Live at Carpe Diem on Thursday, 2nd October 2003
A pair of beseated little smurfs and a big slutty rock vamp alight the stage in a cloud of barbershop-style harmonies. They are The Research - the term "quirky" is a vast understatement. Armed with a decrepit 1980s Casio keyboard, space cadet Russell leads his female rhythm section through a computer game soundscape of extremely astute lyrical observations and shoddy disco flailings. The Research could come undone at any time, so you can't help but lean into them. At first amusing, The Research unfold to become discreetly beautiful. They also have under their belts one of the best songs of all time, a wrestling commentary of a break-up called "Love Me Tender". They are genius. All hail.
Pensioner are the self-professed "greatest punk rock band in the land". I beg to differ. Pensioner is the unfortunate bi-product of talented musicians getting together only to create a vessel to display their talents. A wank-vessel. A toss-ship. Pensioner is simply a big on-stage masturbatory display of slap bass and super guitar noodlings. The piss-poor-Primus-imitation songs are dire, and cringingly unfunny. There is no merit in poor funk rock. There is no merit in constant wanky solos. There is no merit in naming the members of your band three thousand times in a set. But then, with real lyrics like "have you ever been molested by your pet cat" perhaps this was for the better. Enough to make you feel sick, thank god more bands don't sound like Pensioner. And for the record, they're not punk. Idiots.