The Tubs - Dead Meat (Trouble In Mind)

The Tubs – Dead Meat (Trouble In Mind)

Do we REALLY need a band who sound like Richard Thompson fronting R.E.M. that seemingly take their musical cues from The Psychedelic Furs?

Hell yes. I mean, who WOULDN’T want that? It’s a marriage made in Heaven. Or in London via Cardiff, at least, as The Tubs are made up of the capital based former Joanna Gruesome members Owen Williams (guitar and vocals), George Nicholls (guitar) and Max ‘Wozza’ Warren (bass), who have joined forces with Matthew Green on drums.

Dead Meat is, happily, one of those records where everything just fits together perfectly. One that still seems fresh no matter how many times you play it. The great thing is that, although I zoned in on three particular artists on the opening paragraph here, there is so much more to The Tubs than just that. Often, in its giddiest moments, Dead Meat pays a debt of gratitude to Bob Mould, specifically Sugar circa 1992’s classic Copper Blue.

Much has been made of the guitar playing similarity to Johnny Marr‘s, but while I can acknowledge that the influence shines through on the odd track here and there, perhaps most notably on the jangly ‘Two Person Love‘ and the utterly mesmerising title track but in all honesty, I hear more of a late seventies, early eighties kind of vibe, certainly on ‘Sniveller‘ which nods a knowing glance towards Television‘s Marquee Moon album, or there’s more than a hint of Howard Devoto’s Magazine in there too.

It’s when the male and female vocals come together though, on ‘Duped‘, that Dead Meat is at its most arresting. Having said that, it’s a delightfully pretty record throughout and it takes me back to those teenage years where I would shut myself in my room, turn off the lights and lie on the bed, nothing but the dim glow of my mum’s old turntable to keep me company, along, of course, with the dulcet tones of whatever hidden gems John Peel had recently unearthed. It was a deeply calming experience and I get that same feeling from The Tubs’ debut album.

Yes, I love Dead Meat. And speaking as a vegan of many years standing, that’s something I most certainly did NOT envisage myself ever saying. But credit where It’s due – this is a deeply, deeply intoxicating record that is pure bliss from start to finish. Honestly, I feel like I want to cuddle it, and take it with me everywhere I go, like a comfort blanket. It’s only February and I already have no doubt that this will be one of my top ten long players of the year. And it only improves more with every listen. Just brilliant.

Dead Meat is out now on Trouble In Mind.


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.