Plymouth's music scene is close to non-existent, but that hasn't stopped Gorgeous Bully from blooming. The man behind the moniker is Thomas Crang, and 'The Young Obese' is his fourth effort abaft of such a pseudonym. His first release on Art Is Hard records, these five tracks succeed three self-promoted EPs, and retain a certain lo-fi, grunge-pop charm! Shoegaze sensibilities meeting garage rock aggression meet a fervorously fun pop nous, and the amalgamation of sounds is executed well. My complaints are with the word charm. This EP doesn't really bring anything new to the table, but its that nostalgic and carefree attitude that stops my attention drifting. It doesn't drive me to captivation, but then doesn't repel any contemplation either. It is, in all its satisfying fuzz, quite unbelievably charming!
Opening with 'Never Cry', you can almost hear the seaside hidden in Crang's vocals. Phil Spector's wall of sound is built up around him, trapping you in a memory of summers past. A peppy guitar melody and beautifully dissonant drums back question after question, few answers emerging from ambiguous and child-like "Ba da dam"s. Its lack of a specific event means its easy to simply fall into and groove along with, and that's what makes it so great! 'Stamp' follows, an upbeat reminiscence offset by the refrain "I just want to tear it down". A sense of lost love prevails, a sad melody and toned down singing quietly despondent. The rocking nature of 'Who Do You Think You Are' jerks you back to life however, noise and a pounding drum beat supporting reverberated vocals that recall the Arctic Monkeys. There is a pop song in among the riffs, crushed into the mix with an abrasive hand yes, but there all the same. A Yuck influence and comparisons to both Bos Angeles and Art Is Hard label mates The Black Tambourines can be picked out from between its sheets, and ultimately, from the final two tracks as well.
The EP was released physically as a cassette in a handprinted cigarette-pack style case but it looks as though the small quantity has already sold out. While 'The Young Obese' is promising when it comes to full-length potential, its not for my repeated listen. Five tracks of charming lo-fi rock might be enough for some, but for me, the vague, hazy recollection made me squint, a little too much. Stream 'Never Cry' below, then explore the full EP here!