Poor Crash & The Bandicoots. That name is going to become both a blessing and a curse. No one’s going to have any difficulty remembering who they are, but can you imagine how much the Activision lawsuit is going to cost?
Thankfully, though, nomenclature is far from the most interesting thing about this band. The four-piece, half of whom are barely of legal drinking age, write startlingly well-constructed songs that instantly take in the last thirty years of British pop music. Throughout the three tracks on their debut release there is a tension of scale; an internal squabble between the band’s desire for bedroom aesthetics and their obvious ability to write stadium-worthy melodies. Nowhere is this clearer than on standout track ‘Don’t Have Any Legs’, during which a bittersweet, Hot Chip chorus line is sung by a gruff rumble of voices that sound either on the cusp of sleep or already in the depths of a skunky haze. It’s an affectation, yes, but Crash & The Bandicoots are affected in a knowing, nudge-and-a-wink, classic way; in a manner that plucks them from the leagues of lo-fi toss and places them firmly in the ranks of odd, contemporary British pop. It is, as they sing on ‘Emily (Hehe)’, “a classic case of English taste,” and Crash & The Bandicoots have got plenty of that.
Hi Crash & The Bandicoots. What are you listening to right now?
Hi Best Fit. Here’s a top 3 (in no particular order): Those Darlins, Ringo Deathstarr and Kurt Vile.
I understand two of you work in studios, and yet C&TB sound distinctly DIY. Is the lo-fi aesthetic a deliberate choice?
Sure is. We don’t use a studio. We use a bedroom and a laptop.
Every day seems to bring another two dozen bands describing themselves as ‘lo-fi’. What do you think the attraction is?
To be honest opinions on this differ even within the band. I think it would be pretty closed minded of us to say, “There… thats the reason they all want to be lo-fi!”. I think reasons will differ from artist to artist. One band may be lo-fi because they aren’t skilled enough to make a “hi-fi” recording, another may be lo-fi because they are trying to be different to what you hear on the radio all day, and others may be lo-fi just because IT SOUNDS COOL!! There is always a group of idiots jumping on the bandwagon whenever a scene starts to pick up but who really cares? For us it’s a lot less thought through, we just really like garage bands, GOOD pop music and early ’90s hip hop. If that comes out as lo-fi we’re more than happy to call it that.
What does the C&TB live show involve?
Furbys, fairy lights, cowbells, trophy wives and serious discussions on hard hitting topics.
The tracks on your Bandcamp seem to have a huge number of reference points. Did you have an idea of what C&TB should sound like before you started writing?
Kind of. We knew what we wanted certain elements of the music to sound like. For example, we knew that Ewan would always record vocals through a harmonica microphone, and the bass and drums needed to be the Don Corleone of the mix. But mostly we took elements from songs we love and put them together, just like any other band.
Can you recommend us something we might not have heard before?
I don’t know… we’re not the hippest band about town (e.g. we just said “about town”) but we like The Growlers, Mouse Deer, and Super Squarecloud.