This self-titled album by London’s Upset Stomach hit Bandcamp in August.
Somehow it passed us by but, fortunately, the listing of a gig being put on by the excellent Nun Habit (who really do have exceptional taste), on 15th December, brought this release to our attention.
Upset Stomach veer between dream pop, brattish indie pop, punk and… just… plain weirdness.
This culminates in a heady listening experience. Subtle and brash in equal measures.
They share some sensibilities with other London band Flirting, particularly the voice of the main vocalist (sorry, we do not know any names here) which is uncannily similar to Poppy Waring’s. However, Upset Stomach add effects to their vocals in a range of different ways; huge swathes of reverb, delay, pitch-shift and even autotune done tastefully! Who’d have thought that was possible?
The opening track (seance) gives clues as to some avant garde leanings but gives no indication of the band’s pop sensibilities, which are on show on the following track Lost Love.
The range of styles and sounds packed into a single song suggest a band who cannot sit still for long. They are brimming with ideas and enthusiasm.
Not Yet is a perfect example of all of this – there are collective vocal yelps that instantly recall indie pop heroes Bearsuit and Los Campesinos, strange pitch shifted guitars and delayed vocals a la Palm, Animal Collective or Halo Halo (as well as the aforementioned use of autotune).
Upset Stomach are just as adept in more straightforward indie pop. Lonely 4 U being the case in point, although it still manages to be weird in the wonderfully ramshackle delivery of the multiple vocal parts and high frequency synth sounds and chaotic mess at the end!
Although this is weird pop, it is remarkably instant, catchy and very enjoyable. Mary & Shelley is a Sarah Records band playing Ariel Pink. Or something like that…
… whatever, this album is well worth a listen!
You may enjoy this if you like: Palm, Bearsuit, Ariel Pink.