The Cool Greenhouse - Sod's Toastie (Melodic)

The Cool Greenhouse – Sod’s Toastie (Melodic)

I like albums that make me go “What the fuck?

The Cool Greenhouse are a band who fit neatly into that category, and while you could argue that they are merely another act who speak over music, as befits a whole glut of other current groups, I would have to take issue with you and say that they are very, very different to all of them. First of all, there’s far more of a DIY ethic going on here, and secondly, there’s a kind of innocent charm in Tom Greenhouse’s lyrics, even though some of the subject matter is absolutely NOT innocent. And I kind of love that whole self-deprecating English humour that is on Sod’s Toastie in abundance.

Not everything is spoken, however. A rare moment to catch Tom’s vocal tones is on the wonderful ‘I Lost My Head”, a lo-fi future classic, surely? The premise of this song is of a person LITERALLY losing their head and subsequently lamenting the things he is unable to do without it – in this surrealist world, those things deemed important enough to regret the absence of, are addressed by the lyrics “can’t read no comic books” and “can’t give no dirty looks.” This bizarro piece is further exacerbated by the fact that he tries to go to the ‘head shop‘ to find a replacement head, but they tell him to get lost. It’s very Jonathan Richman in spirit (see ‘Abominable Snowman In The Market‘).

With it being the only vocally melodic track on the album, it’s also the most commercial, but then elsewhere, the likes of ‘Get Unjaded’, with its driving force and the repetitive appeal of its title as the main refrain, means that other tunes here are undeniably saleable too. “Guitar solo!” says Tom, on this track, before a keyboard solo comes in with barely a guitar in sight.

The premise of this album, according to the highly entertaining sleeve notes, is that all the songs here were written by an alien band called The Neoprene Ravine and transmitted to Earth for The Cool Greenhouse to use. Well if that’s true, then these aliens are a filthy minded bunch! Take ‘Get Deluded‘ (not to be confused with the number I mentioned a few moments ago), which begins “It’s no wonder people don’t like to talk about their masturbatory experiences…unless you force them into a corner over dinner…albeit I really wouldn’t recommend this.” That probably made me laugh the most of all during my first listen but there are so many lyrical gems here that even now, many plays later, I’m still finding moments that tickle my funny bone. Yet, oddly, it’s not something I would regard as a ‘comedy’ album. Lots of black humour, sure, but its soul is post-punk through and through and we should all be grateful for that.

Sod’s Toastie is right up there with the great albums of 2022. It demands your attention. Now.

Sod’s Toastie is released on 11th November through Melodic.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.