The Parker brothers’ (The Superman Revenge Squad/Nosferatu 2) Tempertwig project was a band from 1999-2004 and this new release from our friends over at Audio Antihero Records collates together some of their finest material from those heady years.
With the band’s sound lovingly described by their own label as ‘wordy racket’, the record is packed with wry observations and has a DIY aesthetic running throughout. ‘Bratpack Film Philosophy’ opens with Life Without Buildings-style guitars and namedrops of Diana Ross and The Supremes. As the band talk about wasted summers, you can see why the Parker brothers have a cult following and can imagine this is the kind of song that Gareth from Los Campesinos would fawn over. ‘Falling Apart’ has a punk-rock sound and driving bass line akin to The Only Ones while the Arab Strap-esque ‘Supersad’ is full of self-depreciating words: ‘Oh my god, you’re a mess. Jesus Christ, you’re a mess and to think you used to tell yourself you can do anything, you can be anything’.
‘Comfort Blanket’ is altogether more heartfelt and acts as a love letter to someone with pondering words like: ‘You can snore, you can go to bed and try to bore the pants off me if you want’ while ‘Kitchen Stereo’ has a quirky DIY stop-start sound and darker lyrics regarding suicide and musings on how ‘this means nothing to me’. The serene and atmospheric intro to ‘Everything Can Be Derailed’ opens with reassuring words about leaving sleeping pills at home before a U-turn – amidst My Vitriol-style riffs – finds Parker and his significant other sharing them. ‘Apricot’ is an account of a painful conversation that contains the title of this compilation: ‘Fake nostalgia makes me feel like getting out of this town’ and has repeats of the phrase ‘I tried’ over frantic drumming.
‘This Means Everything, This Don’t Mean a Thing’ offers a subtle mixture of melody and aggression with its twinkling guitars and military drumming. It has apologies for incorrect grammar and so much more including the fact ‘I’m not Bono, this isn’t U2’. The final song on the record, ‘Heartfelt Letter to an Ex-Friend’ is written to someone who never understands what is going on and has been put together in intricate detail. Again, it references ‘a sad song, Bon Jovi or anyone’ and poignant revelations: ‘pretending it’s OK that I miss you’.
This is an anthology of wldly different but distinctly DIY songs that hit an emotional spot with typical Parker brothers humour.