The band’s very name itself suggests imposter syndrome: Pseudo Pseudo. However, after a satisfying introductory listen their 4 song Ep, Four Slot Toaster, is clearly the real McCoy. The partnership of Lol and Rich Payne from Stourbridge can allow themselves a warm feeling of contentment; much like a salivating bite of hotly buttered toast their EP is an enjoyable slice of artisan DIY music.
The opener Warm Front allows for 2.5 minutes of reminiscing. The jangly guitar intro lulls and captures the listener’s mood; the guitar sound is reminiscent of 90s Brit pop: think Elastica, Sleeper et al. The composed vocals giving a nod of appreciation to Echobelly’s Sonya with a smidgen of reserved Blondie.
You are forced to compare the driven guitar simplicity of The Thing is to later Manics. The stand out elements of the song for me, however, is the self-aware lyrics. Lyrics that probe modern human mores by focusing on commonplace behaviour: “I got too much nose on my face and need to cut it off to spite it…” Indeed, keyboard warriors take note…these are lyrics worth studying.
The Slow Decline is a confessional musical essay reflecting on growing old. The very male vocal delivery is both underplayed and controlled; allowing for the understanding that we are all connected to this song. How many of YOU reading this under the age of 30 believe you have beaten the aging process – you haven’t. Let me highlight a universal truth from the song: “It comes to us all, the slow decline.” I thought nothing, absolutely nothing could dent my Mum’s indomitable spirit, sadly, the inevitable aging process has caught up. Pseudo Pseudo has given a voice to this harsh reality with a subtle elegance. Demonstrably, the duo is at Paynes to serve up a lot more than mere bread crumbs…
Taking inspiration from the book Man Watching, by Desmond Morris, the closing track explores how actions transmit gestures that offer messages alongside the spoken word. The spoken word delivery is like a lecture set to a bass run and drum machine. A track that hints at the duo’s academic interests and compounds the intelligence contained within these very differing four tracks.
Metaphorically, the EP is a musical Deli offering sliced white Brit pop as well as seeded wholegrain spoken word experiments and you dare cut off the crust – well worth an extended listen.
The EP, Four Slot Toaster, is available on Bandcamp with all money generously being donated to Independent Music Week.
By: The Swilgate Scuttler