The music Hall of Fame is piled high with the debris created by shambolic two-bit punk bands who dared to stick up their fingers to the musos and the pretty boys, plug in their amps and create cacophony from chaos.
Edinburgh’s own The Nature Boys are the latest to add their trashed-out tunes to the top of the heap with their Pretty EP.
Due mostly to frontman Cammy’s masterfully mad mayhem on (and off) stage, the Boys are fast becoming an unmissable live act on the circuit. Does Pretty prove they’re as vital and exciting on record as they are live?First track Valhalla is a thundering punked-up storm of an opening, with a raw lo-fi attitude and lyrics about ‘not being to be blame’.
Cammy joins a long line of luminaries who prove attitude is more important than a great singing voice as the guitars and drums create a satisfyingly meaty rhythm behind his drawling vocals. Blameless and shameless, it nicks Thor’s hammer off him, whacks him in the nuts with it, then runs off laughing.
You’re So Pretty shoulders its way into the post-punk party with a choppy and angular ditty about rude stuff and a tune which throws itself down the stairs, dusts itself off, then goes back up to do it all over again.
Upside Down Sinner is the highlight of the EP. Like Pavement doing the Monster Mash, its repeating bassline and stop-start guitars provide a spacey backdrop for Cammy’s semi-spoken vocals, with some literate lyrics creating a memorable impact.
And when Cammy leads into the chorus with “and here we come“, all high-explosive hell breaks loose before the verses smoulder along again after the blast.
Age Is A Number is the punkiest of the four tracks on offer here, a collision of Sham 69 rabble rousing and Pistols snot-nosed sneering. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and this disposable chunk of cheek will have you pogoing around your bedroom til you fall down.
So yes, listening to the Nature Boys in the privacy of your own home is certainly a different experience from seeing them live. You’ll get all of the sometimes surprisingly well-crafted tunes and a healthy portion of their ‘kiss this’ attitude, but you won’t get the delights of a sweat-drenched and bare-chested Cammy rushing up to you and yelling in your face.
We leave it to you to decide whether or not that’s a good thing…