EP Review: The Lotts – ‘Ice Cold’.

How about a little something to go right along with this blistering, puckering heat? Yes we could chill down with lush summer sounds, lose ourselves in some loose vibes and tones. Or we could expend all our last beads of sweat getting ground by some fuzz guzzling garage. Seen as The Lotts make the latter so hard to decline, and damn, they even make it enticing, I say lets get hogwild and grizzly to last month’s release of ‘Ice Cold’.

So let’s paint the shade of the ‘tude and style that permeates the EP’s release. This is loose and chewed scuzz-mustered scratch n’ scrawl squalor all wrapped up in dirt-beat frenetics. It’s obscenity out of necessity. Roughed up and kept bent and crude. OK there’s the trappings of hack n’slash glam and its long line of Stooges and Cramps and Ty Segall namechecks, along with Link Wray and C33s, but here there’s a something more puerile. There’s a clean primal cool punching through. And while it’s true all these acts and their touchstones are here, there’s a hint that it’s almost an accident; just noise makers using whatever however they need to to nail down a sound.

Now to run to the guts of the tracks. ‘You Need It!’ is pump n’thump proto punk pleasure anytime from ’78 onwards. Too Brit to be glam, too vexed to be clean, and being to too fast for its own good just adds to the clatter that belongs in a bust toilet sweatbox. Elsewhere ‘Breakdown Blues’ and ‘Get On Up!‘ swap the hi-speed for tremolo rattle and roll as we shake up the sandbox of sonics. The former hits at a mix of CBGBs and surf, the latter, the least lean and tactile, hangs together by a thread only just. OK, there may be a slight drifting wayward as the title track starts to lose focus, but the new kicks of NY Dolls no care and freewheeling keeps even those loose tracks together.

Then they’re saved at the last closing blast. All wayward strands drawn back and bunched. ‘She’s Drunk‘ is a mean kiss of all the above in a crisp glance of tight-angled garage. In a track that could hail from The Hives at their sharpest, there’s purpose and intent intact. And as the oddly no-nonsense but still puerile play stomps and hisses it’s way towards its ending, there’s a blissfully high tension ‘TV Eye’ feedback that injects a new fuel to the ‘tude.

Again there’s no sense of design, no sense of playing to those namechecks at least. And that’s half the charm of an EP so pleasingly raucous and sweet that it scratches the itch it created.