ep review ~ 'for the cult fat guy' ~ junk drawer

Junk Drawer ~ 'For The Cult Fat Guy'
For fans of: Froth, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine

Why does a band like Junk Drawer make you smile? It's an odd question, and perhaps one without a definitive answer.

Their last official release prior to the single 'Song 3' (which opens '...Cult Fat Guy') was 'Their Self-Loathing Debut (Mostly)', a two track glimpse into their fuzzy and infatuating world. For all the cool of that Jonny Woods produced release, the undercurrent of sadness hinted at by the name offered a recognisable warmth that stays with you through each track. For all their American influence, that prelude to self-destruction feels distinctly Northern Irish, perhaps the only instance you'll see any hint of Belfast here. It's a sound not yet done before on these shores, so for this sophomore release Junk Drawer carried a lot of weight on their slouched shoulders.

'Song 3's explosive intro and sepia toned camcorder-cool is a great introduction. Swirling guitars and that suffocated vocal from Stevie Lennox, borderline My Bloody Valentine. 'Do You Ever Think About Existence Adrian' is a bass driven head-banger, moody and volatile, it's a track that doesn't so much as explode, but gradually erupt. Be it a conversation about the end of the world, or simply a running narrative, the apocalyptic terror felt in 'Do You Ever Think About Existence Adrian' is more welcome than most of the eternal dread I've felt in my life so far.

Junk Drawer's cataclysmic disco continues with 'Black Cat', another menacing song littered with feedback and angst. The guitar work here is unquestionable, as bassist/guitarist Brian Coney (possibly, it could literally be any of them) is given full reign to build towards a chorus which leaves you waiting for just long enough. The fear of the future that has percolated much of their work so far remains too, with the refrain;

"You're going nowhere fast"

Then we have the phenomenal 'Quandary', a nostalgia filled shoegaze song with a chorus picked straight out of a 'best of the 90's' compilation made by, well, a cult fat guy. Beautifully mixed by Caolan Austin, 'Quandary's melancholic melody and gentle swing is no less impactful for it's lighter verses when compared to the rest of the EP. In fact, it makes for a clever balance, bringing Jake Lennox's delicate, impassioned vocals to the fore. Once more Junk Drawer's ear for a haunting outro lifts this song and indeed the entire EP to the conclusion it deserves. Faking a fade out, before bouncing straight back in for what may well prove to be another new song in the future. Or not. This band will always keep you guessing these things.

So to bring it back to the opening line of this article. They just do. So there.

Taylor Johnson
'For The Cult Fat Guy' is being launched tonight in Voodoo, Belfast.

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