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ITCHY BUGGER - Done One LP Low Company

“The freak's flyin solo.” Basically Josh from The Love Triangle, Idiota Civlizzato, DIÄT and Heavy Metal wrote some songs and then recorded them on 4-track over a few loooong nights last summer with the help of a wheezing drum-machine and fellow HM mensch Robert. He made a tape of it and passed it to mates as a sort of leaving gift as he prepared to head back to Oz after a blurry half-decade’s stint in Europe. When we heard it we were blown away, and wasted no time in emotionally blackmailing him into letting us press an LP version. Musically, it's a wry, whimsical, oddly poignant DIY/jangle/part-time-punk micro-odyssey that feels like the introspective, acid-bleary yin to Heavy Metal’s cranked-up hooligan yang. If you’re familiar with Josh’s other bands then you’ll already know what an effortlessly gifted songwriter and guitarist he is, but this set is a world away from DIÄT and HM, actually, although it shares a world-weariness with both, his bittersweet lyrics - and half-sung, half-spoken vocals - perfectly evoking the beauty and banality of life on the lamb, Hearts in Exile, and a sense of reality/normality every day deferred if not defeated. Instead these brittle, self-deprecating but incorrigibly romantic songs put us in mind of Dan Treacy/TVPs, Swell Maps and of course classic fractured Oz/NZ pop from The Clean, Cannanes ++. The whole thing has a diaristic, unaffected, please-itself quality, as if it was made entirely for its own sake with no real audience in mind - which, essentially, it was. Tunes like ‘Baker Man’, 'Next Time I Fall In Love, Man' and ‘Good For Nothing Man’ have quickly become cast-iron anthems round here. Edition of not very many, with self-portrait picture sleeve and hand-stamped inner. Man.