We’ve all had our fair share of bad experiences with estate agents. Once I remember walking into one and asking to be added to their lettings mailing list. The embryo behind the desk replied “Lettings?” as if she’d heard a new word she didn’t understand the meaning of. “Yes lettings” I replied “Can I be added to the mailing list?” She blinked “Lettings?” then ensued a five minute back and forth of us just saying “Lettings” to each other. The fact that the word was emblazoned in neon letters outside the shop seemed lost on her. If you’ve ever had an experience like this, DIY punks The Estate Agents have the release for you.
The album opens with a peel of feedback before ‘I’m My Own Boss’ kicks in. The first thing you notice is how raw, and rough around the edges, everything sounds. The guitars sound tinny and sinuous, but they are played at a frenetic pace so you don’t really have any time to notice as the song is over after 55 seconds. Before you’ve had time to comprehend this opening salvo the next song, ‘The Gym’, kicks in and we’re off on another scatter shot adventure. ‘Estate Agents’ is the standout track of the album. It features a sample of James Ryan, an estate agent from Golders Green, giving his Top 10 tips on how to sell your house. Before he can start espousing his knowledge the back kick in and totally obliterate his nonsense. What this tells us is that first James Ryan is an idiot. Second The Estate Agents hate James Ryan and thirdly punk is good way to drone out mansplaining bollocks.
‘Landlords’ is everything that punk, and DIY, should be in 2019. It’s short, sharp, to the point and sounds slightly muddy. The real charm of ‘Landlords’ is that it sounds like at any moment the songs could fall over under their own speed, and glee. Luckily this never quite happens as The Estate Agents have enough guile and conviction to stop this from happening. Even after listening to the album a LOT it’s still hard to work out what they’re banging on about. But whatever it is, they definitely don’t like estate agents. Musically ‘Landlords’ is a repeated slap to the senses that is as rewarding as it is visceral.
The self released Landlords is out now.