This is a review of "Ingrained" recorded by Pop Threat. The review was written by Dave Sugden in 2001.
It's about time Pop Threat released another single, something I've been waiting for quite a while. This time the band, following a recent line up shuffle, has released a limited 7" single on Squirrel Records.
A lot of the press surrounding the band compares their sound to bands such as Sonic Youth, and I've often wondered why. Yes, they do produce moments of intense guitar feedback, but they're also so beautifully melodic. An image I've tried to highlight before has been with Darling Buds, but with a more noticeable edge and roughness to the guitars - say, early Delgados? I think this single is another perfect example of this comparison.
So, to the single... well, after a few plays I'm still wondering whether the sleeve is mixed up.
"Ingrained", the title track, just trundles along; it's sort of poppy, it has flashes of the sonic noise-creator image associated with the band, but it just doesn't really go anywhere. And then it stops.
"Ripen" on the other hand is a true pop song. A happy bouncy affair with a well-defined chorus and better lyrics. The structure is more apparent. The guitar feedback still appears at times. Generally this is a lot better that the first song.
Perhaps they are the wrong way round; or perhaps the band are trying to show that whilst they are trying to be more melodic and poppy (accompanying press notes suggest this) they don't want to be obvious about it. Stick a middle-ground song on the A-side and test the waters on the B-side. I don't know; what I do know is that 7" singles are a hassle to keep changing sides, so I think I'll stick with what I've got on side B.