We’ve been excitedly waiting for this EP for the last year. Molejoy are a No-Wave Punk three piece from London. All taking on vocal duties at various points, with spiky guitar parts (Giles Bunch), great bass lines (Sophie Chapman) and fairly minimalist drums (Kerri Jefferis), they have a lot in common with the likes of Numbers and Erase Errata. In their more freeform moments there are also hints of the Magic Band. The name suits the band perfectly.
Anyone who has seen Molejoy live would agree they are extremely entertaining.
It’s rare to see a band that look like they are having such a great time. Mistakes are laughed off, all three members frequently beaming from ear to ear. They mix a serious social message into their often-disjointed minimalist fun but carry it off with a sense of humour. Their sense of fun is also perfectly translated across to their recorded output on I Hate It But It’s Free.
Opener 9 to 5 is a cover of Dolly Parton’s classic, but not as anyone will have heard it before. It is a three minute onslaught of raucous guitars, frantic vocals from Bunch and disco not disco drums. It all collapses for the last minute, becoming slow and disparate.Oooo grooves really nicely, with a fantastic matching guitar and bass hook. It’s super catchy and lyrically bizarre – seemingly revelling in the monotony of day to day life. The chorus, as it were, being as the title suggests.
Microwave is perhaps where Molejoy most sound like the aforementioned Numbers – the super minimalist bass line, sparse revolving guitar line and minimalist, almost marching, drums. The effect, which we’re sure is deliberate, is very much like turning on the microwave, stopping it, checking to see if the food is ready, turning it on again and repeating the process. The difference is, this is actually fun. At times it feels like it is all about to fall apart. Seemingly instructing someone on how to prepare a microwave meal, the lyrics also serving as a metaphor for a personal relationship.
One of the great things about this EP is the sheer number of ideas the band crams into it.
The rhythms are simple but the structures are so playful. MAMMA is a brilliant example of this. All built around Chapman’s repeated vocal line “mamma sexy mamma cool girl”. There is something akin to The Rapture’s early work – the guitar playing drawn out (but also somehow spiky) chord strums, the bass rumbling along with it, the drums also sparse. Once the vocals chime in the guitar and bass stop and Chapman and Bunch begin double-time clapping. At the same time Jefferis moves from the toms to the snare which really shifts the rhythm fantastically.
Radicalise is probably the highlight of the set, all three members joining in on the chorus with a line each. There is almost a Sonic Youth quality (think of some of the early Kim Gordon numbers) to this song; the lyrics are cutting and, at times, hilarious. The concept being wanting to take away a middle-class centrist’s children and, well… radicalise them. The guitars are wonderfully scratchy, angular and messy, yet well-formed. The melodic bassline complements this shifting between semi-tones, the drums simple but perfect. A punk anthem.
Closing track Body is a pounding, almost tribal, shout-a-thon.
What is interesting about this track (and this could also be said for Microwave and MAMMA) is that the idea is the song. What I mean by this is there is no traditional structure. It doesn’t particularly build to anything, but it doesn’t need to. These songs are almost performance art pieces, vignettes. Recent live performances have seen the band piece things like this together into almost some kind of minimalist prog, so we look forward to hearing that on record! This is 15 minutes of great fun from start to finish and leaves us wanting more. So why not give it another spin?
You may enjoy this if you like: Erase Errata, Numbers, Captain Beefheart, Le Tigre