Keel Her - Keel Her

What is it about Keel Her’s debut? Well, maybe it’s the way that things are just never what they seem. (Critical Heights)

Waahooo! You know when you get completely immersed in one record and just cannot stop bloody playing it, even when you know you’re going to wreck everyone’s head (including your own) at some point? This is such a record. Ach I don’t care, I’m going to keep playing it. It even impressed a bunch of hoary old rockers at a real ale microbrewery day out in a backwoods part of Holland recently. Now THOSE boys don’t get past The Wall or Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. But they dug this.

What is it about Keel Her’s debut? Well, maybe it’s the way that things are just never what they seem. The record has the wit and invention to constantly reappraise itself, even when half way through sorting out a decent enough noise; and there’s some weird sensibility at work that prevents a track like Go, or Pussywhipped from ever being settled, or totally pleasing. The guitars on the Go or Riot Grrrl for instance, are just the wrong kind of guitar, reedy, Swell Mapsy, messy, out of kilter, but still operating as perfect pop. Pussywhipped is a gem; a terrible, but brilliant mix of groovy pop song, faux-vague vox and sugar coated La Düsseldorf synth stabs. Klaus Dinger would love this just for its sheer unadulterated sloppiness. There’s loads of fun to be had elsewhere;  Total Control sounds like The Long Blondes turned upside down (as in literally upside down), so their pointy shoes stick up in the air like TV aerials. But standout track is the brilliant (I Hate It) When You Look At Me, which is at turns sludgy, beautiful, cussed and determined to nail you with its tremendously catchy middle eight and daft ravey ending. Possibly the best lofi Pixies rip off around. The slowies here are fab throughout in fact; In My Head is a brilliant track too, splashing about in feedback like some daft dog in the sea. And Overtime is a great moody instrumental; (one that is then followed by a nail-scraping racket in Wanna Fuck. Just so you don’t get too woozy).

Like one of those Saki stories when the mundane and complacent get dragged through some terrible psychic wormhole, the listener has to be careful not to think they know it all, or be too dismissive. Remember this particular incarnation of Sredni Vashtar is down at the bottom of the garden waiting to bite.