Thursday, 21 August 2008

Album Review: Thomas Tantrum (self-titled) released 25/8/08

From the bottomless couldron of rehashed hotch-potch indie-pop, another globule of reinvented same-old emerges. Thomas Tantrum is the watered down remains of the recently deceased Be Your Own Pet, without any of the venomous attitude: where Jemina Pearl growled, Megan Thomas whines. Literally. On ‘Shake It! Shake It!’ Thomas’s lyrically cyclical refrain, “I wanna talk, I wanna talk though, I wanna talk though,” is ingeniously fringed with the words, “I just wanna be good at it, but I can’t do it.” Sadly this is only track four and Thomas keeps attempting ‘it’ for another seven tracks.

Having released singles on deaf ears for a good few years now, Thomas Tantrum unveil this self-titled debut LP off the back of support from new fan, Lily Allen. The pink-haired tabloid darling recently ‘discovered’ the Southampton four piece and posted some kind words on their myspace, declaring them one of her ‘top friends’, and immediately multiplying their hits by at least a million, probably. Ironically, Lily Allen’s support is perhaps the best advertisement that this band could ask for. Penultimate album track, ‘Blasé’, pretty much is a Lily Allen song. Thomas Tantrum deliver parma violet pop of the this-could-be-interesting variety, which by the second listen reveals itself to be a steady stream of homogenous purply saccharine.

Underpinning all the humdrum jingly guitar-pop is the sense that Thomas Tantrum could well be a thoroughly entertaining live act. There is comic-strip drama in the component parts of several tracks, with more percussive add-ons than you could shake a stick at. It’s as though Thomas et al have instructed an overenthusiastic class of seven year olds to ensure every bang-crash is as overdone as possible. Coupled with that, Megan Thomas is fit. At least she might be; it’s hard to tell beneath all that peroxide and lipstick.

‘Pshandy’ is an obvious high point, with well-defined riffs and structural variation that showcases the better side of this debut. It’s all in the name for Thomas Tantrum, however, whose noisy brand of indie-whine is only as interesting as a four year old having a hissy fit, and for about as long.

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