Indoor Pets – ‘Be Content’ album review

Indoor Pets Be Content Wichita 2019 album Jamie Glass

Indoor Pets have been one of our favourite bands since the release of their first EPs (under previous name Get Inuit) on Alcopop! Records. We’ve seen them live in venues ranging from the Boileroom and Westy to main stages at major festivals and it feels like their debut LP ‘Be Content’ has been a long time coming – and now it’s finally here (via Wichita).

The slackerpop anthem ‘Hi’ opens the album with Jamie Glass singing about how he’ll never get off that high horse and how he’s never been that high. It quickly becomes apparent that this word play will become one of the album’s defining characteristics. ‘Thick’ is full of fuzzy guitars and recalls the best of Britpop (Blur, early Supergrass) with its call-and-response vocals and detuned guitars. ‘Spill (My Guts)’ opens with ‘ohhs’ and ‘ahhs’ that will be perfectly hummed in a live setting and has a real groove in its bass line. Anyone who’s seen Jamie’s Twitter feed will also appreciate the lyrics on offer here: ‘I’ll spill my guts to show what I’m made of’; ‘It’s getting late and I’m nearly famous’; ‘If I’m the bull in the china shop, you’re the one that let me in’.

‘Pro Procrastinator’ has always been one of the highlights of an Indoor Pets show with its communal chant of ‘I’m wasting my life’ (who really knows what the hell they’re meant to be doing as a ‘grown-up’?) and the new recording/production here gives it extra impetus. Following this is the Dinosaur Pile-up meets Basement sound of ‘Couch’, a song that opens with the lines ‘Let’s dedicate our days to sleep. All of the cares we share can keep. Ignore the wrinkles and count the sheep’ before veering into darker territory regarding pills, nosebleeds and abuse. Things are slowed down on ‘Heavy Thoughts’ as Jamie offers comparisons between sleeping and ‘borderline being alone’ and ponders how ‘we talk and we task, there’s misery in those quotes’. The slow-burning ‘The Mapping of Dandruff’ opens with big drums and gliding, swaying Mew-style guitars as Jamie examines the love life of a friend: ‘I start a line but only God knows where like the mapping of dandruff on bleach blonde hair’. It finishes with impassioned repeats of ‘I’m so human it hurts’.

Short, sharp and spiky recent single ‘Being Strange’ celebrates being an outsider with lines including ‘Where are all the other freaks living now?’ and ‘I love being strange, it’s an easy fit for me’. Following this is a duo of power-pop bangers – ‘Mean Heart’ is brash and melodic as Jamie admits ‘I have a mean heart and it’s ready to stop’ and the synth-laden ‘Good Enough’ fits alongside bands like The Xcerts and The 1975 with its samba beat and honest lyrics: ‘When there’s no merit in myself, what’s good enough?’

‘Barbiturates’ sounds bigger than ever with its added electronic glitches and old favourite ‘Cutie Pie, I’m Bloated’ is also given a new lease of life with its penultimate placing and added psychedelic breakdown before capturing the spirit of early Ben Kweller: ‘Have I shown you my dirty toenail? Do you think it’s safe from infection?’; ‘I want to be your stick in the mud’. A burst of feedback opens the closing ‘My Amnesiac’ as Jamie contemplates how ‘if kind words are frozen, you can thaw them and solitude is chosen, it can be undone’ before dirty riffs and a clattering rhythm section join the fray. These words are then repeated in more melodic fashion as the records finishes in a mix of space-rock sounds.

With its mix of old and new favourites, you’re sure to be more than content as you play this indie-pop album over and over again.

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