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Bilge Pump
We Love You The Quietus , March 6th, 2019 10:36

We Love You by Bilge Pump is out now on Gringo Records, an English Shellac who would rather chuckle than scream, finds Sam Saunders

Bilge Pump can be understood as a rueful English response to Steve Albini’s Shellac. Irony is ever-present, but fierce integrity remains. Even on this fifth album there is an uncompromising perfectionism that tests the three-piece format to destruction. Bass, drums, guitar, vocals – locked together through intricate patterns and complex sonority. As with Shellac, the sound and texture of every bar counts. The more closely you listen, the better it gets.

Bilge Pump work on the gulf that separates the dross of everyday life from the joys of a creative moment. But on this album, it seems to me that the global environment weighs more heavily in the scales of madness than local disappointments. Shoe gazing is way off limits. The planet is burning and drumming this good (Neil Turpin) has to be heard before we all die.

This urgency gives the album a drive and sense of purpose. 'The Passion of the Kid' builds like an angry four-year-old and swerves up and down the Leeds street like a confused Brexiteer having a tantrum of superb screamo guitar (Joe O'Sullivan). What’s unique about the (implicit) politics is that the listener is not helped to any decision. This is three-piece rock and roll. It’s a load of glorious noise in a small space and you’re going to have to work it out for yourself.

What separates Bilge Pump and Shellac is that Bilge Pump would rather chuckle than scream. There is fun, there is a blackbird singing and there are some lovely warm bass lines (Emlyn Jones). There is even a Brian May guitar moment (see if you spot it).