time, and there are few, if any, acts in Swansea who have remained as vital, vibrant and relevant as The Groundnuts & Independents - they are a constant, perpetual and necessary force of nature.
The Groundnuts & Independents are Greg Fabb and Jason Williams, playing bass and guitar respectively, who share vocal duties throughout, finishing off the trio with Lee Thomas beating the skins.
They’ve a healthy (for the soul, if not for the ears) menu of releases on Bandcamp - something that always excites me, so I dove right in to Hellish Tidy with wild abandon. Hellish Tidy is a solid collection of traditional punk tunes with a few quirks that exemplify what make The Groundnuts & Independents such a lasting exponent of Swansea music.
Album (for lack of a better term - with Hellish Tidy clocking in at a metronome defying 13.82 minutes long) opener ‘Oh Shit’ lulls you into a false sense of security with it’s ‘found audio’ introduction before launching into a ferocious, musically manic audio assault that doesn’t let up throughout ‘Spread The Word’ and ‘Draw The Line’. ’Bosina No. 3’’ is perfectly timed within the collection for a small reprieve from the carnage with it’s central riff that beautifully bastardises ‘60s surf melodies before launching back in to the unflinching ‘FBR’. ‘Cock Rock’ is a modern day ‘King Rocker’ whilst ‘One Shot’’s acoustic introduction and half-time rhythms caught me off guard before launching into a solid, neatly-worked album closer that left me wanting more!
Bite size releases, perfectly penned with production that’s snappy, in no way convoluted and captures the essence of the act. Full marks from me!