Do you have any idea what it’s like to hold the very first output of a new Australian label? Forget holding a newborn baby, this shit goes deeper, waaaaay deeper. No, caressing Teenage Values’ debut release in my pudgy, mishappen fingers is akin to hanging out with Jesus for me. With recent releases including cassettes from Wax Witches and Step Panther, and Wax Witches’ debut album on vinyl and CD, Teenage Values’ can only go upwards, a fantastic fucking start from the label.
Anyway, onto the release, or TV-001 (I have a small shiver down my spine every time I see those words). The tape in question is a limited edition from Sydney local garage fun-lovers Bloods. With a name like Bloods it would be easy to assume that it’s your weird cousin’s heavy metal band that want to be Slayer so badly but end up more like Michael Buble with scraming. But instead, Bloods pack more fun loving, irreverent garage pop into their 2 minute tracks than Ball Park Music on pixie dust, and way less annoying. No, Bloods are more straightforward than anything that comes to the dirtiest mind. All they want to do is bash their instruments, twirl their voices in childish glee, and hopefully impress you, which they will, because it’s fucking Bloods.
Side One is actually a treat to listen to, two original tracks, and two covers. Opening with ‘This Town‘ it’s a bashed out, hurried track, attitude curving an awesome path harder than Tony Abbott carves the image of a dickhead. It’s little ooo-wah-wah-oooo’s give it a 60’s surfie vibe that I didn’t even know I missed until I heard it. The diverse covers of The Premiers ‘Farmer John’ and (holy shit) Sugababes ‘Freak Like Me’ are executed in style, with the Sugababes cover taking surprising superiority in tone and execution. I never would have thought that I’d take late 90’s contrived girl pop over some classic 60’s psych-garage, but Bloods have managed to prove me wrong.
They come off as a less uptight Sleater-Kinney, with garage-ness turned up to 11, Spinal Tap style, as ‘Into My Arms’ will attest. It’s impossible, literally impossible not to bop your head up and down and all around whilst Bloods play that jam. It harks in and out, a dance floor gem, like Calvin Harris’ cooler younger sister. The chorus even gets a little Dum Dum Girls, that’s how attractive and flower-poppy a track it is. To ensure they are the kings and queens of cool, they slide into a Spanish bopper ‘My Luchador’, and ‘Turn Blue’ and ‘That’s OK’ are absolute pearler little tracks that never flounder for a moment. The bass thumps, the drums reverberate, and the guitars bounce of the vocals creating a small but powerful tornado of sound straight from the 60’s.
With it’s trickling font, gaping wide mouth and intimidating name, Bloods doesn’t seem like the most delectable band for lovers of reminiscing of 1969 California beaches and trying to answer the age old question of what would The Beach Boys sound like if they came out in 1977? Bloods politely answer that question with a racket of irresistible, drippy garage pop, straight from the hometown of Sydney. Congratulations Teenage Values on picking up one of the Sydney’s best bands. GOLD COAST SCUM!
You can catch them playing on the Sydney leg of Dig It Up!, The Hoodoo Gurus curated Festival, and various dates playing support for The Rubens.