Experimental DIY art-rockers SPQR release new EP ‘No Brain, No Pain’ via their own label Nuthin Gud Records on 30 April. The Liverpool four-piece’s third EP follows shows with HMLTD, METZ and Demob Happy and appearances at BBC 6Music Fringe Festival, Sound City and Bluedot. Frontman Peter Harrison says the four songs on this EP are ‘like an amalgamation of everyone in the band’s tastes’.
‘Nuthin Gud lives here’ are the first words spoken on the David Byrne-esque opening song ‘Nuthin Gud’ before the song veers into even darker territory: ‘Feel like a man in his death mask begging for more’. As the song balances jaunty indie pop hooks with something more experimental, the poetic lyrics continue to focus on the bleak: ‘I’ll pick the scab and it makes it worse. I don’t pick the scab and it makes it worse’. Peter finishes the song by admitting ‘I’m happy being anyone else but me’ amidst swirling synths before the scattergun punk of ‘Just Sumfin’ takes hold. With its stop-start riffs and declarations of ‘fuck the world from my bedroom’, this song reminded us of Marmaduke Duke but paired with the crisp melodies of The Orielles.
The title track has Peter’s vocals towering over a faltering and mathy guitar sound as he urges a loved one to ‘give it a try’ amidst pained expressions of heartbreak: ‘Do you recognise me now?’; ‘How come you’re never here?’ The closing ‘Summer Ends’ slows things down with its gently galloping sound and alluring bass line that finds Peter looking back on his past actions and obsessing over how your head can start spinning from regrets if you put so much energy trying to manufacture that ‘perfect moment’: ‘You love summer but all the seasons are the same. Here it only rains’.
‘No Brain, No Pain’ is an all-encompassing listen that further marks out SPQR as one of our brightest new bands.