The ’Gurge’s Dirty Pop Fantasy isn’t simply a label – it’s their bony fists banging like a gavel, demanding your ear. The nature of their fantasy is irrepressible.

About fifteen years ago, satirical news source The Onion warned we may be running out of past to recycle. With artists like Lana Del Rey and Mumford & Sons in the mainstream today, The Onion was right. What’s offered is oh-so-serious rehash, seemingly forgoing fun when exalting kitsch.

Regurgitator didn’t forget. This record is Ben Ely and Quan Yeomans’ wild laboratory of pop music that almost was, unconstrained by coked-up label execs or A&R fluffers.

What if Kraftwerk and Billy Idol made cyber love on a chaise lounge? The result is ‘Made To Break’. Ever wanted to combine Weezery indie and sensual Britpop to sell out the Manchester Hacienda? Go for your life on ‘Mountains’. If Def Leppard suffered a psychotic breakdown and locked themselves in a room to cry like The Replacements,you’d feel ‘Home Alone Stoned’. ‘Bongzilla’ packs freewheeling stoner jams and piledriving riffs into four minutes or less. ‘Can’t Stop’fulfils dreams of prancing in an All-American boy band, all fat R&B-tinged electro hooks and shoehorned-in hip hop breakdown. A squirrely ‘Fucking Up’fuzzes up foot-stomping garage rock, reimagining the early 2000s revival of tousled-hair cool. They run the distortion at Marshall stack strength, before flicking it off to hold you close and whisper.

Dirty Pop Fantasy soaks up forty years of pop from Austin to Zurich, wringing out familiar tunes strained of cliché. They’re winking at you going, “Your kiss like a Caramel Twix / Sweeter than a Kinder Surprise”.

4/5 stars


Dirt Pop Fantasy is out now throughValve Records/MGM.

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