Single of the Week: On Off by Crumplehorns

by thethreepennyguignol

As well as laying claim to a name that wouldn’t sound out of place in Where the Wild Things Are, Yorkshire-based Crumplehorns have put their mark all over a brilliant new wave-y single On Off.

Claiming new wave- or indeed post-punk, or the ultimate kiss of death, “like Joy Division”- is a big  statement for a modern British band. So many groups have clearly heard and are fans of this kind of 70s/80s electronic, shoegazey pop but can’t quite capture what it is that makes it so distinctively right. So I took the challenge when I saw Crumplehorns appear on my timeline, making big statements about their latest release (which is also available on vinyl, superbly), and I knew the gamble had paid off when I pulled my headphones out after five minutes of running time and declared to myself “Well, that was fucking excellent”.

It’s got a Stone Roses-esque rambling side to it, the kind of controlled randomness to the vocal line that yes, does remind me a little of Ian Curtis’ vitriol in Transmission. It takes a minute to click all the pieces together in your mind- the chunky bass, the melodic synth breaks, the miserably great guitar line- but On Off gives you the time to catch up. This isn’t new wave as interpreted through some sarcastic modern hipster; this is new wave as it is and as it should be. This is my kind of music.