Delphine (guitar), Ishani (guitar/vocals), Ripley (bass/vocals) and Jordan (drums) formed Breakup Haircut at DIY Space for London’s excellent First Timers Fest; a series of workshops aimed at bringing new musicians together and increasing diversity in the DIY music scene which culminates in an all-day music festival at which every band is making their debut. The event has given more than eighty bands their first taste of live performance and alumni include the likes of Big Joanie, Charmpit, Primetime and Panic Pocket. What Did You Expect? I Got It Off the Internet! is their first release, put out via Manchester indie-punk imprint Hell Hath No Fury Records, whose compilations have featured Joyzine favourites Wolfgirl, Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something and Fightmilk.
Impeccable DIY punk credentials then, and thankfully Breakup Haircut have the songs to back them up. These five tracks bound past in just over 12 minutes, propelled by a slacker pop charm epitomised by opener ‘I (Don’t) Wanna Do Things’, a treatise on the ever increasing time demands of being seen to live your best life which rides the wave of a sprightly bassline and some delightfully fuzzy guitars.
Elsewhere, the tongue in cheek ‘Why Can’t I Be Cool Enough To Move To Berlin?’ is a ramshackle charmer that immediately transports me to the days when I would wander between the local record shops with a bag festooned with button badges proclaiming the names of my current favourites and dive into the new releases box in search of hidden treasure. It’s also as catchy as hell and has been living inside my brain for the past two weeks without yet outstaying its welcome.
The EP is completed by the bassy rumble of ‘Kim Pine’, perhaps the angstiest track on offer here, ghost-busting stomper ‘Mystery Inc’ and a surfy romp in ‘Mum, I Wanna Be a Greaser’ that brings to mind the retro girl gang pop treats of Kenickie’s ‘Drag Race’.
Make no mistake, this EP is far from perfect – it sounds like it was recorded in a broom cupboard, some of the vocal harmonies would have drawn a scowl from your secondary school music teacher and it sticks pretty rigidly to standard songwriting structures, but Breakup Haircut have the spirit and guile to turn these into positives and have created an EP that honours the traditions of the lo-fi DIY music scene, going back though riot grrrl, college rock and C86, but bringing it bang up to date in their choice of subject matter. It makes the idea of being in a band sound like the most fun you could possibly be having, and that sense of joy and freedom transmits to the listener (which reminds me, I really should pick up the bass that’s been gathering dust in the corner of my room – when is the next First Timers Fest due?).
Watch Breakup Haircut live at the following venues:
2nd October: Spooky Kid Presents at Fiddler’s Elbow, Camden w/ Girls Like Us
4th October: For the Sake of Tapes at DIY Space for London, Bermondsey w/ Charmpit, Talulah Paisley & Panic Pocket
11th October: Get In Her Ears at The Finsbury, Finsbury Park w/ Genn
25th October: Weenfest at DIY Space for London w/ th’sheridans, Bitch Hunt, Tuffragettes, Spring.Fall.Sea + Androidgynous
Review by Paul Maps