Names EP might be short in runtime but it packs a great punch. The latest offering from The Tubs is composed of four solid jangle pop songs that are fun and instantly memorable. The band was formed in 2019 by former members of Welsh group Joanna Gruesome Owen Williams and George Nicholls. With the later addition of Steve Stronholdt, Max Warren and Matthew Green. This new project takes the foundations of the former outfit while adding elements of post-punk, British pop and lots of guitar jangle. Their formerly fuzzed out style takes a step back for a more pop experience, although not without a tinge of darkness tucked beneath the edges.
Which is exactly what the opening track is. “Illusion” is supremely catchy, with bouncy acoustic riffs and lush melodies. Yet it’s a song about someone struggling with their self-image and working through their feelings towards the illusion in the mirror. “The Name Song” follows with a relentless jangle that could pass as Brit-punk on acoustic guitars. In it, Williams enumerates several old-sounding names before repeatedly singing: “I don’t care about anyone” on the chorus. It’s wistful but ultimately catchy. A duality that’s a common theme of the EP and keeps it interesting.
“Two Person Love” is even more complex, with a great bass line and slinky counterpoint riffs that seem to be at odds with each other. This reflects the narrator of the song who is trying to advise a friend that is trapped in a delusional love affair. Closing track “Crystal Ball” is more smooth and subdued, but is no less of a pop gem than the rest. Williams alternates between a spoken-word style in the verses while wistfully soaring on the chorus. The guitars are sublime and wrapped with a velvety shimmer, and the overall feeling is nostalgic, like R.E.M’s best songs.
Check The Tubs below. If it proves too short just stay tuned, as the band is currently churning out new material with their debut album in the works.